The capital’s first citywide TEDx event, an internationally recognized event
featuring a diverse array of speakers, will take place on Monday at the
Volunteer organizers worked for a year a half to bring speakers
such as Dr. Amal Ayoub, a female Israeli-Arab scientist who uses gold to
attack cancer cells, happiness researcher Eyal Doron and “culinary entrepreneur”
Michal Ansky, who founded the Tel Aviv Farmers’ Market.
feature a series of informative presentations, each less than 18 minutes, by
speakers who are experts in their fields. “This event is totally cut off from
politics, religion or conflict, we’re trying to unite people based on creative
ideas,” said event organizer Beto Maya.
“We’re a group of people that
really love TED,” added Maya. “We think that this is a platform that really
helps create dialogue between people, especially in a city that’s so confusing
TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and
Design, achieved cult status after the first conference in 1984. In addition to
the official TED conferences in Long Beach and Palm Springs, California, and
Edinburgh, Scotland, there are hundreds of independently organized TED events
around the world.
In the region, there have been TEDx events in Ramallah,
Gaza, Tel Aviv, Jaffa and smaller events in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood, as
well as a Jerusalem event called TEDx- Holyland for Israeli and Palestinian
Women focused on the conflict and women’s empowerment.
Maya said the
purpose of TEDxJerusalem is to unite people through dialogue and a network of
ideas that is not connected to politics.
Unfortunately, the hope to rise
above politics was not possible for everyone. At a conference in Qatar for TEDx
organizers, Maya met with planners from TEDxRamallah and TEDxGaza, who offered
guidance but refused to cooperate in a public way. “They said, we can help you
with ideas but we really can’t be involved because of the ‘occupation,’” Maya
said. “It was surprising because I wanted to get out of this conflict and say
we’re just people, let’s sit and talk.”
More than 500 people are expected
to listen to 17 speakers at TEDxJerusalem, which Maya hopes to turn into an
annual event. Approximately 1,000 people applied to attend the event, but the
YMCA hall only seats 500. The event is sponsored by ROI Community, Schusterman
Foundation, the Leichtag Foundation, the Mifal Hapayis national lottery and New