We believe that the world we live in is malleable. Not only by large corporations and governments, but increasingly so by individuals. Thanks to technology, impactful change is more democratically accessible than ever. What is often lacking is the insight of the civic malleability, its dynamics, and the skill-set to get the process started. At TEDxAntwerp we want to demonstrate that everyone can make a change and we want to inspire our audience by bringing people that have put action to their ideas on stage. By showing that even very local changes can solve both local and global problems, we aim to inspire our community to make change happen.
We believe that this malleability should be accessible to all and it is up to each person to decide what needs to be changed and how. The technology is already becoming very accessible: what is lacking is affordable and democratic access to the mind- and skill-set. Democratizing this mind- and skill-set is crucial to both solving the unsolvable problems and to empowering a society that is inherently resilient. The smartest city is the one city that enables its citizens to tackle the problems they face, irrespective of the prevailing technology.
To make sure the message reaches a diverse audience, we guarantee that access to a seat is democratic in price, but also inclusive in all aspects. Special tickets are given to stakeholders who need to hear a certain speaker, but also to people who would otherwise never get in touch with the mind-set of such an event. The audience is a reflection of the city as the city is a reflection of its citizens.
TEDxAntwerp supports the audience in all three levels: fascinate them with inspiring stories, get them in touch with ways to build their own mind-set and skill-set to make impact, and finally bring them in touch with stakeholders to hopefully start projects.
As TEDxAntwerp, we want to touch topics that are relevant to everyone in Antwerp. We live in a diverse city on the intersection of trade, science, technology, culture, and arts. Antwerp has challenges that are unique to the city, but also attracts great creative and entrepreneurial energy, which enriches the solution-space for these challenges.
TEDxAntwerp is not about themes, moreover, every year the theme is: how can we use technology, design, and entertainment to solve the challenges that our city faces? How can the people solving these challenges inspire others? How can we get inspired people in touch with the right skill- and mind-set?
As TEDxAntwerp we decided to approach things differently. Not only do we make sure that our speakers are diverse and relevant, but we truly believe that almost everybody has a story worth listening to. Together with the speaker, we find their story and build the confidence to bring it on stage. This takes time and effort, but the end result is a genuine TEDx-talk. Enriching our city with vocal agents of change ensures that not only the citizens of Antwerp can get inspired, but also become ambassadors for Antwerp and attract people inspired by the mind-set of the city and thus increase the human capital of our city.
Deepak Mehta & Jeroen Toelen