In 2009 a friend Tim and I had started up a monthly youth event called TEDxPerth, and by the second half of that year we were pulling some decent numbers. One month we were approached by this guy named Tristan, who told us about the big online youth vote on climate change called Youth Decide, and asked if we could facilitate some voting at our next TEDxPerth event. I thought the idea was pretty cool, as climate change was something I was really interested in, and I was frustrated with the slow pace in dealing with it, yet hadn’t known how I could make a difference. I thought: this is my chance.
Pretty soon, we had changed our entire next event to be called “Youth Decide @ TEDxPerth”. We made the evening climate change themed. We organised some VIP guest speakers to talk about topics related to climate change, and our venue, Scitech, just happened to have a climate change exhibition running that month – how convenient! We also set up multiple voting stations: laptops that were setup with internet access and left on the Youth Decide voting page, and with big Youth Decide posters above.
And it was amazing! The venue packed out with over 100 people – we had never drawn such a large crowd before – and everyone really got into it. People really enjoyed the speakers and we got lots of great discussions going. Then we announced the Youth Decide vote, and unleashed the participants onto the voting stations. People were chatting while queueing up, as everyone wanted to get their votes in during the times we’d allocated.
I think everyone went away having had a great night, and with a new understanding of climate change. It went down in history as one of TEDxPerth’s best events, and who’d have thought it would lead me to become a AYCC branch coordinator a year later.
Written by AYCC WA volunteer, Nick Taylor