I thought it was going to be easier to get back to reality after the TEDx, but it’s not the case. The enormous amount of time, and the energy, spent on preparing every detail, is wreaking havoc with my hormones, making me feel like I haven’t felt in a long time. It’s like virtual post-labor.
I’m writing this article on Wednesday, April 20th. The TEDxAlmendraMedieval happened on Saturday and I’m still talking about “yesterday” when I talk about what happened. But, what did happen? Well, I’ll tell you.
Some weeks ago, Jay Herratti, Director of the TEDx program, did a series of “hangouts” with some TEDx organizers to discuss some of the aspects of the program in terms of community building, mission, vision and aspirations, excellence in curation, demystifying the licenses, sponsorships and partnerships, and the ins and outs of producing a TEDx event. In one of these hangouts, I stated my main concern at that moment—I was worried because attending the TEDGlobal in Geneva last December had been a life-changing experience for me, but I felt as though I was unable to transmit that spirit to the team. Jay responded that it was kind of complicated to share something like this because it’s a feeling. He said, people (TEDxers) usually go to TED conferences in search of a 100+ license, but after they leave, they keep up the drive for the TED tribe. That was exactly my case. I went to Geneva for the 100+, but I’ll be going to Banff because of the tribe. So how to explain that tribe-belonging feeling to the team here?
This is something I’d been struggling with for a long time, until last Saturday. Then, magic happened. After the event, everybody was tuned into that very same spirit. The audience, the partners, the speakers… and the team, rowing all together in the same direction. Everybody could feel it. It didn’t happen suddenly. It was a crescendo of shaken emotions and by the end, just before the final fireworks (the haka), nobody wanted to leave the room. In fact, many people stayed for more than one hour at the Congress Hall, talking to us, to the speakers….
The only two comparisons that come to my mind are concerts or sports games, but only if it’s your favorite group and they perform like never before and everybody ends up in ecstasy, or when your team wins a championship, or after a tough match. That feeling you have after living through that experience with a lot of people.
I was lucky enough to spend Sunday with some of the tribe in Vitoria and then Monday with the last two speakers. It was a lovely excursion to San Sebastian and Bilbao, on a wonderful sunny spring day, so my fall back down to earth was not as abrupt as it was for some of the other participants, but still. I’ve spoken to the tribe, and it’s a general feeling–something different happened on Saturday, something that we will all remember forever. Now I know how to explain the vibe. It’s difficult, but this is how a real TEDx experience feels. And I can’t wait for the next one!