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Promoting Sustainable Development Through Innovation

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TedxHarare 2014

Posted by SarahJ on November 18, 2014 at 11:10 PM

TED Talks are famous the world over and even books have been written on how to deliver a powerful talk like those heard at the conferences.  The last Harare edition of the Tedx Conference had been in 2011.

Both Gamu and Luther have stressed to us the importance of being able to tell your story, so when I received my invitation to attend, I was keen to take notes on this art from the various speakers who would be there. 

On arrival you could tell that this was a different crowd that had been handpicked to attend. You could almost feel the excitement buzzing in the air. A pre conference activity was to walk through a series of booths. Each booth had a meaningful picture. One had to take a few moments to reflect on the picture and then write the first word that came to mind. There were plenty of opportunities between the talks to network and interact with people from various backgrounds. I met media personalities, tech geniuses, teachers, community activists and students. The one thing that I found in common with all the people that I met, is that they are passionate about the future of Zimbabwe.

The theme of the Conference was Praxis - translating ideas into action. So the conference day was divided into three key sections: creating context, process refine and ideas in action.  In the first part, creating context, the speakers spoke on identity and mindset with particular reference to the people in Zimbabwe. Process refine focused on the socio-political and economic climate. The last section, ideas in action, brought two speakers, the lead doctor at Harare Hospital whose team recently separated a pair of conjoined twins and a young 25 year old man who build a prototype for an airtime vending machine using leftover materials.

The conference was well organised and I commend the organisers for bringing together such a diverse group of people from all backgrounds, cultures and professions. The key message from all the established entrepreneurs that I got is that start with what you have, you don't need to wait for an angel investor or for the perfect conditions. The important thing is to start whatever dream you are pursuing because that is progress and Zimbabwe needs people who are tired of waiting and can make a difference where they are.

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2 Comments

Reply Gamuchirai
12:11 AM on March 28, 2015 
We definitely need more people who can start 'doing' instead of just 'saying'. I always love such platforms. Thanks for sharing Sarah.
Reply Eddington
11:53 AM on July 8, 2015 
Zimbabwe needs people who are tired of waiting, people who find innovative ways to move the country forward. Thanks a lot for sharing.