On Wednesday the 23rd of September approximately 500 people gathered at the Aruban theatre Cas di Cultura, to attend the first large- scale TEDX event in the Caribbean. At least 15 global embassies were live streaming the event centralized around technology, education and design and how Aruba can be the island of sustainable solutions.
International and local speakers
12 speakers coming from the US, the Netherlands, Colombia, Canada and Aruba shared their innovative ideas about technology, sustainability and the environment. There was also room for more socially orientated topics such as the transition of education, happiness at work, empowering social changes with modern technology and even military strategy. One of the highlights of the event was Joseph Simcox, an American born botanist who forages and explores different edible plants throughout nature. He presented a broad assortment of plants of which he was certain could grow and flourish in the Aruban desertlike ecosystem and actually offered to move to Aruba and start this eco project with support from the local government.
The energy in the auditorium emanating from both speakers and audience was very high and Jim Stolze, organizer of TEDxAruba and TEDX in the Netherlands, proved to be a very entertaining moderator for the event. During the breaks guests could network together in the Innovation Lab where local businesses showcased their products and services in recycled wood booths made by local craftsmen. The live music brought by famous Aruban producer Michael Lampe gave the event an even more of a Caribbean flavor.
Jim Stolze, organizer of TEDx Amsterdam and TEDx Binnenhof, was very proud of the fact that the first large scale TEDx event took place in Aruba: “I am a big fan of the island and have been coming here for business and for pleasure. That is also essential Aruba; it’s a paradise on earth but with the hospitable and welcoming atmosphere the island is also a good place for doing business. What I really like about TEDx Aruba is that on the one hand Aruba is humble and invites speakers from all over the world and on the other there is also a sense of national pride as they give a global stage to Arubans. For example: Sir Edward Chueng, NASA engineer; he is a world famous Aruban who received his high school diploma right here in Cas di Cultura. Now he is giving a lecture on sustainability on the same stage but for a global audience!
The next chapter for Aruba is to let startups work on your challenges, both in the societal and corporate challenges. What I see happening now in Aruba is great. Aruba is conveniently situated between Europe and America and that’s why TEDx Aruba is such a good thing; TEDx is all about ideas coming together and what better place than Aruba, the hub of the Caribbean!”.
For the first edition of TEDx Aruba a mix of international and local experts presented:
Glenn Thode – Education Transcending Borders
Koert van Mensvoort-Where Nature Ends and Technology Begins
Varelie Croes- Infusing Technology with Humanity
Vanessa Benlolo- Empowering Social Changes
Roel van Rijsewijk- Bridging into the Future with Technology
Edward Chueng-Space Innovation
Jan ten Hove- Mission Command
Arnoud Collery-Happiness at Work
Rachel Brathen-Lessons I learned through Social Media
Raffy Kock- Design for Happy Lifestyle
Joseph Simcox- Wonders of Eatable Nature
For more information on the TEDx Aruba event, videos and pictures and an overview of the speakers please visit: www.tedxaruba.com.