TEDx takes shape in South Africa, helping communities break barriers

The Cape Town event was inspirational!

TED Blog

At TEDxCapeTown,  speaker Kirsten Wilkins  brings up the hashtag #sorryMadiba. Photo: Courtesy of TEDxCapeTown At TEDxCapeTown, speaker Kirsten Wilkins brings up the hashtag #sorryMadiba. Photo: Courtesy of TEDxCapeTown

There are 365 days in a year. So it feels like a telling coincidence that the organizers of both TEDxCapeTown and TEDxJohannesburg—independently organized events in two of the biggest, busiest cities in South Africa—opted to hold their events within a single week.

This confluence of timing shows just how powerful the TEDx platform is for creating new dialogues in South Africa, a country that just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid and its first free democratic elections. Since the start of the TEDx program in 2009, South Africa has become home to more than 100 events, many of them successful year after year, creating loyal communities dedicated to local ideas worth spreading.

At TEDxCapeTown, held August 16 and 17, the theme “Design Your Thinking” put the emphasis on audience collaboration. Organizer Justin…

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