Celest Urech

Celeste’s Favourite TED Talk: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Every month, we’ll be introducing a member of the TEDxZurich Team through their favourite TED Talk. This month, we’ve caught up with Celeste Urech, Head of Salon Team.

Picasso once said every child is an artist. The challenge is to remain an artist as an adult. How do we grow out of creativity?

In his TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson, points his finger at our schooling system. “We are educated out of creativity”, he says, “due to a fear of being wrong. If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”



Celeste’s Favourite TED Talk – Do schools kill creativity?

“I first heard of TED when I came across a few talks on YouTube years ago. This was one of the first talks I ever watched. I’ve been an active video-watcher since (used to be especially good as a distraction during the exam period at university)!”

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining, but still very profound point, about how unprepared our school systems are for the future and he uses the term ‘academic inflation’, which I think very elegantly points to a big problem our society will be facing,” says Celeste.

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Sir Ken Robinson


Through this talk, Celeste realised how schools negatively affect our creativity. “It made me more aware of how I already am creative, and why I might have struggled at school sometimes, mostly with discipline!”

As a creativity expert, Sir Robinson challenges our school systems to cultivate creativity and acknowledge different types of intelligence.

“Creativity — which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value — more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things,” says Robinson during his talk.

Robinson believes we grow up in a system that undermines, rather than nurtures, creativity – a system where experimentation and failure is stigmatised. It is up to us to shift our way of thinking when it comes to education.

“If I were to give a TED Talk one day,” says Celeste, “I would share the idea of how we, as a society, should shift our value perception from work and job to creativity and community. I’m very convinced there won’t be enough work for everybody in the future, however not all of us will have to work,” he says.

“I see a massive shift from full-time employment to gig-based part-time employment, especially in the low-skilled labour market. If society keeps giving value to people based on what they do for labour, we ignore the massive value contributions people make with their creativity, in caring for family members, etc.”

“Sir Robinson’s talk helped me to start looking at myself as a creative person whereas I used to consider myself to be utterly un-creative,” says Celeste.


Celeste is Head of the Salon Team, responsible for running smaller, more intimate events, or ‘Salons’, throughout the year. Each Salon hosts 1-2 TEDx style speakers, and one TED Talk video. The focus of the Salons is on the discussion and interaction with the audience.

Click here to find out more about TEDx Salons.

Sarah Ebling

          Sarah Ebling holds a professorship in Accessibility Studies at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and is a senior researcher at the University of Zurich. Her research focuses on natural language processing in the context of disabilities and special needs, specifically, sign language technology and automatic text simplification. Her groups’ contributions involve artificial intelligence techniques with a strong emphasis on user involvement. She is involved in various international and national projects and leads a large-scale Swiss innovation initiative entitled „Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies“ (2022-2026; https://www.iict.uzh.ch/).