Andrea Bury is an expert on Morocco and is organizer of the TEDx Marrakesh-event. We talked to Andrea about the topics of this year’s TEDx Marrakesh and how you organize such an event in general.
Andrea, how did you get involved with TEDx Marrakesh from Berlin?
From 2007 – 2010 I spent most of my time in Marrakesh. My husband at the time and I renovated a riad (the Anayela) which I still run as a hotel today. At the same time, actually in 2009 the TEDx program (you can apply to independently organise a TED event in your city or university) was started. I was already a big TED fan and went to TED Global in Oxford in 2010. At the promo event for TEDx I decided to apply for the license to do TEDx Marrakesh. I thought it would be great to bring such a concept of „ideas worth spreading“ as an inspiration to the local society. And since 2011 I do TEDx Marrakesh once a year. We are an amazing team of four people now!
The theme of TEDx Marrakesh ist Tribes and Trolls? What does it stand for?
TRIBES and TROLLS stands for the change that digitalisation has on our lives today. Starting with the change of meaning of the words themselves e.g. a tribe was defined locally before and today a mindset defines a tribe.
Our speakers range from cyber philosophers to people who actually have been harmed by trolls and received death threads. Cyber security, fin tech, blockchain, health tech, digital education, fake news are themes as well as how social media actually changes our own perception of our lives and our self branding!
Is there a digital trend that is specific for Morocco?
I don’t know really if there is a digital trend specific to Morocco. What I can see is that internet access has broadened extremely in the last 5 years. Social media is playing a huge role especially for the people living in remote areas. This has changed a lot as it gives these people now also access to global events, information and news. Moreover there are first start up hubs. The internet offers for many great opportunities and I believe that there is still a lot to come – it is only starting.
This year TEDx Marrakesh had a contest that gives students the chance to speak on the stage. What kind of inspiring topics move the young generation of Morocco?
Yes – we invited students from Morocco to present themselves and their idea in a one / two minute video. Their idea worth spreading had to be around the theme of Tribes and Trolls. We didn’t receive as many applications as we hoped for which is due to the language barrier as we asked for english presentations. But the ones we got were really good and thought through from different fields of digitalisation. The thing that is moving them as students is how social media shapes their lives. We finally opted for a girl that went back to the definitions of Tribes and Trolls in a more philosophical way which we really liked.
You can’t make it to Marrakesh? We’ve got an excellent idea:
Join us at #ada17 in October in Berlin! 😉