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They have according to Sebastian Lindstrom, experienced traveler and guerilla film maker, “become a worldwide movement for sharing ideas and innovations taking place at the local level” and seem as he says “like a great fit”.

The offshoot of TED do not deliver the inspiring talks of former presidents or Nobel Prize winners. However, from Baghdad to Bogotá, Harare to Hanoi, they bring TED-like experiences to the local level.

Now, here comes… The most recent TEDx conference took place in…

Beautiful Mogadishu, capital of Somalia!

Mogadishu? Right, it is certainly not too deceptive nor reprehensible that the first thought that comes to your mind might fit with the words of journalist Jonathan Kalan: “Most people would assume that one of the most dangerous places on earth, where both man and nature’s worst elements have destroyed and demoralized the population, would be a hopeless place to scour for good ideas worth spreading.

However, there are a bunch of people who thought differently and brought TEDx to Somalia’s capital!

The amazing thing about TEDx according to Justin Beswick, participant in Cape Town, is the fact that TED had only set the broad guidelines and left “the community to self-regulate and grow in any direction”. Some parameters, that was it.

You may not think this is of any significance. But imagine being the custodian of TED, potentially the most influential brand in the world and letting it reign free for high-impact over achievers around the globe to run with and drive in whatever direction they believed fit. But it is THIS openness and freedom that has resulted in the impact of TEDx, as each organizer can leverage the brand and attune their event to the relevance of their community.


In Somalia, a multiple Somalis and one foreigner gave ambitious speeches about the country’s future. According to Lindstrom, it was basically “all very much a team effort on a worldwide Somali basis”. Modern technology connects those Somalis who have lived through the conflict to those returning to their country and those who live in Diaspora among the whole world.

On May 17th these people came together and talked about their vision on a country condemned as the failed state in the world. A chef and restauranteur, a real estate developer, the founder of a university, the founder of the First Somali bank, a healthcare specialist, someone who works with rape victims and former child soldiers, a Somali journalist, a camel milk mobilizer and more will deliver visions rethought on a very local level.

So, how does this leave us? Well, with TED as well as TEDx people have so definitely discovered another great example for delivering smart people’s thoughts, feelings, experiences. Riveting talks by remarkable people delivered to the world -by modern technology. TEDx has reached Somalia – now, everything is possible!