I am not sure how many of you are familiar with TEDx events? Up until last year, I never heard of it. It wasn’t until a friend of mine spoke at an event and sent me the link to watch it that I learned about TED. I was impressed.
Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED is a nonprofit website (www.TED.com) devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. It’s a great international resource of free videos, speeches and materials for international ideas sharing. TEDx events are independent events held all over the world in which people can share their ideas in presentations that are 18 minutes or less.
The TEDx event held at Lagoonda in Aberdeen last Wednesday was the first-ever in Sierra Leone; it was an event I did not want to miss. The theme was “Visionary Leadership and the application of Technology to change lives”. There were two speakers from Sierra Leone as well as international TEDx videos. We listened to talks on the digital divide, bringing low-cost satellite television into the homes of Sierra Leoneans, using mobile phones to fight poverty in Bangladesh and a mobile phone money transfer system in Sierra Leone. We also listened to a very inspiring speech by Steve Jobs entitled ‘How to live before you die’.
The talks were thought provoking and inspirational. Some questions that came up were: Is access to internet a right? Does foreign aid only empower authorities and not citizens? Is business enterprise more effective than financial aid to governments? How can you drive behavioral change? Should you reward good performance and punish non-performance? What are people passionate about?
I’d say the evening was a success, although the opportunity for discussion in small groups would have been really interesting. I am already looking forward to the next TED event and will try in the meantime to download a few TED videos to watch on my own if possible.