TED is the best thing that has happened to the planet. When TED went online about 2 years ago, it became the best thing that the internet has given the world. TED reminds us that we all have the power to change the world, and gives us the inspiration to do something with that thought.
So when TEDx was coming to Dubai, I was thrilled. However, as hype for it started building ferociously, I was afraid that it would turn into a large commercial gambit where corporations would banter about their success and people would hob-nob for the sake of it.
To be brutally honest: I went expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.
I stayed for all the 20 speakers (10am-6pm), yawned perhaps only once, and left feeling motivated and truly inspired. TEDxDubai truly over delivered.
There was a standing ovation at the end, which is when I lost the little black book I was taking notes in the entire day. I was going to share all my learnings from the day and some of the fabulous quotes from speakers that really stuck. But, unfortunately I don’t have them anymore. Luckily, the TEDx bloggers have posted their notes from the event, do check them out to get a speaker by speaker summary of key points.
All the speakers were fantastic. Really fantastic. They included a 13 year old film-maker; the creator of Freej and THE 99; the catalyst of the Arabic stand-up comedy revolution; the founder of Independent Thinking (inventor of the concept of “thunk“); the founder of the 8-Day-Academy, and the CD at IDEO.
The production quality was almost on par with the real TED (global). Well, it’s Dubai, not a surprise I suppose. Well-organized, good food, enough supply of coffee, and not a penny spent by us attendees. It couldn’t have been better.
Those who didn’t come, you really missed out.
The only thing lacking was, in a room where 500 odd people got together for the whole day to listen to some great ideas worth spreading, there was no way to interact with other members of the audience, unless of course you went up to them randomly and introduced yourself. Which perhaps I should’ve done (but it’s so not what you do in Dubai!) :). In previous events such as BarCampUAE, you left knowing new and interesting people. Perhaps because they were much smaller groups with interactive sessions. Anyhoo.
All in all, thank you TEDxDubai. Look forward to it again next year!