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Alex More TED
Shaftesbury deputy head teacher Alex More and two of the school’s pupils received the 2022 EMSTA award from chairman Roger Boddy at Shaftesbury Arts Centre.

Eight north Dorset teenagers have taken their first steps to global fame by addressing an international audience at a live-streamed TEDx event in Shaftesbury, writes Richard Thomas.

The eight were students from Shaftesbury School and The Gryphon school in Sherborne who spoke on subjects from social injustice and racism to climate change and posthumanism.

The talks, at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, were watched live by nearly a thousand young people in 14 countries including Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Ghana, Botswana, USA and Canada as well as several European countries.

Organiser Alex More, deputy head at Shaftesbury School, said it was the recent event ‘would ‘change their lives forever by bringing them to the attention of a global audience’.

The local students were among eleven teenage speakers aged between 14 and 17 – three from America – and five adult experts who spoke at the first TED event to be held in the north Dorset area.

The New York-based TED organisation – TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design – is an American-Canadian non-profit media organisation founded nearly 40 years ago that posts international talks online for free distribution under the slogan ‘ideas worth spreading’.

The Shaftesbury talks, themed ‘Louder Than Words’, will be available to view on the TED website from mid-December.

Afterwards Alex More, a runner-up in the 2022 Pearson Teacher of the Year awards, said the success of this year’s event meant a second TEDx would be held next year after nearly 200 young people applied to speak at it.

Also at the event Alex More and two sixth-form pupils were presented with the 2022 EMSTA award by chairman Roger Boddy. The award, for promoting engineering, maths, science, technology and the arts in schools, was the first to a school in the UK.

Mr More recently returned from representing the UK in Finland where he was presented with yet another award for his work on the classroom of the future using artificial intelligence. It was selected by the Helsinki-based HundrED organisation as one of the best 100 innovations in the world.

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