TED events have proved very popular in Qatar, as the country is full of people working and interested in technology, entertainment and design and so TEDxEducationCity was started. Its first event is called ‘Flash Forward’ on Saturday 7th April, 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre at 1:30pm.

Hold on…what is TED again?

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and is a nonprofit organisation passionate about ideas worth spreading. A 4-day conference 25 years ago exploded into events all around the world, where speakers have 18 minutes to devote to their area of expertise and then the talks are made available, for free, at TED website.

Past speakers have included Bill Gates, novelist Isabel Allende, Sir Richard Branson and HH Sheikha Al Mayassa.

What is the difference between TED and TEDx? Are they the same thing?

Whenever you see ‘x’ that means its an independently organised event. Imagine TED as an oak tree, and TEDx events as all the acorns that the tree scatters. TED created TEDx events so people could enjoy a TEDx experience, on a more local or regional level. All TEDx events are licensed by TED, although the former retain editorial content.

So what is special about TEDxEducationCity?

This is the first multi-university TEDx event. The six U.S. schools have held TEDx events on their home campuses and it seemed like about time that Education City held its first TEDx event. The organising team is led by Yasser Masood, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and is composed of students and alumni from the six universities.

Florent D’Souza, Co-Curator, points out this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity; ‘I couldn’t think of a better place in the world where so many disciplines and fields merge. In the beginning, these six universities were importers of knowledge, but now we’re reached a point in time where we’re not just importers. We’re innovators, creators and exporters of knowledge and that’s why it’s called ‘Flash Forward.’

TEDxEducationCity is hoping to become an annual event, going in new directions each year. You can watch the event live on their website.

Who is going to be speaking at this event?

All the speakers at the event are lecturers at Education City.

  • Matthew Szudick, Assistant Teaching Professor of Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University Qatar (CMUQatar)
  • David Emannuel Gray, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at CMUQatar and Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy at Northwestern University Qatar
  • Rodney Sharkey, teaches writing at Weill Cornell Medical College Qatar
  • Robert Wirsing, Professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Qatar
  • Arash Rafii Tabrizi, Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College Qatar
  • Bryad Yyelland, Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar (VCUQatar)
  • Ann Woodworth, Northwestern University Qatar
  • Law Alsobrook, Professor of Graphic Design at VCUQatar

The TEDxEducationCity team

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