“We want to spread ideas that we believe everybody should be aware of,” event coordinator Valentino Pacifici told The Local.
“There’s a big gap between state of the art research and what people actually know, and what will be applied in real life. It can be great to know these kind of things from the original source, without reading them in the paper. And you can really get inside some behind-the-scenes stories.”
Wednesday night saw three speakers and a singer take the stage at a central Stockholm advertising agency turned intimate auditorium. Around 100 attendees were on hand to listen and learn, with the guest speakers all experts in their respective fields.
Communication Coach Allie Edwardsson opened the night, speaking about the importance of small talk. Then, Patrick Ståhl spoke about his best-selling project Aday – where he coordinates participants around the world to photograph their life, and then collated their pictures into an exhibition and book. Finally, Science Writer Owen Gaffney explained his involvement in the The Geology of Humanity.
TedxStockholm is an independently organized event, inspired by the US non-profit TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) that was created in 1984. The concept is devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”, and has independent spin-offs around the world, with talks held in 1,200 cities across 133 countries so far.
The TEDxStockholm events are held in English in the Swedish capital, with five to seven shows scheduled each year.
But hearing people’s stories isn’t the only valuable part of a TEDx evening, explained Pacifici, who heads a team of volunteers that make each event possible.
“People can learn here, of course, but they can also meet like-minded people. It’s very important to meet those you wouldn’t otherwise meet,” he said.
“The people here are interested in TED, interested in finding more, and this is very important. And we put a tremendous amount of effort into making it all happen, it’s worth coming down just for that,” he added with a laugh.
“But also, we want to bring the people together who are willing to contribute in some way, even just by being here. We want to keep it sparkling.”