TEDxStellenbosch is a unique community that celebrates world-changing African ideas. A curated lineup of speakers and storytellers from across disciplines take to the stage to inspire an audience of between 450 and 550 thinkers and doers. The annual gathering sees a collision of great minds, whether young or old, although always with a sense of wonder and curiosity. The sparks ignited and the relationships started allow ideas to roll beyond the one day event. The ideas shared from the stage are only one component. It is the community that develops around the event that is the true magic of TEDxStellenbosch.
It is ideas that control the world. They are the single most powerful force in our universe, and yet we rarely openly test, celebrate and develop them in a communal setting. For ideas to have an impact, develop into innovations, ripple through communities and spread between cities, we need to share them and rediscover a child-like state of wonder.
Africa is a continent with extreme constraints and disparities but also with under-utilized opportunities and unique cultures. In a post-recessionary world of uncertainty and scarce resources, we will depend more on local communities, require rapid technological progress, and see our fate merge with that of mother nature. Perhaps now more than ever, the world can learn from Africans – from our methods, our cultures and the unique blend of circumstances that inspire our resourceful nature. After all, if it can work in Africa, it can work anywhere.
We want to share exciting African concepts and export ideas rather than minerals and skilled workers. What better locale than Stellenbosch, South Africa’s oldest university town and meeting point for African and European cultures, industry, startups, multi-cultural art, and interdisciplinary science.
Now it is your turn. Plant the seed of an idea wherever you can, and water it with passion and energy, so that it may one day sustain us all.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to organize local, independent TED-like events around the world; and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)