Some initial thoughts after three incredible months of TED & TEDx
I had a great conversation over dinner in uptown Waterloo with one of my best friends earlier this evening. As we talked, it dawned on me that one of the reasons why I felt so wound up and restless these last few weeks, including this past week after coming back from Doha, was because I actually hadn’t given myself the space nor the time to really decompress and reflect on everything that I’d been through these past three months: TEDActive, TEDxWaterloo and TEDxSummit, taking place one after another with a few weeks of downtime in between.
All of this while also going through the numerous challenges, including the highs and the lows, of building a startup tech company with a great team right here in Waterloo (keeping in mind that we only incorporated as a company in January early this year).
Although these past three months have been incredible, they have also been a series of ‘Go Go Go’, where I think I’ve now hit a wall, metaphorically speaking of course, with the amount of new information and the range of perspectives that I can take in at the present moment. Using a phrase borrowed from a conference that I attended in Stratford, Ontario last week: ‘I’m conferenced-out’.
I also wasn’t kidding when I wrote shortly after coming back from Doha that I was still trying to find the words to describe the magic and the ‘power of X’ that took place at the TEDxSummit. (for a great reflection piece, check out TEDxEdmonton Ken Bautista’s blog post here)
To say that the trip to Doha with 700+ TEDx organizers from around the world was transformational, would be an understatement.
And yet, somehow, a part of me believes that the magic experienced at the TEDxSummit in Doha — where we caught a glimpse of it at TEDActive this year given the 300+ TEDx organizers in attendance — CAN be re-created in communities worldwide with local TEDx events IF the environment is conducive to turning ideas worth spreading into actions worth doing for the betterment of the community.
With over 90+ nationalities represented at the TEDxSummit, I also realize that I may have just gotten a glimpse of what world peace could look like: where we, as humanity, with mutual respect, genuine trust and empathy for one another, work through our differences in cultural backgrounds, values and perspectives, in order to achieve a goal much larger than our individual selves.
These are some initial thoughts that I have on where I see TEDx heading, and the important role that TED will play in continuing to foster this global movement. I will definitely have more to say in upcoming blog posts, complete with examples and short stories, as I’m still tying to make sense of it all while going through all of my notes and recalling all of the discussions that I have had with numerous TEDx organizers from different parts of the world.
Being surrounded by hundreds of TEDx organizers from around the world, each with a vision for positive change in their local community using TEDx as the open platform, has certainly been inspiring.
All these years where I have held the firm belief that a better world is possible and where we have the power to create the future we envision, and then discovering a whole community of like-minded TED and TEDx organizers who feel, think and act the same way, is even more inspiring. To quote one of my fellow TEDx organizers on the last day of the TEDxSummit:
“TEDx has brought us home… we can share this journey together.”
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