TEDx Kathmandu, an independently organized TED event took place on 30th July 2011 in Kathmandu at Indreni Complex New Baneshwor. A total of nine speakers had delivered their speech at the program. The speakers—respected and recognized artists, entrepreneurs, and social activists—had presented their world-changing ideas and shared their experience during the presentations.
Ani Choying Drolma was the first speaker and started with her song. Ani shared her story and her views about men. She said, “I hated men. My mom taught me men were not evil monsters”. Ani talked about her father, she used to think that her father was evil who used to beat her. But when her mom taught her saying that men were not evil monster, she started considering the good things that her father had done for her. Ani was frustrated at that time but when she started mediation, there was a drastic change in her life. She said, “Meditation has helped me, really... It's made me happy. It's like learning how to drive.” Ani asked everyone to be happy. Born in June 4, 1971, in Kathmandu, Nepal, also known as Choying Drolma and Ani Choying, is a Buddhist nun and musician from the Nagi Gompa nunnery in Nepal.
After Ani, a writer, journalist and documentary filmmaker Kedar Sharma has talked about modernization. He reminds us to think of the consequences of the products of modernization that buy and use. Speaking on TEDxKathmandu Sharma added, “We are nationalist in many ways, but we do not make effort to reflect it in our daily lives”. He also said, “If we aim for modernization; we explore way to reach it but Our lives have depended too much on imports”.
A U.S. citizen, Mark Zimmerman was trained as a doctor at Dartmouth Medical School and did his specialty training in Internal Medicine in Syracuse, NY said he left his family and girlfriend to come to Nepal. Zimmerman has been working in Nepal for the past 25 years. Zimmerman quotes a Nepali song to poetically portray the condition one patient that he treated.
Founder of the Blue diamond society and a CA member Sunil Babu Pant said, “We are now promoting Gay tourism in Nepal”. He recounts the time when he founded Blue Diamond Society and said, “Our state does not assures our safety like in the west.” Panta urges to promot LGBTI entrepreneurship through Gay Tourism in Nepal. He said, “We are publicizing Nepal as a destination for Gay marriages. We are getting positive response worldwide”.
Social worker Haushala Thapa shared her experience in social work since her childhood. She asked to change our mind that Nepal is not only Kathmandu. “I travelled all around Nepal since I was a child; I realized early on that Nepal is more than Kathmandu”, she said. She urges for women empowerment.
Prabhas Pokharel who works on the intersections of technology, youth participation, and social development started his speech by narrating the tale of Hiranya Kasyap. He talked about the driving factor for innovation and explained his idea about “Innovation half inside half outside”. He said, “Innovation is driven when innovators are half on the inside, and half on the outside”. By explaining his work experiences in several social innovation projects, he highlights the need of being half inside and half outside. “An insider has very good knowledge of how things work inside bureaucracies, but they don't have out of the box thinking”, he said. Pokharel talked about his engagement with Nepal’s Youth, where people from inside and outside come together. He said, “We need people from NGOs, Government and private sector to go across the aisle and reach common grounds to work together”. He also talked about the challenges presented by scarce resources to move forward with social innovation projects.
NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati has presented her presentation on how pictures can be used to retell history artistically. Using pictures of social occasions and festivals, she has emphasized that pictures are forming our personal history. Taking through the pictures of rural Nepal through different periods, she has shwon the changing role of women in Nepal.
Dr Anil Chitrakar started his speech with recounting the conflict in Nepal, and innovation by Mahabir Pun in Myagdi. He said, “In crisis, conflict, a leader emerges, and can start an enterprise to everyone's benefit”. Speaking in the program he blamed political leaders, for this crisis. He said, “Our leaders who preside over accountability, are ignoring their responsibility”. Chitrakar also talked about the recent success of Nepali football team and said, “Sport united Nepalese”. “Nepal is now ranked above all other south Asian countries in Football in FIFA Ranking”, Dr. Chitrakar said. Chitrakar also talked about social media and its positive effects that have been seen across the country. He said, “The recent painting of Bagmati Bridge has been a classic example of how people can take public responsibility”. Chitrakar also talked on sustainability, by taking example of how our body functions. He has highlighted the success of Facebook as a very effective tool of public campaign. He asked to unite all Nepali for better cause. He said, “All of us should unite together, when our country is going through a difficult time”.
A contemporary Nepali musical performer Salil Subedi Kanika gave his musical presentation in the program. Salil has presented how his bamboo instrument “didgeridoo” is uniting the children. Salil who has been playing the bamboo instrument for several years, and presenting his musical skills in many countries around the world said, “People understand ideas if you go talk to them”. “If you go talk with people around Nepal on issues as regards to preserving wildlife and educating children, they are very positive”, he added. He said, “This team of TEDxKathmandu represents the future of Nepal”. Salil concluded the event TEDxKathmandu by playing the bamboo instrument himself.
We must appreciate such events though management has failed to manage live video streaming and tweeting live about the event. However @aakarpost has tweeted live by following their microblogging updates. This TEDx Kathmandu event was the first event of its kind happened in Nepal, such program has already having been organized in over 800 cities in 60 countries. TEDxKathmandu has promised to do better in next program. Anyway, it’s a positive start and “This TEDxKathmandu represents the future of Nepal”.
Thanks Ankur Dai for photos.