Belfast Telegraph

Stormont's inspiring TED talk

By Eva Grosman

The goal of today's TEDxStormont is to provide a platform for sharing ideas, provoking critical thinking and inspiring action.

TEDxStormont 2014 is based on the theme of "Getting There", and our speakers will explore how, together as a society, we can overcome modern-day challenges.

I got involved with TED and set up TEDxStormont because I'm a massive fan of TED Talks.

They are a great way to get people inspired, to explore interesting concepts and to connect with people and ideas from across the globe.

I was lucky enough to attend the TED Global conference in 2013 and meet Chris Anderson, head of TED, and Bruno Giussani, European Director of TED.

I then applied for a free TEDx licence. I thought it would be an excellent way of making Northern Ireland part of the global conversation.

A real highlight of TEDxStormont so far was last year's inaugural event. I loved the positive atmosphere which we collectively created.

Speakers, performers, broadcasting and PR teams, volunteers, audience members and the media were really inspired and energised through the talks. The feedback was fantastic and made me proud to have worked on such a project.

One of the extra special things was Gary Lightbody's support. I had emailed him about getting involved, and not only did he agree to speak at TEDxStormont, he also wrote a song, which he performed with the younger generation of Northern Ireland's musicians, including SOAK, David C Clements, Silhouette and the Wonder Villains.

He then donated all proceeds from the record sales to the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Fund.

Gary often speaks of the "invisible tribe", and organising TEDx is like bringing this invisible tribe together.

In five years' time, I see TEDxStormont being bigger, better and stronger than ever.

Our long-term ambition is to attract TED Global to Belfast. We want to continue to spark exciting conversation, to reach out to wider audiences and inspire future generations through TED.

  • Eva Grosman is TEDxStormont organiser and CEO of the Centre for Democracy and Peace-Building

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