page : 24 | chapter : 11 | volume : 16


TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

TEDxDubai Salon

At TEDx events, a screening of TED Talks videos or a combination of live presenters and TED Talks videos – sparks deep conversation and connections. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

On 21 November 2016, TEDxDubai Salon made its return to Alserkal Avenue for the third time. In this edition, the event featured four speakers that talked about ‘Changing Perceptions’.

There are moments in life that we take for granted – most of which can be seized if we chose to do so. While opportunities can be used, they can also be created. By meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures, we can learn about their personal journeys. Doing so will help expand our perspective of things and allow us to create our own opportunities.

Although there was only a total of four speakers, that was the limit for TEDxDubai Salon. Due to some restrictions, the event chose only the four who presented on that evening.

The speakers were:

Sarah Amiri – Deputy Project Manager and Science Lead of the Emirates Mars Mission (Hope) at the Mohamed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

Usman Riaz – Artist, Director and Composer Usman Riaz is the youngest TED Senior Fellow and the Founder of Mano Animation Studio – the first hand drawn animation studio in Pakistan.

Larissa Pak – A long-time TEDx organizer and a TEDx ambassador. She has 20 years of professional experience in strategic communications and community projects.

Sajjad Kamal – Co-founder of AlemHealth – a diagnostic telemedicine startup for emerging markets. AlemHealth has been operating across Afghanistan and several countries in Africa. Sajjad is also a member of the TEDx global community as organizer of TEDxAlain.

TEDxDubai Salon

Despite the small number of speakers, we were able to gain so much by just listening to them while presenting on stage. Each one of them had a special aura around them as they shared with us their experiences and stories. Seeing such accomplished people in their youth encourages everyone to becoming proactive. I hope that everyone else felt as inspired as I did.

As for how the evening was planned out – each of the attendees received a notebook and a ‘No Worry Doll’ – in association with the great women of Guatemala. As we made our way to the seating area, we passed by an interactive art installation that allowed participants to write down on a piece of paper what they believe would improve gender equality for women in work places.

I would have to say – the only downside to the event was the late start; it was a weekday and some of the attendees and speakers were stuck in their traffic on their way to Alserkal Avenue. Mind you, placed in one of the industrial areas of Dubai, it can be a tedious task getting to the location.

In conclusion, the event was a complete success and I can vouch for everyone who attended when I say that it was well-worth the time spent. The networking sessions, refreshments, setting, speakers and attendees were all spectacular. I am looking forward to the next TEDxDubai Salon.

Fun fact: TEDxDubai does not sell tickets or promote the event for the sake of marketing it. Attendees have to submit an application as well as an idea to be shortlisted for the event. Therefore, only those selected would be able to come to the TEDxDubai talk. To be more sustainable, tags are created out of recyclable material and attendees are encouraged not to print out their tickets.

TEDxDubai Salon
Special thanks to Curator of TEDxDubai: Natascia Radice

for making it all possible.






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