GEMS Founders School – Dubai students host TEDx event with KHDA Director General in attendance

TedxEvent- GFS 5

GEMS Founders School – Dubai (GFS) recently hosted its inaugural TEDx event, titled “Shifting Tides: Bridging the Gap Between Then and Now,” in the presence of Her Excellency Dr Aisha Miran, Director General of Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and Dino Varkey, GEMS Education’s Group Chief Executive Officer.

Conceived and led by Orion Sandeep, a Year 13 student at the school, and organised entirely by a supporting team of students, the TED-licensed event featured inspiring talks from pupils aged 13-19 as well as industry experts from a variety of fields.

Orion Sandeep, Founder and President of GFS’ TEDx event, said: “We wanted to offer our audiences fresh perspectives and ideas, challenge norms, and fill them with a renewed sense of self-awareness. We wanted to give our fellow students a platform to voice their ideas and make an impact, and we wanted to build lasting connections. I want to thank our dedicated team for their incredible hard work in making this event a reality.”

Matthew Burfield, Executive Principal/CEO of GEMS Founders School – Dubai and Senior Vice President – Education at GEMS Education, said: “This event stemmed from the ideas and words of our students, particularly one of our exceptional Year 13 students (Orion Sandeep) who proposed the concept.

“This is how things work at our school: students present their ideas and inspirations to us, asking if they can bring them to life. We rarely say no. It’s a true honour and privilege to listen to and be inspired by our students. They encourage us to think about what we can do to create a better future.”

Subjects addressed in the extensive talks ranged from psychology, education, and parenting to people of determination (ableism), changing consumer behaviours, and the transformations shaping our world today. Speakers shed light on pressing current affairs and offered innovative solutions.

Among the various talks was one covering the intricate science behind nostalgia, exploring its origins and providing practical insights into managing it. There was also a powerful discussion on the challenges faced by people of determination in an evolving society, emphasising the need for greater inclusivity and proposing actionable steps to build a more inclusive world.

Further highlights from the event included talks on:

  • Instant gratification, with a call to revive the lost art of patience
  • The importance of unlearning outdated habits to facilitate adaptation and growth in a rapidly changing world
  • Beauty standards and their evolution and impact
  • The decline in creativity due to technology and AI, with solutions proposed to reignite creative thinking among young people today
  • The potential of AI and modern technology to empower society
  • The role of online gaming in bridging generational gaps and fostering relationships
  • The psychological impact of parenting and education, including effective ways to prepare children for future challenges
  • The intersection of cognitive psychology and AI, envisioning a future where a synergy between both leads to significant advancements

Notable guest speakers included Matthew Tompkins, Vice President of GEMS For Life; Agalar Ragimov, Co-founder of SpaceTO.Io; and Adam Eddine, a former GFS student and Virgin Radio presenter. Their insights on education, metaverse development, and personal identity inspired the large audience that had gathered.

The event concluded with a performance by student band Highway24, who added a vibrant touch to the night, as well as an award ceremony that recognised the exceptional contributions of speakers, guests, and the core team played an instrumental role in the event’s success.

The team included Shipra Yadav, Tanushree Kharthik, Prithika Ahuja, Tiya Santosh, Zidane Bin Zayed Shams, Pritika Bhalla, Devagya Sawardekar, Aadhya Bhan, Ezza Najeeb, Sana Dhawan, Uzair Ahmed, Aadit Khanna, Haasini Reddy, Ameerah Usmani, Suood Bashir, Yassin Eltalhawy, Elloy Thomas, Adam Farang, Tasneem Ali, Dishita Dabas, Alina Majeed, and Shaun Sunil.