Fresh, innovative and hard-hitting ideas for the development and evolution of the country will be unveiled at the TEDx Colombo conference, hosted by Beyond Borders Sri Lanka later this month.
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an annual conference that defines its mission as “ideas worth spreading.” The lectures, also called TED Talks, cover a broad set of topics including science, arts and design, politics, education, culture, business, global issues, technology and development, and entertainment. Speakers have included such people as former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Nobel laureates James D. Watson, Murray Gell-Mann, and Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and Billy Graham.
“This would be an ideal opportunity for people, especially the young and the academia, to come and discuss ideas for the future of Sri Lanka at this special juncture. We have history in the making, and this is feeding into it,” said Sachith Vidanapathirana, Executive Coordinator of Beyond Borders.
Beyond Borders is a space where young people can express themselves and work on development issues they are passionate and concerned about. They are entirely youth-led, youth-run and run by a core group of volunteers, and work under three themes – Identity, Diversity and Active Global Citizenship.
Being a youth organization, the strength of Beyond Borders lies in working with other young people on peer-education initiatives, promoting causes the group believes in and helping other civil society actors to help create a better country and a better world, one step at a time.
Beyond Borders currently work on issues pertaining to Governance, Media, and Citizenship, and can be found on the internet at http://www.beyondborders.lk
“In addition to having our own greats, thinkers of the new day, we will also take a look at some of the best, most inspiring talks from TED.” said Dinidu de Alwis, Editor-in-Chief of Beyond Borders Sri Lanka. He added “At a time when intellectual discussion is needed, parallell to actions, we are trying to deliver this as a thought experiment. A place where ideas will be discussed in their purest form.”
TED was founded by Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks in 1984, and has been held annually since 1990. Wurman left after the 2002 conference; the event is now hosted by Chris Anderson and owned by his non-profit organization The Sapling Foundation, devoted to “leveraging the power of ideas to change the world.” In 2006, attendance cost $4,400 and was by invitation only. The membership model was shifted in January of 2007 to an annual membership fee of $6,000, which includes attendance of the conference, club mailings, networking tools and conference DVDs.
In the spirit of “Ideas worth Spreading” TEDx is a program that enables schools, businesses, libraries or just groups of friends to enjoy a TED-like experience through events they themselves organize, design and host. Beyond Borders is hosting TEDx Colombo under the theme of “Ideas for Future” with the participation of prominent speakers including academics, media station editors, and activists. The themes of the presentations range from addressing the issue of the language barrier, to revamping the Sri Lankan media culture.
The event will be held on July 19, at Punchi Theatre, Colombo 8 from 9am onwards. Tickets will be priced at Rs. 150/- and would grant access to all the sessions. The event programme and registration details are available online at http:www.beyondborders.lk/tedxcolombo.