A small glimpse into the world of TEDx curating
Hello! My name is Alexander Lamprecht and I am very grateful to be part of the TEDxSaxionUniversity curating team. I felt very honoured when Christa (founder and curator of TEDxSaxionUniversity) asked me as an alumni student of Saxion to join the curating team. I love to reach out to all kind of events and to screen daily media (such as newspapers, magazines, documentaries, TV-shows) to spot interesting people with interesting ideas. Especially the stories about new media technologies and how the media influences our perception of new media sparks my interests.
Kick-off curating towards a Brave New World
After the Pursuit of Happiness conference in 2015 we started (February 2016) to meet officially for the first time to discuss the year programme – especially for the upcoming events in 2016. As curating our aim is to scout inspiring talents, stories worth spreading and to come up with nice content for the events. Our focus during the first meeting was making a start for the big conference in November 29 in Deventer. We thought about themes and speakers which might be interesting. In seperate teams we collected all our interesting and also sometimes weird ideas. This resulted in one of those coloured and with orange post-its covered sheets as you can see on the photo below.
How does it work? Being part of the curating team?
Most of our curating sessions are in the evening. So, what helps are some shots of espresso or other caffeine-loaded drinks to become better thinkers and more creative ;-). We discussed all our ideas and thought about how this might fit into our big theme Brave New World. After a first selection each of us picked one or two themes of interest to dig deeper for inspiring stories or discoveries. We try to get in contact with people and talk about their visions and ideas. Our own networks are also a good entry point to go on discovery -> personal contact helps in my opinion. Besides that we collect and share all interesting items in the news, on TV or suggestions for events within our group. On a regular base we also listen and share other TEDx talks. We get also very inspired by the ‘godfather’ of TEDx Chris Anderson, and his views and tips for the perfect talk. One of my favourite TEDx talks is the talk of Jane McGonigal. She brings an incredible positive vibe to the stage with her idea that gaming can make a better world.
From scratch to a first program topic and speaker
One of the themes from our brainstorm was ‘Live on Mars’, which we defined as very interesting. So I started to gather some insights on this topic. I read a lot of articles and digged deeper into the ‘Mars One’ project, which aims sending real humans on a one-way-mission to colonialize the planet Mars. I learned that also a few people living in the Netherlands were participating into this competition of becoming explorers of Mars. Talking to former Mars One candidates I got in contact with Pamela Nicoletatos and listened to her personal story via Skype. I tried to filter a kind of essence of her story, which makes it worth sharing. This can be just a short sense. I am also very glad that she has the courage to share her fascinating story at the Brave New World conference in November.
Discovering new TEDx venues
We have meetings at different locations (mostly in Enschede, Deventer or via Skype) where we discuss our progress on digging out inspirational stories by inspiring people. Another good part is that we try out future venues for TEDx events. One of our meetings was at Fooddock in Deventer (venue of this years Open Mic event). By getting a tour and enjoying the food from all over the world it makes it a lot easier to share our findings. As a German I love good food ;-). During the year there are also chances to visit other TEDx conference or to get access to other interesting events in the field.
Other noteworthy responsibilities of curating
As curating it is also our role to be a judge. As preparations for the Open Mic event we screened all the applications and filtered out the most inspiring stories to give it a shot for the stage. It’s a difficult task, because we get so many good stories.
Every new potential speaker for an upcoming event who is brought in from a member of curating has also to be approved by the rest of the team. So, when I bring in someone new, I have to convince the rest of the team to vote in favour for this person. And we also help out where we can within our community to make every TEDxSaxionUniversity event an incredible experience for all attendees. See you at our upcoming conference Brave New World in November!