On Day 0, we were an amazing 110 that had an intimate and insightful gathering where we brainstormed and discussed many TED and TEDx-related things. It almost felt like I was already getting comfortable with the people I was meeting at my first ever TED conference. The sheer power of the TEDx community was brimming with enthusiasm, determination and passion to create change. I didn’t realize that looming far over the horizon, things would drastically change.
Day 1 begins at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre as 100s more of attendees flock in for their registration checkin. I realized that I had my voucher to pick up my TED Gift bag, but I’m saving that for later. Attendees who had registered for tours were waiting for their respective shuttles. I decided to venture around capture as much as I can. That also surprised someone else. Dr. Bob Monroe (Associate Dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar) was also attending, but he didn’t know that I was. I caught him by surprise as I was just passing by the registration queue when I spotted him and then he spotted me. An exchange of greetings and brief chatter before he was up next to pick up his goodie bags.
I was trying to work on my Day 0 entry as much as I can, while witnessing many more new attendees also flocking in from the entrance. I signed up to a tour that revolved around ‘holistic sustainability’ and seeing a dockyard (Will save the juicy details for later). It was a coincide that when I boarded the bus for my tour, guess who else joined me? None other than Bob. Even met a Georgetown D.C campus graduate who is working in Dubai, and also happens to know about the Doha campus. Around 9:30, we were off to our tour with the Scotsoun House by Arup being our first stop. Parallel to the tours, TED was having the TED Fellows speak at the Lyceum Theatre across 2 different sessions. Many things overlapped, but the tour was worth it.
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
(L to R: Me, Bruno Guissani, and Bilal Randaree)
Recently, I’ve been noticing the amount of visibility that I’ve been getting with the way I’ve been using social media. Not only Facebook and Twitter, but also Foursquare and many more.
I thought it best that I’d use my experience and start a new blog that I proudly call ‘The Social Philanthropist’. Why? I believe that I can provide and open and free resource for young people to use when they entre the professional world. I believe that personal branding supplements the generations old practice of screening via resumes & CV. In the Middle East, though the job market is highly favoring the nationals and any possible full-time opportunities for fresh university graduates exclusively reserved for them, it’s best that prospective applicants learn to carve out their own niche in this competitive and globalized world. Don’t forget that there are unofficial quotas of nationals and expats that companies tend to fill. There would be favoritism for hiring anyone with citizenships out of the 33 visa waiver nations, but there is one harsh reality that they will not deny let alone publicly acknowledge – they need people from the Subcontinent and South-East Asia to help the company run.
Even when you have parents who have gone out of their way to give you a better education at a prestigious college but you’re still judged by the pasport you hold, do not let that be a deterrent to finding a job. I realized that there is a big wide gap for personal branding, and companies don’t even pay attention to it because they feel that their way will always be the right way. They don’t feel like investing the time to learn more about a prospective candidate through various other outlets. It’s an investment of corporate resources when you hire someone new, only to become more expensive when you see the real picture. In a world where social media is now made many things transparent, we can no longer restrict the flow of information. There is a difference between resumes and CV, but the Middle East uses them interchangeably. I want to quell much of this and help educate the youth masses in the GCC. Though the GCC has the money to pull of things, it will always be lagging behind other nations in every other societal aspect.
This blog will remain online for your perusal, but it may not be frequently updated as often as what I have planned for The Social Philanthropist (http://socialphilanthropist.wordpress.com). Make sure to check it out after Tuesday when I’ll be outing my introductory post.