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In November 2014, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer at the TEDxNicosia event on the beautiful island of Cyprus. For those of you who are not familiar with TED, it is an organisation that stages global conferences where experts and researchers in a variety of disciplines give passionate talks in engaging and creative ways. TEDx runs on a similar format as normal TED talks, but the difference is that TEDx events are independently organised, provided they are licensed by the official TED. There are a lot of TEDx talks happening every month, all around the world. Getting involved with TEDxNicosia was one of the best things I’ve ever done, because when volunteering for TEDx you become a part of something that can change lives. If you ask any TEDx volunteer what it’s like to be on the team they will say it’s a fun, rewarding and, of course, unforgettable experience. This wouldn’t have happened for me if Paul Koronis, the curator of TEDxNicosia, hadn’t accepted me as a volunteer. Thanks again Paul!
Creating and organising a TEDx event is a very difficult task. You have to be surrounded by great people – people you can definitely trust and depend on in order to create a strong team. The team is the most important asset you will have. They will do everything they can to make yours a successful event. Each member of the team should function as a delegate, passing on his/her own wisdom, knowledge and skills to contribute to the strength of the team. Volunteering within this environment was a delightful experience.
Another thing I have learned during my experience as a TEDx volunteer is that having the ability to express yourself articulately is extremely important. We had volunteer meetings that were significant and gave each one of us the chance to speak up and give ideas. After all, TEDx is all about sharing ideas. Conversation is vital in motivating people to strive for excellence and do good deeds for their community. These meetings made me realise that, even as simple volunteers, we can change the world (or at least try). Moreover, the most enjoyable part of these meetings was interacting with people from completely different backgrounds from myself and considering their points of view.
The theme of our event was Perspectives. Each one of the speakers gave incredible talks, challenging the audience to explore different outlooks. These inspiring talks made everybody think of other ways to go about making dreams a reality, and consider different directions to follow in life in pursuit of this goal. As Ori Sela, one of the TEDxNicosia speakers, said: “Everything is possible;” you just have to try – and even if you fail, try again; try seeing things in another way and working with a team. The power of teamwork is the most important element in everything.
The TED spirit is summed up in the maxim “Ideas Worth Spreading”. This is not only about sharing ideas, but calling to action. Share your ideas with people, and let them know what they can do to help.
What made this event on November 1st so remarkable was definitely the successful confluence of an amazing and supportive audience and, in particular, the hard work and collaboration of our dedicated team.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham