TEDx Bangkok: Minds wide open

TEDx Bangkok: Minds wide open

Thailand's first ever TED-related event aims to show the world Bangkok is bursting with ideas worth spreading

TEDxBKK, Thailand’s debut take on the phenomenally popular global event, has been confirmed for February 13th, with organizers aiming to show the world that the city has more to offer than golden spired temples and great food.

TEDx is a spinoff of the popular TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference, a nonprofit event held by independent organizations in cities around the world. Videos of some TED speakers are known for spreading like a virus online, as the events attract some of the world’s best experts who give inspiring, informational or just plain entertaining speeches. CNN.com has even teamed up with TED for "Ted Talk Tuesdays," in which the website features a new TedTalk every week.

TEDxBKKTwo-time Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin is among the speakers set for TEDxBKK 2010.“We wanted to put this together because all of us on the organizing team are big fans of TED,” says Rob Newberry, one of the TEDxBKK organizers. “After hearing the TEDx licenses were being put out there, we were determined to get a license, get one of the team to TEDIndia so we could host a larger event, and then invite some of the most interesting speakers we could find.”

These include former Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin, Gap Adventures CEO Bruce Poon Tip,  movie producer James With and CyberSafeWorld founder Robyn Treyvaud, all scheduled to speak at the event. TEDxBKK will feature a full day of 18 minute talks, and also some shorter talks thrown in on topics like photography and even scuba diving with great white sharks. For full info, visit the TEDxBKK speaker page.

TEDx may have grown into a globally known success, held everywhere from Shanghai to Vancouver, but it's actually just a small nonprofit simply devoted to speading ideas. TED started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from technology, entertainment and design, but since then its scope has become ever broader. TEDx organizers receive little help from the acutal TED organization other than permission to use the TEDx name, a bit of guidance and a massive set of rules that must be followed to safeguard the integrity of the event. 
“The team has worked really hard collaboratively to put together a great event for Bangkok," says Newberry. "We are calling it 'Minds Wide Open' because we want people to remember what it was like when they thought like a child, when ideas were new and when their minds were filled with new ideas. The inspiration can still happen -- and our goal is to have everyone who attends TEDxBKK take something important away from it. By spreading these ideas, we are hoping to inspire more great ideas and keep people's minds as wide open as possible."

For updated news on the event, follow TEDxBKK on Twitter or visit the TEDxBKK Facebook page. Time and logistics are still to be determined, though the venue has been confirmed for Ruamrudee International School’s Performing Arts Center. Audience spots are limited, so those interested in attending are advised to apply for tickets to TEDxBKK on the website now.

Karla is a digital producer with CNN Travel based in Bangkok, Thailand. 

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