TEDxAUCollege | Pitch Night Highlight: the Prelude to Our Main Event
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Pitch Night Highlight: the Prelude to Our Main Event

-Nina Liu

On the night of 23rd January, TEDxAUCollege hosted its 2019 Pitch Night in which ten pitchers battled for the TEDxAUCollege stage in March by giving the audience and jury a three-minute pitch. The AUC common room was packed with voters, eager to choose a possible speaker for the Main event.

The topics covered all walks of life – ranging from cancer treatment to the scientific discovery of ‘mysterious’ flashes of light, from consumer culture to sugar addiction. To start it off, Quinten Selhorst invited the audience to think about potential solutions for urban immobility and provided his vision of future transportation system. A project called MBS Unity was then introduced by Cézanne Parsan, who aims to help people with depression or drug addiction develop a wholesome lifestyle and to guide them in finding the fundamental meaning of life.

One of the most fascinating talks was given by Marin Sinclair, who shared her experience of living on a remote island called Fair Isle. What is the social dynamic there? How do islanders interact with each other? By posing questions like these, Marin asked us to reflect on our hustle and bustle urban life and to rethink how we should position ourselves in relation to others. To wrap up, the last pitcher, Sannah van Balen, talked to us about how nuclear energy – an energy solution with great potential, but often shot down out of fear – can help combat issues like climate change. She ended her talk by pointing out that harnessing nuclear energy requires ‘exploring feelings while learning more about the science’.

Although each and every one of these pitches was intriguing and engaging, there had to be winners and losers. The most suspenseful moment was no doubt the time when our two winners were announced – congratulations to Marin Sinclair and Sannah van Balen both of whom will present at the main event in March.

Alongside the thought-provoking pitches, the musical performances and the Bake Sale contributed to an exhilarating yet laid-back vibe. During the break, a wide variety of delicious desserts were served by Hands On – AUC’s Philanthropy and Voluntary Services Committee. It is also worth mentioning the charitable purpose behind this Bake Sale: all profits earned will be used to fund Refugee Company, which is a local organisation that aims to speed up integration for people with a refugee background by supporting them in becoming socially and economically independent. While waiting for the final result, a 6-piece band arranged by OnStage presented the audience an original musical The Art of Losing, which is about a woman with Alzheimer’s Disease who wants to perform one last time on stage. Another fabulous musical performance was given by a second-year AUC student Menno Gilhuis, who joked that he ‘just finished’ writing the song on that morning, yet managed to deliver a superb performance. Following the Pitch Night, there was also an opportunity for the audience to have some intimate conversation with the pitchers at Maslow Cafe.

Pitch Night was concluded with an announcement from concerning the annual TEDx event. With the theme ‘Upside Down’, our main event will take place in the Royal Tropical Institute on 23rd March 2019. So what to expect? Eight live speakers – including the two winning pitchers – will be giving you inspiring talks, which will not only encourage you to think out of the box but will also turn your world ‘upside down’. Mark the date on your calendar, and remember to reserve your ticket beforehand. Only two months to go, please stay tuned!