What is TEDx?
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxÖstersund, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxÖstersund event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.
TED = Technology, Entertainment and Design.
Interview with Maria Svensson Wiklander, project leader TEDxÖstersund 2015.
TEDx is a well-established brand. A known and loved conference concept. It’s powerful in helping spreading the word and finding sponsors. Östersund feels like a perfect place to host a TEDx. We have a passion for the region, a drive to develop it and an urge to listen to others and always strive to be and do better. We have to stay on top of things if we want to be competitive, to be a place for all the amazing people who choose to live here.
Tell us about the event
We have done research on other TEDx events around the world to see how they did it and what we can use for our event to find the best solution for us. Hopefully we can inspire other TEDx places as well. We will hold a one day event. It will be hosted on a Saturday, so that people can attend without needing to skip work.
We will start at 9 a.m. and have approx. 18 speakers and performers during the day. We’ll only release 50 tickets. There will be an additional 50 people that will be sent a personal invite. This is to, hopefully, create a very curious and engaged audience, which we’ve also designed to be a dynamic mix of people.
One other important thing is that we’re trying to keep the tickets fairly cheap, so that the price won’t be a reason not to participate. We’ll record everything on video and will distribute the clips on our own network channels through TEDx official YouTube channel.
Why are we doing this?
The rural regions are important for us and we want to show the world that there are lots of things happening here. We’ve written a manifesto to describe the core of what we are about;
”#WhereIcomefrom, true enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, motivated and committed people have chosen a life in Sweden’s rural areas. We call this place home. We are part of an emerging future and we want to showcase that future to the world. We are the ones chasing the freedom to choose where we want to live and work. We embrace change and innovation with an open mind and we are the game changers who are here to stay.”
Our speakers are local, national and international. This is to get local and outside inspiration and to spread the word as far as possible.
Who is it for?
We want the whole world to know we exist. We want the local people and companies to know what it’s all about and to help us grow and develop and hopefully make this a recurring event. We also want to show everyone the possibilities and the positives of living and working here.
How is it done?
We are about 30-40 active engaged people that have great competence and skills in different areas. There is no identified leader as such, we all manage our own responsibilities and our own tasks, but of course, there are always people to turn to and discuss things when needed. There is no micromanagement, which keeps the motivation and commitment high. I’m is only a small part of the bigger piece, we are making it happen together.
Everyone is working on a voluntary basis. This is a non-profit event. There are companies and organizations that are sponsoring with all kind of things and support, it would be impossible without them.
How’s the general feeling, one month before the event?
It feels amazing! There are things happening everywhere. Everything is coming together. ”Vi ba gört!”
That this will be a well appreciated and wide-spread event, and that large parts of the city and region get to see it and know about it, and that it ends up being an annual event.
What’s the worst thing that can happen? (Hopefully I won’t need to move away…)
Why do you want to live i Östersund?
Because of all the engaged people that are committed in making this happen. It’s incredibly inspiring and motivating. There is so much creativity and drive in this city. A place and culture that is saying that anything is possible.
And of course, the mountains.
Favourite spot in Jämtland?
The advantage of living in Jämtland is that you can always go skiing wherever there are the best conditions and most snow at the moment. Off the top of my mind, I would say, I really like Sylmassivet.
What not to miss at TEDxÖstersund?
The people responsible for booking the speakers have done real solid work and there is a great variation of speakers and topics. Some of the ones I’m really interested in are Ashkan Fardost and of course, our own Fia Gulliksson.
Do you want to recommend anything (in general)?
People should go swimming more often! It’s relaxing.