TED has arrived in Vietnam with a vengeance. The first TEDx event was held last August in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and the second one will take place on 18 August in the same city. So what is TED? Answer: A nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. According to its website, “It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader…” (Click on the linked website for more information.)
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The latest TEDx event in Vietnam is called TEDxMekong, which will feature video and live speakers. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual events are self-organized. The theme of the 18 August event is Entrepreneurship in Vietnam.
Vietnam is a youthful country. You can see it in the fresh, young faces, as well as the dry statistics (median age: 27.8). It’s what economists refer to as a demographic dividend, a rare golden opportunity that the country must take advantage of against the backdrop of a ticking clock. Vietnam will succeed because of the intelligence, drive, work ethic, and openness of its young people to the world.
Vietnam needs businesspeople who are outstanding at what they do and who are imbued with a strong sense of social responsibility. Entrepreneurship is about meeting an individual and/or societal need, and making money in the process. In many fields, it presents opportunities for successful entrepreneurs to “do well and do good” both through their work and an evolving culture of philanthropy.
Everything begins with an idea and the power of the written and spoken word. I look forward to seeing more TEDx and similar synergistic, informative and inspirational events that provide a forum for engaged people to discuss “ideas worth spreading,” and create opportunities for them to network and continue the dialogue long after the lights have been turned off.
Congratulations to the TEDxMekong team, truly a group of passionate Vietnamese youth who are dedicated to ideas worth spreading and who are dazzled by the thrilling experience of listening, sharing, and applying intriguing ideas…