TEDGlobal torrential TEDx downpour

Though TEDGlobal 2011 runs from July 11 – 15, you could say that by following simple math that July 10 would be Day 0. What a day it turned out to be!


Beinging a confirmed TEDx licensee (You’ll have to wait longer to hear more about it!), I had signed up to a TEDx workshop taking place for the whole day at the Royal Lyceum Theatre. Over 100 TEDx organizers from all over the world were attending in person, and it was great to see this amazing community come together. The entire TEDx team was on hand, as the TEDx community went through their check-in registration a day ahead before 700+ more attendees flock in. The staff were all easily identifiable, but one thing caught my eye was the different colors of the badges (I’m hoping to find out more about them later!). Along with my registration check-in, I received my named envelop that has my amazing badge, vouchers to the TED gift bag and the Google event I signed up, and maps for the conference and around Edinburgh. Adding to that, I also got one big and sturdy TEDx gift bag reserved for TEDx organizers that had its share of goodies inside of it and an interesting tag TEDxWWW (I know what this means, and it ties to Bruno Giussani’s and Lara Stein’s visit to Doha in June!) on the outside.


Regarding TEDx organizers, I had the opportunity to meet Yahay from TEDxBaghdad, Ramzi from TEDxRamallah, and Anwar from TEDxKhartoum (plus, he’s one active TED translator as he’s translated over 600+ TEDTalks into Arabic – thank him for that!). A great bunch of individuals, and there are many more to be listed


Minutes later, all of us flocked into the amazing theatre area that was decked out in the TED signature style: the TED logo in Helvetica, red circle carpet on the stage, and even a large overhead projected screen. Lara opened the workshop with her words, along with some words of wisdom from TED Curator Chris Anderson. Here’s the best part: this was all being streamed live to all other TEDx organizers around the world. With the inaugural Edinburgh chapter of TEDGlobal, they have also decided to livestream the workshop for the first time to other TEDx organizers all over the globe. Kelly Stoetzel and Rives were the hosts for the following presentation (These two are a team of two at TEDActive). Presentations from other TEDx organizers included: 

  1. Ramy Nassar from TEDxWaterloo

  2. Houssem Aoudi from TEDxCarthage (Tunisia)

  3. Ahmad Coucha from TEDxCairo

  4. Andre Cester Costa from TEDxAveiro

  5. Vlad Fiscutean from TEDxTimisoara

  6. John Werner from TEDxBoston (Who is also organizing an amazing bike
    ride following the farewell lunch)

  7. Nate Mook from the height-defying TEDxEverest (That’s 18,000ft above


Along with these community TEDx events, they were also accompanied with TED Staff who gave us tips and guidelines on many things:

  1. Getting a great TED talk by your speaker from June Cohen

  2. Putting up and featuring TEDxTalks on TED.com by Emily McManus

  3. Different ways of filming and covering the speaker on stage by Jason

  4. Editing and synching your TEDx talks by Kari Mulholland

  5. Working on partnerships when getting sponsors by Ronda Carnegie (She
    visited Doha with Bruno and Lara in June, and you can read about it
    in my previous post)


That already looks like a full plate and even beyond a 4 course dinner menu. Good thing that the TED Staff segment had a Q&A segment with each one, as they opened the floor to those physicall present and taking questions from their livestream. It doesn’t end there, as a slew of announcements were interspersed in between the TEDx presentations – I just thought of combining them together as one group:

  1. Pat Mitchell, who had initially proposed the one-off TEDWomen that
    took place in December 2010, is now officially making it as
    TEDxWomen in partnership with TED. The date has been confirmed to
    December 1 and she’s encouraging other TEDx organizers to host their
    own along with the actual TEDxWomen that will be happening in the

  2. TEDxChange, managed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was
    on hand to announce that TEDxChange will be happening in Beijing on
    March 2012. The one interesting twist is that she wants to rally the
    active TEDx organizers community to feed their input for this. Even
    though it’s months away, they have seen from the first one that
    people paid attention.

  3. This next one is really special and it will be in Qatar. I’m putting
    it on a separate one, so that I can explain it further. We all know
    that TEDx events are organized to empower and channel people to take
    actions. What if there were an event by TEDx organizers that it
    exclusively focused on TEDx organizers around the world? That is


That is none other than TEDxWWW (WWW stands for WorldWide Workshop) hosted by the Doha Film Institute. This is meant for all TEDx organizers, where we bring them all together for 2.5 days, that will be immediately followed by TEDxDoha. All this is unfolding in April 2012. TED is even playing a role in managing this, and the TEDx organizers get to have an opportunity to help in TEDxDoha. Imagine the power of channeling the collective power of these organizers into an event of this kind. I can’t even begin to describe it, yet I can even see the scope of how we can help to further develop and expand the TEDx program.

That was all from the TEDx workshop. Might be a lot to digest for your gray-matter. Trust me, it was the same for me but on an exponential scale as I was physically present there as things unfolded.

You can even see the entire TEDx enthusiasm that unfolded with my story:


Tune into my next entry as Day 1 unfolds with many things.



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