As I’ve already paid my registration fees in full courtesy of the support of few of my friends who have helped me to realize this opportunity, I have shifted my focus to other things that have already ramped up my excitement. Just being selected to attend TED fresh out of college is already a big enough accomplishment for myself, even though I have no other big honors to boast about besides going to LeaderShape (Makes me feel proud and happy that Google’s co-founder and now CEO Larry Page is a LeaderShape graduate). Now I’ve got a nice personalized branding strategy to boast.
Even though the conference has now relocated to Scotland to accomodate for future growth, I realized that one thing has slipped my mind. I failed to notice this oblivious fact when it was staring at me in plain sight – I’m heading to the home of the founder of Carnegie Mellon; none other than Andrew Carnegie. Even though he’s a Scotsman industrialist who earned his wealth back in the early days of the 19th century, I could possibly explore the place and see if any remnants still exist to this day. I’ve already planned that I’ll be spending 8 days (5 are going towards TEDGlobal and all things related to it); I’m still open to extend it by a day if the outlook is very lively. All I know is that his birth place is the small town of Dunfermline, about an hour away North from central Edinburgh where TEDGlobal is happening. Looks like I’ll put it as a goal of being the first CMU student – either from Pittsburgh or Doha – to visit the home of my alma mater’s founder. I’ll definitely take something to show that CMU goes back to its roots; it may have a pun but I’ll frame it along the lines of ‘CMU harkens back to its founder’. From what I hear, his home is still intact and his statue is standing tall and high in a park.
I still need to see if I’ll be heading out alone or with other aspiring TEDsters who may choose to explore more of Scotland and its offerings. One thing I know is that I’m putting Andrew Carnegie’s hometown on my to-do lists. From my initial search, looks to be an hour’s journey. Should I even put Loch Ness on the list? Guess I could try to unravel the mystery of that place, courtesy of my camera. From visiting Dunfermline, I may get even more ideas for my TEDx event when I return to Doha. Only another 154 days to go till TEDGlobal begins…