A few weeks ago, the very first TEDxFairyMeadows was held. Named by Austrian mountaineer Hermann Buhl for its sylvan, idyllic landscape, Fairy Meadows is an area of northern Pakistan that straddles the western edge of the Himalayan mountain range and is characterized by green grasses and breathtaking vistas.
"We wanted to do a TEDx event, [but] this one would be quite different," said TEDxFairyMeadows organizer Saad Hamid, who is also the organizer of TEDxIslamabad. “It would be organized in open-air space (rather than in a air-conditioned auditorium or corridor) and the speakers and the audience would set out with us on a 5-day adventure tour starting from Islamabad to the base camp of Nanga Parbat (the ninth highest peak in the world). Yes, it did seem crazy at first but I am happy that I managed to pull it off.
"The idea behind TEDxFairyMeadows was to take ideas to a new whole new height in Pakistan and introduce the world to the beauty of the north as well as use the TEDx platform to share inspirational and motivational ideas and stories,” wrote Saad in a round-up of the event. "[M]ore than 90+ attendees…travelled via Jeep all the way from Riakot bridge and then hiked all the way up to 3500m to reach the lush green plateau of Fairy Meadows…
"[TEDxFairyMeadows] made me discover a whole new side of TEDx as a platform to share ideas and stories and it made me realize how this platform can be used to make the ordinary stories and ideas special. Especially in a culture such as we have in Pakistan where open sharing and open dialogue is a taboo, this platform can be used to create connections that can do wonders.”