When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
As founders of TEDxEutropolis Maurice Hermans and myself were invited to the TEDx summit in Doha. A gathering of 650 TEDx organizers from all over the world. To learn, meet and work on the future of the TEDx movement. Tagline: the power of X. Not just a fancy title, no it captures some amazing achievements, TEDxtalks who made it to the frontpage of TED.com and extraordinary TEDxevents. A TEDx event on the Amazon River, an event in a prison in Madrid or in war torn Baghdad. When TED started the TEDx program X stood for independently organized. Due time it has come to stand for so much more. For multiplying ideas, getting into action and connecting a global community. A pulse or a heartbeat of Ideas around the globe. At the summit we discussed how the communtity could be improved, how we could widen it’s reach and worked in creating howto video’s and and new Apps. It was interesting to see that there are relative TEDx outsiders on one end of the spectrum to adapts and believers on the other end. 10 Commandments of TEDx was
a good idea (even the title excludes), but an open manifest might be an idea worth sharing.
The power of x
*During a workshop on creating a TEDx manifesto, attendees face the difficulty of defining something so ineffable: “What makes the TEDx community so strong is the shared gut understanding that’s already there, about the manifesto, about what TEDx is.” They concluded with five items, including this mission statement: “Our mission is to spread ideas that will inspire people to improve society.”
*From the TEDxSummit blog
As TED curator and Director Chris Anderson put it. An idea worth spreading is either:
an idea that leads to a reframing of our world and can shift paradigms and a ‘wise’ picture of the world.
Or it can be an imagination, how the future could be, invention, the process, dreams, visions.
TEDx director Lara Stein chose the metaphor of TEDx as a fire starter. For Ideas can light up or warm you, they can get out of hand and spread distaster or misused for selfinterest and destruction. This is a constant challenge for the TED organization. For many within the TEDxCommunity the next step is getting ideas in to action.This is not a shared opinnion by all TEDxOrganizers. I think TEDx should inspire, spread the flame of an idea worth sharing and others should carry it on, this is why I believe everyone should get to know TED and TEDxEvents. I support creating tools to give someone the opportunity to use gigantious amount of content from TED and TEDx could be an action with global consequences.
One of those ideas is TED-ED the latest addition to the TED universe was launched yesterday and announced at the TEDxSummit. A way to use the content of TED together with animators and educators and create lessons on various topics. With background information, usefull links and short quizzes. In the vision of the TED foundation radical openness was embrased some years ago and with this tool they did not only made the content avaiable, no they opened it up for educators. They can now make their own lessons with the TED content (other educational videos as well like the Khan Acedemy) and compile programmes and publish them. It is a big leap forward in using (interactive) video as an educational tool. More information can be found on The TED Blog
Of course many immediately point out the fact that everything is in English. Of course this is still a challenge as it is for all the amazing TEDxtalks in a foreign language. Those are smetimes subtitled thanks to many volunteers, but the next big step will be the implementation of a new system of open translation to give acces to even more talks. In the meanwhile we should encourage bringing TEDx to communities that do not speak English as well as the common TEDxvisitors do and just translate the TALKS with some help. So we are considoring TEDxEutropolis@Kaalhei, TEDxEutropolis@Kelmis or TEDxEutropolis@Seurs.
Meeting the world
One of the biggest impacts for me personally was the visit to the Middle east and meeting people from the region and many other continents. I think a paradigm shift is not an exaggeration if I think at the up coming, flourishing countries on the African, South American and Asian content. Africa is getting access to internet through mobile at an unbelievable rate. On the Indian sub-continent even the smallest villages are developing and getting better access to technology and healthcare. connecting to the tinker ecosystem as a speaker from Frugal Design pointed out. Of course they have many challenges to face, but have great faith in the future and the will to endure and get better lives. Opposed to us, who seem dissatisfied, arguing about little differences and hiding behind cynism. I got very much convinced that we need to work on the scale of Eutropolis (even more) if we want to play any part in the global economy. Starting point should be what we share, what binds us. With an open mind, with a sense for the bigger picture…
And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.*
These words were read out to the audience at the very end of the TEDxSummit they are part of the poem Ithaka* by Constantine P. Cavafy. I think we should never find us to be deceived by Ithaka and stay curious, and set a new journey to your next Ithaka. With our visit to the TEDxSummit I think we can keep you curious by creating an even better TEDxEutropolis in 2013 together!
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