Highlights from TEDxJIS: Crossing Paths

“It is amazing that I’m being part of something that is so much bigger than just this room.”

This was the response from of one of our speakers, Cipta Croft-Cusworth when we asked him to reflect on the experience using the Flipgrid app as they reflected the day. Providing a chance to have an active interaction between audience and speakers, TEDxJIS 2018: Crossing Paths built an intersecting path, connecting them.

The TEDxJIS 2018 conference had the main theme of Crossing Paths. With a full house, the audience was filled with anticipation for ideas worth spreading as the event started. The event featured a variety of great stories and ideas from various speakers, which included students, educator, artists, alumni, and athletes. In addition, performers presenting the theme “crossing path” with the different type of arts enriched the conference and showed us more than describing with words.

“Have you ever felt like you’d like to contribute to the society through your passion, but don’t know how?”

Gabriella Gwen answered this question as she started this year’s conference with the voice of music. With a brief musical introduction to her talk, she carefully represented her idea of “empowering people with music” and directed us to show how one’s talent can be used to help society, by showing the crossing paths between music and service.

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Between the speakers’ talks, a single harp player, a duo of dancers, and a trio of musicians brought beautiful art to the conference and showed their interpretation of “Crossing Paths”. First, Ella and Colleen showed how movement affected movement and space. The second player was to play Fania played a beautiful song with her harp and Hana, Erika and Rintaro produced an incredibly delicate and beautiful intersection of cultures.

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There were also other speakers who used art to present their ideas: Gwen and Cipta.
Gwen introduced us to her world by showing her self-portrait. Born with profound hearing loss, she had cochlear implants which allowed to have “the best of both worlds”, to have the choice of living in a world of silence or a world hearing.

“Toys are synonymous with playtime, but what if there is more to playtime with toys than meets the eye?”

Cipta is a 39-year-old who never stopped playing with toys. With his toy inside his pocket, he reminded the audience that playtime is as important for adults as it is for children, saying that “Our place in the world is never constant, however playtime with toys gives us that control. You are able to pretend that you are something you are not, and you may just find that by opening your imagination to new possibilities you can become who you choose to be.” As he said, youthful vision, seeing the world through child’s eyes, gives us the capacity to see potential for anything to exist.


Wesley Trisnadi gave us the different look of the world, as he talked of how our senses cross paths together during synesthesia. Synesthesia is the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body. Exploring the advantages and disadvantages of synesthesia, he suggests to us: “Because it does more good than harm, calling it a disorder seems more like a paradox, than an accurate depiction. Therefore, let’s instead call it an EXTRAorder.”

TEDxJIS 2018 raised a number of excellent questions, such as: “Are we ever the best version of ourselves? How can the development of one’s craft be developed if the comfort zone is not experimented with?”


Timo Fukar, a high school varsity track athlete, started running in third grade and asked us the above question. From this he learned that there’s no such thing as perfection, because there will always be improvements and limitations. One must always learn something more to strive forward. He said, “You should never be satisfied what you’ve achieved. Once you know that there’s a better caliber, you have to improve.”


Vivian Ng is the only female member in the Central Student Council this year. Vivian shared with us the story of how she was hesitating to run for grade 9 office when she was a freshman and recalled that her biggest setback was her mindset. From what she said,perception of failure is prominent in teenage girls. It impacts confidence, risk-taking, and innovation which are the key to becoming leader. She remarked that perfection is not a human quality, step out of your comfort zone and try something that you might fail. Failure doesn’t hinder you but shapes the type of person you will become.

“There is a lack of female leaders in the community. We must not only give them the resources and opportunities needed, but we need to increase encouragement to females as well. Girls do not step up to leadership when they don’t see themselves as worthy person, however not believing in your capability will be one of your biggest regrets.”


Jennifer Osborne, an educator at Jakarta Intercultural school strives for evolution in the education career, and believes that students should have a choice. She ensures that students feel light, challenged but still respected. Educators, like herself, help students become self-directed learners because we truly learn what we try to learn. Her talk reminded us that “Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”

39086965085_4e84f265d9_o.jpgBetween the speeches, there was an intermission when speakers and audience got to interact with each other and enjoy the treats. The cafeteria next to Melati Theater was filled with discussions and countless ideas were shared between the audience. Audiences could write their ideas on huge speech bubble boards provided at the cafeteria and give the feedback to the team through flipgrid response. For example, Irene Kim said “The intersection could change our trajectories, and today, the intersection of these talks and me as an audience gave me a strong impression.“ Another conference attendee, Mr. Jason Osbourne added “It was surprisingly informative, and was a great chance for me since I’ve always wanted to participate in TEDx conference”


“All humans speak the same language. We may not be multilingual but all of us speak the universal language of pain, sadness and happiness. said Natasha Sondakh, who is a full-time poet and part-time translator. Her talk remarked on how and why communication is important. She threw a question to audience, saying that: In a global community where knowledge is instant, we think it is so easy to know everything, yet even if a scholar studies all the books in the world, he/she can’t possibly have access to all the knowledge in the world. Why can’t we grasp it all?


Joshua Gidden’s best memory is sitting around the table and playing games with his family. For him, games are a community. Growing up in Zimbabwe, games provided a lot of entertainment and connection as there wasn’t electricity. When playing games, people participate in each other’s life and share it. They are all searching for a community. Mr.Giddens asked the audience, “ Games, such as Warhammer, require a lot of time and effort, yet why do people invest so much time and money for these games? “


There was another speaker who focused on game, but more about it’s theoretical use. Moses Mayer explored the idea of how game theory can be used to solve issues in pollution. Game theory is known as “the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent, rational decision-makers“. Moses used the game called “Prisoner’s Dilemma” as a wide reference in the field of his topic. He remarked, “Game theory and mathematics aren’t just subjects that you do at school to improve your GPA. Their applications crosses the boundaries of just theoretical ideas to practical situations encountered in real life — they form the basis of many of the world’s most amazing discoveries.”

39952908102_4256807793_o.jpgThe last talk of the conference was performed by Steve Clark, who is now JIS high school principal and has stayed at this school for sixteen years. With the imagery of “coffee shop without wifi”, he warned and reminded us that in the 21st century, we have become so immersed in technology that we have overlooked the importance of crossing paths and interacting with other people.

The magic of crossing paths lies in different things from game theory, synesthesia and our very own leaders in the community. As Steve Clark said it himself, “crossing paths with another human being has the potential to teach you important life lessons, make you aware of your own personal bias and insecurities, or simply transform your life for the better.”

This was the fourth main event offered by TEDxJIS. From 2015, the organizers of TEDxJIS have been improving the quality of conference by devoting their Thursday lunches for meetings, promoting, communicating, managing, designing, preparing for the conference with their ideas.

If you would like to know more about this year’s event and/or our previous events view our Facebook page or visit our website http://www.tedxjis.com. Check back for updates and information, and we hope to see you again at our next conference

This article was originally written by Sangmin Ha, Yuna Kim and Nadine Zahirrudin and has been edited by Claudia Mak and Amit Khanna.

Written by Yuna Kim

JIS class of 2019 TEDxJIS publicity intern 2017

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