Hosting TEDx Events: An idea for CEC members

Ever heard of TED Talks or TEDx events? What about speaking at or hosting one? Lizzie Crudgington believes that CEC members have some "ideas worth spreading" through this kind of event.

Host a TEDx event to stimulate dialogue at the local level Photo: TEDx

By Lizzie Crudgington

I had my first experience as a TEDx event host on the 20th of September. I was licensed by for TEDxGeneva’s event for TEDxChange: The Future We Make. The TEDx programme is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. It was created in the spirit of TED’s mission: “ideas worth spreading”.

TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. And I’m writing this to say that TEDx could be a great model for members of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication.

What’s so great about hosting a TEDx event? Five reflections:

1. Benefit from the TED brand to attract a wide audience and get more “ideas worth sharing” out there.

2. Be pleasantly surprised by sponsorship. Individuals are licensed to host strictly non-commercial TEDx events (no payment to speakers, no entry fees), but you’d be surprised at what many people and organizations are willing to contribute as in-kind sponsors (time, energy, resources).

3. Bring new people into your network. Try asking your network to recommend five other invitees and see how it snowballs. And then curate for great conversations that matter.

4. Incorporate inspiring TED Talk content that already exists. Here are some to whet your appetite.:

5. Generate new online content for broader consumption via the TED web-platforms which are viewed by millions. Give voice to local ideas, inviting perhaps unlikely individuals to rub screen shoulders with celebrity speakers.

I would love to see CEC-in-kind-sponsored (time and energy) TEDx events around the world, building on the great TED platform to engage millions in thinking and conversing about ideas worth sharing on the subject of biodiversity conservation and behaviour change. Wouldn’t you?

For information on how it works, visit the site:

Also, read the 'lessons learned' blog by Gillian Martin Mehers and about her experience as a speaker.

To start talking about how CEC can use the TEDx model, please contact Gillian Martin Mehers, CEC Specialty Group Leader for Learning and Leadership at

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