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TEDx Youth Founder Previews This Weekend's Event

TEDxYouth Shadyside

Some high school seniors take relax a bit in their final year of school. Not Shaan Fye, a senior at Shadyside Academy. Not only is he the founder of the Atlas Business Journal and the manager of the Shadyside Finance and Entrepreneurship Club, but he is also the organizer of the Shadyside TEDx Youth event this weekend at the August Wilson Center.

The theme for Fye’s TEDx Youth Event, which is a branch of the more well-know TED Talks, is “revolutions.” Fye and his team considered many possible themes, but settled on they did because they thought Pittsburgh had been through several of them.

“If we want to go back 80, 90 years ago, it was our industrial revolution; if we want to look back 20 or 30 years ago, it was with the advent of healthcare,” Fye said on 90.5 WESA Essential pittsburgh. “Most recently, we have an increase in technology and the technology boom…”

TED Talks began in the 1980s as a way to spread different kinds of knowledge to a broad population, each talk having its own theme. They steadily grew in popularity each year, especially with the advent of Youtube, which allowed millions to watch with out traveling or paying the price of admission.

To begin, Fye sent a high detailed explanation of his planned event to TED, at which point they gave him a license to hold the event. From there he had to find speakers, sponsors, attract attendees and find a team of people to put the whole thing together.

“The more speakers you have, the more sponsors you have, the more that people want to attend and then the more people who want to speak,” Fye said, describing the process as a “chain effect.”

The potential costs of speaker fees, travel costs, venue rental, catering and setting up audio and video equipment could get expensive quickly, but Fye found that many people were willing to help with the event for free. After receiving an initial deposit, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust offered let him use the August Wilson Center for free and helped to pay for some of the AV equipment.

Fye says the total bill will come in between $500 and $600, mostly for food.

Fye hopes the event will inspire other young people in the Pittsburgh area to begin peer-to-peer education. He wants youth to realize that they can put on large events like the TEDx Youth talks with or without help from adults.

“That’s the true purpose of TEDx Youth at Shadyside,” Fye said. “Its to make students realize that they can do this too, its to have multiple other TEDx events come up in the next year as they realize that this is something they can do too.”

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

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