BizRadio chats to Ulrich Meyer-Hoellings (our on the ground marketing analyst) about the TEDx event that took place in Johannesburg (South Africa) on 15 August 2013. He shares his personal take on the event.
Ulrich Meyer-Höllings in conversation with BizRadio’s Grant Jansen
Podcast | Click HERE to listen
“These events are meant to inspire change and sharing and initially I was hesitant to go, but once at the event I was excited about being there and being part of the great energy, however once we got going I found it hard find the RED common thread running through the presentations done by the speakers.
My key observation and question would be – Can and event like TEDx really have an impact our businesses? Yes, storytelling narratives can change the way people think and help facilitate change, but it was evident that the people who can actually affect change do not come to these events as they just don’t have the time.
Most of the discussions had no real relevance to today’s strategic marketing, the only one that I can single out was Ravi Chhatpar – frogdesign.com – his presentation was about real innovation and he brought it back to how it can be utilized in the real world of business.
* Click HERE for the TEDxJohannesburg Q&A with Ravi Chhatpar
I think people get caught up in the hype of TED, but does it really deliver and does it give marketers a real insight into how to implement it into their daily business lives. Yes it inspired and gives us hope – but where is the common business thread that can be practically implemented? I noted that many speakers were foreigners, and I felt they did not really have a real “African” view.
Yes there is always a commercial element to fund these events – but does paying for insight really give us insight into the working world. We are tired of talking, is it not time to see actual change? This then leads onto the next question – Who can really affect change? The people who can really implement change don’t have the time to go to these events – so how do we affect change? We need to see a serious commitment from leaders to be part of these events and this is where Live streaming of the event can really work (they can either watch it live or post the event download the podcast and watch it in their own time – I wonder if it will be available for download in its entirety?
The event itself was well organized, the energy was vibrant, perhaps we can find a way through these type of event to really affect change – it’s a start and let’s see where it leads us to. For now its fine that we use globally recognized events to start sharing, but sometimes we as African’s use them as a crutch. We need to start creating our OWN events that showcase and share a true African perspective – its a beginning and with every one step forward we will grow in our own confidence and start showcasing and sharing how you do your best work in Africa!”
What is TEDx? In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxJohannesburg, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxJohannesburg event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.