Last Sunday, me and a fellow TEDx team member, Josephine, were lucky enough to attend the TEDx Workshop at the Vancouver Convention Centre and Grouse Mountain, right before the big TED2014 conference this week. Throughout the day, we were treated very well by the people at both venues, the organizers, and the attendees. Perhaps the one thing that intrigued me the most was the diversity of the attendees. There were people attending this workshop from right here in Vancouver, to all the way in the other side of the world. I met people from Russia, China, Korea, France, the Caribbean, and even from Somalia. Over 60 countries attended the workshop! One man from China (who joined me on a snowshoe hike on Grouse Mountain) even compared this conference to the Olympic Games. I think it is this universality of TED which makes the organization loved everywhere. By having friendly conversations with the attendees, I was able to break some of the barriers that separate cultures, and also debunk some of the stereotypes I had with different groups of people. People were also able to debunk their stereotypes about Canadians and Vancouverites, as well. In Canada, we celebrate cultural diversity as one of our values. The TEDx Workshop was definitely, for me, a great example of cultural diversity, to a level even greater than what I have observed in Canada.
Next week, Josephine will talk more about her experiences with the TEDx Workshop and TEDActive. Until next time.
Written by: Daniel Lam
March 18, 2014