Second part of LeaderShape vision: TEDxEducationCity

Now that I have TEDxYouth@Doha under my belt as my first TEDx event post-TEDGlobal 2011, my efforts and attention have now shifted to the grand plan that was the primary reason for my efforts – TEDxEducationCity.

It’s been 3 years since TEDx was launched as an experiment to open up the TED platform to people around the world. Everyone would want to attend a TED Conference, but it’s a challenge moving atleast 700 people from place to place (Trust me on this, as I went to TEDGlobal). Now, I’m able to channel my 1st hand experience of having freshly organized a TEDx event towards this one taking place in April 2012.

This is something that I had envisioned differently when I went to LeaderShape, but I waited for the right opportunity to make this happen. It’s quite a useful fact to know that the very 1st TEDx event was a University event – TEDxUSC on March 29, 2009 (Read here for more). It was a pilot even that set the precedant for 1000s more TEDx events around the world. As of current numbers, there are over 3,000+ TEDx events and 13,000+ TEDxTalks; this number is set to further grow as it spreads around to many communities.

TED has learned a lot from 3 years of the TEDx platform being out in the open; using the concept of auditions by individual TEDx events and channeling it to a global search for TED2013: ‘The Young, The Wise. The Undiscovered’. I thought… why not take this further, especially for a University type event?

That’s how TEDxEducationCity was born – bringing together 6 U.S universities who have official satellite campuses in Qatar. Education City has been around for more than 15 years, and it’s evident to see how far it has come under Qatar Foundation. The nature of each college aligns well with TED, as they are cross-disciplinary. Universities are the best place where forward-looking work and ideas bear fruition. A perfect match! Thus, began the work of preparing for a new way to take the TEDx platform to new heights.

Here’s another icing on the cake with this event:

When I mentioned 6 U.S universities, it wasn’t restricted to their Qatar campuses. I’m also hoping to get their respective home campuses to be part of it as well.

With most of my team from TEDxYouth@Doha who were already onboard from the initial discussions, it became clear that we would also have to draw upon the strengths of the universities. This was a good way to get people involved into a TEDx event.

Though our event takes place days after the 3rd anniversary of the TEDx platform, I know that the 4th year will bring with it more for many TEDx organizers around the world.

The inaugural TEDxSummit in April 2012 (A week after my event!) will bring over 500 TEDx organizers from all over the world to Qatar for a week-long gathering to discuss and develop the TEDx platform into new directions. I’ll be blogging about that for sure.

Make sure to check out TEDxEducationCity on the following links:

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