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'Weekday' Archive: Young People With Big Ideas

Steve Scher
11/25/2011 at 9:00 a.m.

TED — the nonprofit dedicated to "Ideas Worth Spreading" — provides a platform for the nation's biggest and brightest thinkers. But adults aren't the only ones with big ideas and talents. In 2010, a TEDxRedmond event was arranged for kids, by kids. Many of the young presenters were local to Washington state. We talked to four young thinkers in 2010 about the actions they were taking artistically, politically and compassionately. Their accomplishments and their talents are sure to inspire you. TEDxRedmond had another successful event in 2011. Here from our 2010 archives is a conversation with four big thinkers about the world they want to create.


Adora Svitak was organizer of the TEDxRedmond 2010 and 2011. She was inspired to arrange a TED event for kids after she gave a speech titled "What Adults Can Learn From Kids" at a TED event when she was 12 years old. She is an author and a teacher to other kids. She's published three books so far: "Flying Fingers," "Dancing Fingers" and "Yang In Disguise." She attends the Washington Virtual Academy, an online public school, from her home in Redmond.

Jessica Markowitz created her own nonprofit called Richard's Rwanda IMPUHWE (Inspire, Motivate, Powerful, Undiscovered, Hopeful Women With Education) after learning about the genocide in Rwanda. The organization helps girls in Rwanda complete primary school and attend six years of secondary school. It also aims to encourage an ongoing cross–cultural exchange program between Seattle high school students and girls in Nyamata and Kigali, Rwanda.

Cayle Diefenbach works with the Colville Tribal Language Program interpreting books for youth into the native language. He is also active with the Colville Tribal History and Archeology program documenting tribal history and identifying artifacts. He's been a part of reclamation projects for tribal artifacts, and has worked with the Natural Resource Conservation District. He has also proposed creating a memorial hall to honor fallen veterans to the Colville Business Council. He is 16 years old and attends Omak High School. In 2011, he worked on an Earthwatch expedition in Arizona.

Maya Ganesan is a writer and poet. She helped host events at TEDxRedmond 2011. She published her first book of poetry called "Apologies To An Apple" at age 11. She writes at her blog, Allegro.

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