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TED Global 2007 Musings

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.

Session 1

– 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…

13 comments to TED Global 2007 Musings

  • On Zuckerman’s entry:

    It does require a rocket scientist to see that Aid (small aid) impoverishes instead of enriching.
    -The Post WWII aid to German and Europe was Grand Aid, Aid to take care of the infrastructure type deals
    -The Aid to Africa is small time AID and it creates dependency and a form of social welfare thing and does not lead to wealth

    I do not subscribe to the ” help the little village woman” theory of AID, no matter its romantic appeals. OK, so she survives and and feeds her kids, but that is it.

    Can she compete with Chinese firms that supply Wal-Mart? We all know and are happy that the world is now flat, BUT to compete, you must be big.

    Any AID to Africa should be geared at infrastructure type things:- roads, electricity, communication,business partnerships etc

  • Dear Ory!

    You are an inspiration to us. Hope your baby is well! Youngest TEDster ever!

    Its is 2 weeks already…and we are still digesting stuff from TED. Out of the big ideas in our heads, we have started with a small one.

    For a few years Ike Anya and I (Chikwe Ihekweazu) commented on health affairs in Nigeria whenever we felt there was a need. We have done this through traditional media with its limitations. Both not being real early adopters of new technology we did not really appreciate the power and impact on blogging until Arusha.

    Now we have educated ourselves the best we can, learnt about tags and rss feeds etc. A whole new world! It was had enough to get off the PC before our life with blogs…and now?

    Finally we have our Blog up and running (http://nigeriahealthwatch.blogspot.com/) . It discusses health affairs as it affects the 140 million odd Africans that call themselves Nigerians. We might eventually spread out further, but decided that we start with what we know best.

    We are both Nigerians, public health physicians, passionate that we all have a right to long productive lives irrespective of the geographical circumstances of our birth!

    In the TED spirit, we will seek progress, will challenge the status quo and seek means of improving the lot of our people. While talking the talk, we will walk the walk.

    Support us in adding this to your rss feeds. Send the links to your communities, send in your comments, criticise us, advice us, and grow with us!

    You are an inspiration!

    Chikwe Ihekweazu/ Ike Anya

    TED Fellows to TEDGlobal2007

  • It’s amazing what goes on begind the scenes and how small talks can lead on to bigger things (good:grin: or even bad:twisted:) later on.

    African countries needs a mix of everything – aid (entreprenurs don’t build roads), governance (policy environment for ideas & business to flourish), trade & access to markets (EU taking this back now with ridiculous carbon credits/penalties).

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