I was really looking forward to this day! And rightly so
Before I explain what we did in the desert, I have to disappoint you all.. I did not take any pictures today. Why? The TEDxSummit team strongly advised us not to bring any electronic equipment into the desert, because the sand would get everywhere and destroy it. So I did not took my smartphone with me, but once we arrived it was clear there was no problem at all using your electronic devices there.. Friends of me know that this is the moment where I would yell really loud: ‘FML!’.
So a day in the desert. The bus drove us from Doha to the desert border in the morning. Here we got on a convoy of SUVs which would bring us to the TEDxSummit tent site. (Yes, they actually had built a tent site for the Summit in the middle of the desert). And what a site it was. I can’t explain how nice it was there, it felt like paradise. You could ride camels, swim in the sea (there was a beach) or play some volleyball. The dunes were also really nice to take a stroll in.
At 11h00 we got together with many TEDx organizers from the Western Europe region. We talked about how we could improve our regional collaboration. It was interesting, and I am curious what actions will come forth out of this brainstorm session.
We could continue our discussion about this topic during the Working Lunch in the Tents. Because there was a long waiting line for the food, Rutger and me decided to do a camel ride. It was really short but we had loads of fun.
In the afternoon there were two Unconference sessions. This is basically a part of a conference where not the organizers, but the audience provides the content. Over a time period of two hours we could attend almost 60 sessions which we ourselves proposed and selected in advance. Rutger and me first attended ‘TEDx University: Students in the Driver’s Seat’. It was very clear that we are in a really good situation with our TEDx event (as in connections with the university). The next session I attended ‘Sharing our Successes AND our Failures’ and Rutger attended ‘15 Great TEDx Ideas – Lessons from TEDxMidwest’. Apparently the second session Rutger attended was really mind blowing, TEDxMidwest is a remarkable organization.
After the Unconference sessions we played some volleyball on the beach and watched people forming the biggest human TEDx logo. After that we had dinner and enjoyed some music from the Drum circle. When it started to get dark they suddenly created a large bonfire on the beach. I think it was around 15 to 20 meters high at the start.
We also talked to Chris Anderson and took a picture with him (Tim from TEDxGhent was so kind to borrow his camera). Apparently if you want to get on a picture with Chris you have to tell him about what you do besides organizing a TEDx event. The picture of me with him is really strange (like bad) but Rutger got a nice picture out of it.
We hung around for a little bit longer and then returned to the hotel. Rutger is practicing his talk for tomorrow about the 360° livestream we used. He will present it to all the TEDx organizers, so it really is a big thing. We hope many people get curious about it and follow our next conference! All get your thumbs up for him tomorrow between 8h00 and 9h30!
Damn, it’s wednesday evening already… I don’t want this to end!