Watching TED talks has been a hobby of mine for a while now. Basically people who have accomplished something extraordinary/stunning or have something important to say prepare a short presentation and deliver it in front of a crowd at a TED event (you can learn more about TED and TEDx here).
I was very surprised when a friend called me up and said we should go to this event in Ljubljana. I didn’t know things like these happen in Slovenia. But they do! In fact, this was already the 9th event in our country and plenty more are coming this year in various places on the sunny side of the Alps. And these events are well-known and plenty of people want to be there. In fact, they ran out of free tickets only after 3-4 minutes after they were available online (we got lucky).
And then came the event. The execution was flawless. Everything went smoothly, the organisation was on a professional level, there were free drinks, coffee and food. First, there was a video stream from the main TED event in Berlin. Their talks were about african women, renewable energy and how contraception makes lives better for us and our (future) children (it would not be too bad if some of our policy makers watch Melinda Gates’ talk to remember why contraception is a good thing before doing something drastic and foolish while cutting healthcare expenses (more about this on Pengovsky’s blog).
After the break came the talks from Slovenian talkers. I was very positively surprised – they were all on-par with international talkers and very, very, very (and I mean very) good. They’ve talked about biology and medicine (complexity of the brain and psychical illness), building your own house from natural materials, how our e-government should work, entrepreneurship and startups and other topics. I won’t go into details on who spoke about what – you will be able to watch all the talks on the TEDxLjubljana website; I’ll rather write about the atmosphere.
It was the feel of the event that overwhelmed me. Most people tend to sound (and be) desperate during “these hard times of economic crisis” but none of the negativity that comes with it was felt here. An aura of optimism and expectations of great things to come was felt throughout the crowd. The talkers (especially Jugoslav, founder of mimovrste.com) made me feel like I can actually accomplish something in this society, and that it’s worth staying in Slovenia. All of the talkers are great examples of how to find your own way, be successful and do what you love. And they are willing to share their knowledge and experience, only if you’re willing to listen.
These are gloomy times we live in, but we sure have caught a glimpse of the light yesterday.
P.S. A nice blog about the same topic (in Slovenian)
…. and another one (this one goes into more detail about the talkers and talks)