In less than 48 hours, Zimbabwe will see the first TEDx event hosted in Harare. The event is organized to bring innovators, entrepreneurs and activists together for a day to share ideas, interact and create synergies. It basically follows the format of the globally renowned TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) conferences run by the Sapling Foundation and formed to advance “ideas worth spreading.” A TEDx event is essentially an independent self-organized version of TED run by individuals under license from TED itself.
The TEDx Harare will take place on Friday at the Gallery Delta in Harare. The event has been organized by Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa, a new media activist, and Tendisai Chigwedere, a development consultant. The event has on its lineup of speakers notable Zimbabweans like Blessing-Miles Tendi and Tsitsi Dangarembwa.
We got in touch with Makoni-Muchemwa so she could tell us more about the event and what attendees should expect there. She says she would like TEDxHarare to encourage and inspire new ideas and innovation. She also hopes that through interacting and the event and exploring new ideas, some working projects that improve lives come out of the conference.
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And as for the inspiration behind the event, here’s what Makoni Muchemwa had to say:
I work in the human rights and development sector and encounter a lot of conversations that centre around politics and politicians being the mediators of progress. I was frustrated by this because I feel that ordinary Zimbabweans have had their connection with being Zimbabwean and their collective need to contribute to our growth and prosperity taken away. More than that, our problems are more complex than just bad governance and corruption, and existing approaches to solving these have not and are not working. I felt it was time for Zimbabweans to take Zimbabwe back, one idea at a time.
I wanted to do a TEDx conference to show people that things are happening in here, that we do have people with great ideas, who are effecting change in their own spheres of influence one person at a time. I wanted a space where those people could inspire other people. For me that space had to be something different from the usual development or NGO circles. It has to be more inclusive and involve everyone, from professionals and entrepreneurs, to activists and artists.
I think by having a space where all of these people can meet and share ideas and create new relationships we can begin to have a better more progressive conversation about who we are as a people and where it is we want to go.
You can read more about the event on the TEDxHarare website here. Unfortunately, the event is closed for attendee registration.