I recently spent a weekend filled with inspiring talk by fascinating people. Oh and good food and wine over interesting conversations. All at TEDx Marrakesh, one of my favourite events in Marrakech, at Riad El Fenn.
Co-hosted by Vanessa Branson and Andrea Kolb, this event always promises an exciting and diverse line-up. And this year was no exception as each speaker discussed his/her “driving force”.
To kick of the event, British Ambassador Clive Alderton reminded us of something important: the need to disconnect from Twitter, Facebook, emails and our online life and in doing so allow ourselves time to think, dream, plan in both business and personal.
Oh I couldn’t agree more.
And this event provided the perfect opportunity to switch off and hear about what drives others (and spend some time reflecting on what my driving force may be).
Beate Wedekind really spoke to me when she talked about being true to oneself, and the moment she realized she wasn’t being true to herself. She was letting herself be driven by recognition and other such external forces. So she decided to launch The New Africa, a magazine focusing another side of Africa and its people: the rise of the middle class, the creative class, the educated class. It’s launching mid-October and I can’t wait.
When Eric Van Hove took the stage to present his car motor made using traditional Moroccan arts and crafts, he referred to the completion of his project as giving birth. But he’s not stopping there. He’s so dedicated to these craftsman, whom he calls family, he’s opening a foundouk in the Marrakech environs to continue their great works. And while we only saw an image, his dedication to this project shone through in the beauty of the crafts involved. In fact, I think there was a collective ah when he displayed the photo. (The motor will be on display during the Marrakech Biennale in February 2014.)
The life events of Uri and Oren, a truly inspiring duo, have allowed their life events to be their driving force. The result: use highly specialized equipment and resources to capture video evidence of human rights’ violations. In doing so they have exposed human rights’ abuses around the world. While the videos they displayed were at times difficult to watch, their efforts have brought justice and change. The issue they chose to highlight was their effort in bringing awareness to and ultimately reducing the occurrences of female genital mutilation.
So I can only thank the organizers and hosts for a wonderful day. And hope that I am being true to my driving force.