'Ideas worth spreading' is the TED slogan. More importantly, it's an aim and a spirit that has seen TED touch most, if not every, corner of the world since 1984.
The global conference series, which was created with the vision of bringing together the best and brightest from the fields of technology, entertainment and design, has even been a force in Egypt through independent initiative, TEDx.
Having launched in 2010, TEDxCairo has gone on to host a whole range of events, including four major conferences. Over said events, talkers have included everyone from Bassem Youssef and Khaled Aboul Naga, to Wael Ghonim and Wael Fakharany. It pays testament to TEDxCairo's ambition and the wealth of brilliance in our own backyard.
This weekend, on Saturday 12th of April from 9AM, TEDxCairo's fifth event at AUC New Cairo's 1400-seater Bassily Hall is set to feature a range of talkers from an eclectic scope of fields, including science, journalism and the arts. TEDxCairo's organisers have promised that the upcoming event is set to be the biggest of its kind and will, for the first time, feature interactive displays and more audience participation, as well as live musical performances.
EQUILIBRIUM, as it has been named, is a fitting title as TEDxCairo are, this time around, highlighting balance and the increasingly eclectic scope and plurality of modern life. It's something that is reflected in the range of speakers; everyone from American-Egyptian journalist and author of Cairo 360 reviewed book Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation, Ashraf Khalil, to Egyptian concept designer and artist, Hani El Masri, who has worked for the likes of Walt Disney and Dreamworks.
More than just a series of lectures, TEDxCairo events have come to encapsulate a genuine essence of sharing – for lack of a better term. For so long, Egypt's youth have been made to feel disenfranchised by the government, by the education system and by the media – even by their own communities.
Though it's been around since 2010, TEDxCairo's popularity and relevance multiplied tenfold throughout the January 25th Revolution of 2011. It fostered a new awareness of community among both Egypt's young and Egypt's most successful. It mobilised a whole generation into a sense of being that quickly grew to realise the worth of collaboration. TEDxCairo provides the perfect platform from which to collaborate in ideas, opinions and thinking.