An event promising “brilliant speakers, thought-provoking video and mind-blowing conversation” is coming to Aberdeen in the form of the city’s first TEDx gathering.
The one-day community conference, organised and curated by a team of volunteers from the city’s Vanguard movement, hopes to unleash new ideas to inspire the region’s economic recovery following lockdown.
The unique event will focus the theme of “new ways of seeing old things”, and takes place at Aberdeen Arts Centre on Saturday, July 31.
TEDx Aberdeen will welcome 100 guests to a day of inspiring talks, providing fresh thinking and compelling new arguments.
TEDx Aberdeen licensee Moray Barber said the event comes at a “pivotal time” for the region.
“I’ve been a big fan of TED talks for many years,” he said.
“The insight, inspiration and ideas you can get, on any number of subjects, is incredible.
“At what is undoubtedly a pivotal time for Aberdeen and the north-east region, it felt to me like this was precisely the right time to organise a TEDx.
“An independently organised TEDx is focused on community only.
“There is no political or business agenda behind a TEDx – it is an opportunity for everyone to share their ideas and that, to me, feels like a great way to continue the dialogue on the future of the region and inspire others into action.”
Stemming from the Vanguard initiative, the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce platform for community-minded people to have a meaningful role in designing the future of our region, the TEDx Aberdeen organising team is determined to bring something a bit different to the city.
Volunteer Kim Stephen said: “Positivity breeds positivity, so after a challenging year it was a no brainer to join the TEDx team.”
The team of volunteers, which includes a mix of international and local members, brings a wealth of expertise, experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to the event’s organisation.
Utah-born volunteer Nicole Chidester added: “As a newcomer to this region, I’m continually amazed by all this city has to offer. Incredible coastlines, a unique culture, a rich history, and welcoming people.
“For me, TEDx Aberdeen provides the chance to celebrate and rediscover this region, to have hard conversations, learn from neighbours, and connect as a community.”
Program curator Elisa Doucette added: “As a visitor to Aberdeen, who was planning to just ‘pass-through’, I fell in love with so much about the region.”
The speaker line-up will comprise members of the community, sharing their new ideas and bold thinking, plus pre-recorded talks from the TED back catalogue.
In line with how TED talks work, each speaker will be given 18 minutes to talk about their their idea.
More information on how to apply for tickets or to speak at the event is online at www.tedxaberdeen.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TEDx events provide platform to spread ideas at community level
TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short but powerful talks.
The initiative began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today it’s TED Talks app covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.
While TED promotes the global spread of ideas, TEDx provides the platform to spread ideas at a local community level.
Professor Stephen Hawking, billionaire Bill Gates, youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yausafzai, and Aberdeen’s own singing star and HIV/AIDS activist Annie Lennox have all delivered talks which have been viewed by millions online.
TED Talks are not the sole reserve of designers, educators or celebrities, though.
The organisation upholds the concept that anyone can have a good idea worth spreading.
The Aberdeen version joins thousands of other local, self-organised events held globally to bring people together.
Jill Simpson, TEDx Aberdeen volunteer, said: “The team has been doing a lot of research into potential speakers, we’ve been motivated by all the interesting and intriguing things that are happening in little pockets across the region.”
In addition to their large scale conferences, TED Talks are accessible online with many talks being viewed millions of times. ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ is the most watched TED Talk with 69 million views.
The line-up of speakers being recruited for the TEDx Aberdeen community conference will feature prominent people as well as up-and-comers from a range of backgrounds and industries.
The TEDx Aberdeen team wants to hear from those looking to “challenge beliefs and perspectives” and “spark conversations and connections” all through an 18-minute long talk.
Volunteers are looking for members of community to submit their idea for consideration to join the speaker line up.
TEDx Aberdeen volunteer programme curator, Elisa Doucette, said: “We plan to put together a programme that celebrates the variety of experiences that make up our region’s culture.
“This includes considerations like varying the expertise of our speakers, so that we can hear from not only the established-and-prominent people around us, but also from the up-and-comers who just need the chance to have their voices heard.”
Prospective speakers can apply via an online form on www.tedxaberdeen.com which will ask them to share a short and simple video of them explaining and pitching their idea.
All the applications will be reviewed by the organising team and the successful applicants will be notified.
Nominations of others to speak can also be made, but people are asked to ensure nominees are aware and and available on Saturday, July 31.
The closing date for entries is April 30.