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    Dwight Tech Chair, Basil Kolani, Curated TEDxNYED on April 28

    “We are so lucky here at Dwight because our faculty is just an amazing group of people to be around,” said Mr. Kolani. “TEDx is an extension of that, and gives us a chance to think outside of the immediate circumstances, and come up with innovations we could never have conceived independently.”

    Creating this opportunity for educators is a labor of love — emphasis on the word “labor.” Mr. Kolani organizes speakers six months out, while coordination and sponsorship activities are equally intensive. He also regularly tweets for the event to drum up interest. But to Mr. Kolani, who in addition to holding two positions at Dwight, has two small children, and attends graduate school full-time, this particular activity is well worth his precious time. “Last year, I had somebody come up to me and tell me this was by far the most productive day of professional development that they had ever had,” Mr. Kolani said. “It’s a tremendous feeling to be able to help give people that type of experience.”

    TEDxNYED featured a dozen speakers, including the Iranian educator and activist Homa Tavangar, whose widely acclaimed speeches and writings on globalization and education have brought her international renown; and the filmmaker Jenny Buccos, founder of, a multi-media site designed to educate primary and secondary schools about global cultures and histories. The event was open to the public for $50 a ticket. Tickets for Dwight teachers were covered by the school’s professional development budget.

    Educational institutions and organizations, including the Dwight Global Leaders Academy (DGLA), have partnered with Ted to make this event possible. The DGLA is a two-week summer program that is open to students from high schools all over the world and designed to teach leadership and social entrepreneurship skills. Applications are currently being received for summer 2012. For more information, click here.

    “The Dwight Global Leaders Academy and TED share a common belief that bringing people with bright ideas together vastly expands the potential or innovation,” said Graham Brown, Director of the DGLA. “We’re proud to be a part of TED and, as a member of the global Dwight community, we’re proud of Basil’s leadership at this year’s TEDxNYED.”