TEDxBucharest 2013 – How was it for me?

Events, Marketing

TEDxBucharest took place on Saturday and included presentation from a series of 19 Romanian and international speakers, that covered many interesting areas, going from  education, anthropology, travel, entrepreneurship to law, art, architecture, science, technology and many others.

Because TEDx is an event where people share what made them a success, I took the advice of event’s hosts and I opened myself for all the information presented and all the emotion that flow with it, trying to see what their ideas and experience were saying to me.

During the day, all the speakers came with interesting stories and ideas but, same as any person, I had my favorites among the speakers. That is why I will share, in a subjective matter, some ideas from the speeches that impressed and marked me the most.

Simina Tanasescu

Simina Tanasescu – she was the speaker with the difficult mission to start the event or, otherwise said, to break the ice. She came with a well elaborated speech explaining the difference between the reference and the model. As she said, we tend to import foreign paradigm or to accept external influencers as models on daily basis, on the education field, or pragmatically, in our day to day life. And the question that comes to mind is if it is better to import solutions or to discover ourselves “again”?

Simina, law professor at US and European universities, favors considering teachers / professors as reference but not as models. Also, in a broader picture, the import of legislation should be made with a perfect understanding of the context, by not implementing the entire model unless all implications are deeply understood and there’s a critical approach for long term consequences of the law in a new environment.

A given example was the one of Atatürk, founder of Modern Turkey, which considered the Swiss Civil Code more appropriate for the country but didn’t considered its implications on long term, like the intolerant attitude towards women role.

I can say that Simina’s speech was inspirational for the audience as, in the end, I heard somebody that was sitting close to me saying: “I wish I’d had a teacher like Simina.”

Dragos Dubina

Dragos Dubina spoke about a (happy) life after work or what turned him into a professional traveler to Indonesian Archipelago and New Guinea, where he is living and learning to understand the lives of indigenous tribes like Maluku. According to him, there are over 800 different tribes and the solution of peaceful living is mutually accepting the differences. The focus is always on community, every individual finding his role to contribute to common well-being. But, most important maybe is that the “work hours” for every member, 4-5 hours per day.  Although it may seem a foolish decision, considering there are some problems that remain unsolved (for example, a hole in canoe) or there can be done more to improve the comfort. Though, in a deeply understating of limited nature resources, the tribes sacrifice their comfort for higher values.

George Popescu

George Popescu – a successful entrepreneur with a Master degree at MIT and the guy that built Boston Technology, a company that generates now over $20M in revenue.   He made a series of recommendations in his speech: how to build a business and how to maintain it and help it grow. In the start, George thinks people must have the proper set of mind in order to transform themselves into Problem solvers.  Later, the team becomes essential. And, for any business that grows, it’s also important to keep the ownership of intellectual rights. Last but not least, obstacles don’t exist, only opportunities. Very appreciated by the audience, George impressed the public and myself with his warm voice and incredible generosity in sharing deep understanding of his entrepreneur life.

Dorin Stefan

Dorin Stefan: architect, stated an idea that’s very close to my heart too, namely that architecture is inhabited sculpture. How else can we define better the art from architecture? He came to us with a very dear project, build in collaboration with the Mayor of Craiova,  to celebrate the art of Brancusi through a cube as a personal interpretation of our dear sculpture, that will be displayed at the entrance of Mihail Palace, Art Museum from Craiova.

Karina Hollekim

Karina Hollekim: By far, the most powerful speech I listened to TEDx. Karina is a professional sky diver and parachute jumper. In 2006, she had a terrible accident from a routine descending, time when her doctor announced she will never walk again. But she embraced the dream to return to the mountains, so she struggled. She needed 6 months to learn putting her socks on again and another 3 years to start walking after the accident. Five years after, she conquered the mountains again.  She stood in front of us with this terrible story about her past, but also with a story and promise for her future, as she is pregnant and waiting for a baby. Karina is a perfect story teller, making us bursting in applauses during and the end of her presentation. An incredible women!

Martin Harris

Martin Harris – the British Ambassador in Romania, bring forward Romania and us in a beautiful light by appreciating the natural abundance we have and insisting on how we don’t need to follow and adopt without critical appreciations the EU influences. He was involved in revitalization of some Romanian wines, which he brought on the scene and making a real wine tasting in front of us. At the end, he recited a poem by Mihai Eminescu, Ce-ti doresc eu tie dulce Romanie. He was fantastically pleasant and the entire audience came to the idea of a better promotion of our resources and maybe a sweeter look to us and a less questioning of our value.

Ion Neculai

Ion Neculai – member of founder team of Ikedoo Institute, he had a manifest for an experiential education vs. traditional education. At Ikedoo, they managed to teach children by creative methods about human values like collaboration, but also academicals subjects like geometry. The kids are in the situation of building house from cubes at their heights.  During holidays, they even managed to build real house from girders and clay.

Alin Useriu Uhlmann

Alin Useriu Uhlmann – is the founder of Tasuleasa Social and his story was about the beginnings and development of one of the most important NGO in Romania. It all started with a field bought in Tasuleasa than with planting the first trees , and the only technical knowledge they had back than was “Green (part) up”.  20 plus hectars with trees later, they gave up counting. Now, Alin and his volunteers team can teach anyone about how to plant and grow their own forest.  Great!

Grigore Lese

Grigore Lese – last but not the least, he had a strong impact by both talking and singing his famous hore (Romanian traditional folklore songs0. His voice was so strong that, sometimes, he had to distance himself from the mic.  It’s a little strange, but his voice made me thing about Adele, British singer.  His speech was powerful and spiritualized about symbols in our lives, like the daily corn that is the symbol bad against good, and the light wins. He was requested to return on the stage by the auditorium, with multiple applauses.

Article written by Mara Ababei, 57Studio