Inspiration and Innovation: TEDx Kabul

Last week marked TEDx Kabul, the first ever TEDx event to be held in Afghanistan, bringing together artists, activists, humanitarian workers and beyond together to celebrates the stories and ideas of Afghans living the transition and effecting positive change in their communities, from art to mobile skateboard.

A spin off of the popular TED Conferences, TEDx conferences are also based upon the core idea of “ideas worth spreading.” As Dominic Basulto points out in an article in The Washington Post, “as the increasing number of far-flung, volunteer-run TEDx events reminds us, “ideas worth spreading” are also worth spreading from places that might be considered to be on the very fringe.”

Conflict has not suppressed innovation, and in a war-torn country, stories of positive change are certainly worth spreading. As Basulto put it:

At a time when Afghanistan is surely one of the most unforgiving places in the world to live if you’re a female entrepreneur, the number of innovative stories from women speakers at TEDx Kabul was inspiring, at least from what could be gathered via content shared online. Most notably, there were the women and young girls of Skateistan, who helped to create the world’s first co-ed skateboard school that later became the subject of the documentary film by the same name. This is just the start, one hopes, of broader female empowerment throughout the Afghan economy.

TEDxKabul was spearheaded by Meghan Lazier and as proof of the importance of including innovative thought out of regions of the world like Afghanistan, TED founder, Chris Anderson, was in attendance.

One of the most powerful performances was by Afghan-American singer/songwriter/filmmaker, Ariana Delwari who was in Kabul for last week’s Sound Central Alternative Music Festival.  She performed the song The East off her Lion of Panjshir record.

To read more about the speakers at TEDxKabul and their stories, click here.

Image: TEDxKabul

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