A TEDx event surrounded by penguins? At a bowling alley? During Burning Man? All real things.
You don’t need an auditorium, seats, slides or even a stage to share new ideas. All you need is some enthusiasm, good ideas, and a willingness to take risks and change the world. With over 7,000 events since TEDx’s start in 2009, you have to believe that some have taken place in really strange places. Here are five of our favorites:
1. TEDxEverest: A TEDx at 21,000 feet
For the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s first ascent of the tallest mountain peak, TEDx’ers Nate Mook and Eiso Vaandrager (seen above) brought TEDx to Mt. Everest — bringing talks to an audience of international climbers, local sherpas, and good friends at Everest’s Advanced Base Camp.
2. TEDxKalamata: TEDx goes ancient
This July, TEDxKalamata claimed a TEDx first — the first TEDx held at an archeological site: the ancient ekklesiasterion (assembly hall) of Messene, Greece. Using the remains of this ancient theater as a backdrop, 50 volunteers and 18 speakers came together to imagine a new future for Greece and the world.
3. TEDxMaastricht: TEDx by train
Earlier this month, TEDxMaastricht in the Netherlands held a very interesting event: a mini TEDx on a train heading from Maastricht to Amsterdam and, later, from Amsterdam to Maastricht. Via the magic of the TEDxMaastricht team, the last car of a Dutch intercity train was transformed into a venue for great new ideas, with 16 different speakers giving talks on the railway.
4. TEDxBrooklyn: Rental shoes, lucky strikes, and new ideas
For two years straight, TEDxBrooklyn, a TEDx event sharing ideas from the über-hip New York City borough, has held their event in a bowling alley. While all the speakers may not be championship pin-crashers, attendees have gotten the chance to try out their bowling skills at the event’s fun after-parties.
5. TEDxBlackRockCity: A TEDx takes on Burning Man
For three years, TEDxBlackRockCity has brought TEDx to the desert. Embracing the collaborative, creative environment of the annual Burning Man festival, TEDxBlackRockCity showcases some of the best ideas that this radical community of artists, innovators, creative thinkers has to offer.
Now 5,000+ events and 20,000+ talks strong, TEDx’s “x” has made its way to some marvelously unexpected places. From the staircase of a full-size reproduction of the Titanic to a base camp in Antarctica, TEDx venues are far from ordinary. Below, nine of our favorite venues from TEDx events past.
What would a great wonder of the world be without a TEDx? At TEDxGreatWall in 2011, TEDx’ers took over the Jinshanling section of the Chinese landmark, marking this historic landscape with ideas worth spreading.
Looking like a cross between a UFO and an amusement park ride, TEDxBrainport’s venue might have had its audience thinking “aliens” at first. Located in the tech-savvy Brainport Eindhoven region of The Netherlands, TEDxBrainport’s former science museum locale easily set the scene for visions of the future.
Kathmandu, Nepal by Javi Leon
Nimesh Ghimire is the organizer of TEDxKathmandu, the first TEDx event in Nepal, which just held its second event last month. Here are his thoughts on the TEDx movement, the importance of TEDx in Nepal and TEDxKathmandu’s impact on its community.
TEDx: How did you hear about TEDx? What made you want to organize a TEDx event?
Nimesh: I have always been a big fan of TED videos and its ethos of ideas worth spreading. In fact, I have derived a lot of inspiration and motivation on the works I have done (the projects I am involved with) by watching TED videos. At the same time, I was aware that TED allowed local events to be self-organized by members of the TED community. Knowing that Nepal had never seen a TEDx event, and with my own motivation to share the TED inspiration with members of the Nepali community, I collaborated with a friend to host TEDxKathmandu, beginning in 2011. So far, our team has hosted two TEDx events in Nepal.