TEDxMoscow: Ideas Worth Spreading
On May 24th the first independently organized TED conference in Russia was held at the HSE. The conference was supported by the “Business in RU Style” club and the HSE Business Incubator.
Igor Denisov, curator of the TEDxMoscow conference, gave us a detailed report of the event.
- What is TEDxMoscow? What does it mean - a "conference in TED style"?
- TED conferences have been held in the US since 1984. TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment, Design". The Conference slogan - "Ideas Worth Spreading" - describes its main task - to talk about interesting ideas to the maximum number of people.
When we define our event as a "conference in TED style", we follow the format of the main TED conference: speakers, who are successful in various fields, short, dynamic speeches (a maximum of 18 minutes), and accessibility to a broad audience. The difference between TEDxMoscow and other conferences that have previously been held in Russia is that we did not stick to any specific field. This conference was not a conference of chemists or IT people: people from diverse areas of knowledge spoke at TEDxMoscow, and there were researchers as well as businessmen and students among the audience.
- How did the idea to organize the conference arise?
The idea sprang up a couple of months ago, when it was publicly announced that it was possible to organize a TED conference in any country of the world (under the TED license and TEDx brand). We discussed this idea with students from the "Business in RU style" club and the HSE Business Incubator administration and staff, and understood that a massive and original conference prepared in 6 weeks is not impossible. So, with a joint effort, we organized the event that took place on the 24th of May at the HSE Cultural Centre.
- What did the programme of the conference consist of?
- The programme featured talks from ten prominent speakers from diverse areas of knowledge: IT, linguistics, design, television, and cinema. What all of the speakers have in common is that they are well-known experts in their field (and beyond); they can explain complicated things in simple words; and - what is most important - they have outstanding ideas and remarkable achievements.
Each attendee "found his own place" at the conference: we received a lot of comments after it, and, after analyzing them, we understood that each conference participant was interested in at least one speech. We were also glad to see the speakers among the audience. In the breaks and even during the conference in the lobby and the "informal area" everyone had a chance to ask the speakers some more questions. We managed to create quite an informal atmosphere that allowed the lecturers and the guests to get to know each other and communicate comfortably.
- Are the conference materials available and in what formats?
- Right now we are preparing the videos. All the speeches were recorded and are now being edited. In 4 - 6 weeks they will be published at tedx.ru and some of them will have English subtitles and will be published at http://www.ted.com, making them available to a vast worldwide audience.
- Is this conference a unique event? Or is it the first in a series?
With this conference we aimed to show that there are many researchers, businessmen and other interesting people in Russia who have unique ideas that are worth spreading.
TEDxMoscow was a unique conference of its kind. But I hope that in autumn it will no longer be unique... I wouldn't like to reveal the plans too early, but I can definitely say that the organizers will continue working on new interesting events.
Marina Ivanova, HSE Web News Service