I really want to jump into this debate, but my thoughts on TED Global are long overdue and blogging time is short in supply. I’ll try and go through my (hopefully not so fuzzy) thoughts on each session using Ethan’s excellent recap.
– It’s here! In October 2005, I was privileged to be one of 12 African fellows sponsored to attend Poptech in Maine. Attending Poptech opened a whole new world for me – I had never been to anything like that before…a conference that was stimulating, provoking, full of passionate people and I kept thinking I would love to see something like this in Africa – an intellectual, inspiring, positive conference that basically turned your brain on. On the last day of the conference, there was a panel on Africa featuring the fellows and during the interview I remarked that instead of flying Africans who represented the future of Africa to speak in conferences in the States, I would love to see a similar concept to Poptech in Africa. I knew nothing about TED at the point. Once the panel was over Tom Rielly and June Cohen came up to me and introduced TED and mentioned that they were working on exactly that and did I really think it could work. I ended up meeting with Chris and the rest of the team in NY to share my ideas on what the conference, and brainstorming about the idea with Emeka (also a fellow) who later became the TED co-producer (yes I also pitched strongly for the conference to be held in Kenya!). I was so proud to see the idea come to life. Those of you who attended can attest to the enormous amount of work that was put into making the conference happen (the TED team are logistics Nazis!), but I just want to re-emphasize just how committed Chris, June, Tom, Kelly, Amy, Katherine, and the rest of the TED team has been to making the event a success for many, many, months. They truly went out of their way to make sure that the event really was the next chapter for Africa – starting with their choice of Emeka as a co-producer (Emeka those late nights were worth it, no?). I just want to salute everyone who worked on the conference for pulling it off…I’m sure there were numerous challenges…you cannot begin the appreciate the impact that you have had/will have on many individuals…and for me that is what is important…not some big-bang aid package or fancy razzmatazz Millenium_fill-in-the-blank_Goals…simply getting people inspired to think, act, and be agents for change.
Gosh…out of time…I didn’t even get to the first set of speakers!
Excuse the typos and rambling – stream of conscious etc.
More to come…