2019 'TED Talk' Competition

MCM pupils have again excelled themselves in the 2019 ‘Ted Talk’ Competition, a joint initiative between Marlborough College Malaysia and Marlborough College UK, which challenges pupils in both schools to prepare and deliver a TED Talk on a topic of their choice. Entries are judged by a panel of beaks at each school, according to the quality of research demonstrated, the originality and academic credibility of the content, as well as the deliverer’s presentation and handling of questions. The best two talks from each school are then pitted against each other in a final round later this term.

We were pleased to receive a number of high-quality entries this year, from pupils in Shell, Remove and the Lower Sixth, which explored a wide range of topics. The judging panel, consisting of Mr Eatough, Miss Rich and Mr Scott, shortlisted four entries, which were then performed live to the Senior School in assembly. Adrianna Malik (L6) delivered a thought-provoking piece on the notion of time and what the world might be like in the future if human beings were extinct, in her imaginatively-titled talk, ‘A Dimension Beyond Us: A Thought Experiment’. João Nina Matos (Remove) presented an equally interesting talk on the nature of warfare and the challenges facing both governments and international bodies when faced with an ‘enemy’ that is unknown, and with weapons that are unmanned. Maya Menon (L6) chose to focus her TED Talk on the future of art, taking her audience on a whistle-stop tour of artistic movements throughout history before contemplating how our experience of art might change in years to come. The final talk in the MCM shortlist, co-presented by Yasmin Abdul Razak and Zahra Ahmad Nazhri (L6), was entitled ‘How to Invent a Religion’. Yasmin and Zahra reflected on the key facets shared by mainstream religions throughout history, and pondered whether, on these bases, the term religion might be extended to the likes of fashion or veganism.

All of the shortlisted entries would have been worthy competitors in the final round; it was particularly notable that all four talks shared both an appreciation of past developments and how a knowledge of history can inform one’s understanding of the current world, as well as an awareness of sociological change and the need to carefully consider what human actions might mean for future generations. This reflects MCM pupils’ genuine curiosity about their place in the world and the power they have to shape future developments. However, after considerable deliberation, the panel chose to put forward Maya’s talk and the talk given by Zahra and Yasmin, to the final round.

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