What’s the big deal about TEDx?

I had the opportunity to attend TEDx Pretoria on Friday the 27th of September. SAINe was kind enough to provide me with a free ticket and I must admit, I was super excited to attend. The event was superbly organised. Hats off to Linda Swart and her team for pulling off the most professional TEDx event ever to grace South Africa.

Having enjoyed the event so much and feeling tremendously inspired, I could not help but leave the event with many thoughts in my mind. One thought that stood out most was: Why TEDx, and why is this so important? After all, it’s just a mini conference, with some big name speakers and some newbies; a copy of the TED event but independently organised with local flavour and local speakers. So what’s the big deal?

Yes, some of the talks were really good, and the tremendous networking opportunity was part of the attraction. But there was not one specific aspect that really made me think – that’s why it is a big deal. Yet I left the event with thoughts buzzing around in my head.

Then I realised, that was exactly why a TEDx event is so important. It’s not necessarily the talks but rather the thought process it stimulates and the conversations it starts. That’s the real success to a TEDx event. Local speakers touch relevant issues in a local community. This stimulates local conversations and makes local people think. Is this not a catalyst to innovation and problem solving?

That in my opinion is why a TEDx event is so important and why every community should become involved in the initiative.



Written by Jonathan Darker