Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 29th, 2013

Focusing on “Ideas in action”: TEDxBeirut 2012

Ideas? Who cares about ideas?

Ideas are all over the place, space and time.

They are the same ideas: edited, reformulated, updated, new terms replacing “outdated” terminologies

They are the same ideas: One generation emulate the trend or fashion to discredit sets of ideas as non valid for the period, paradigm shifts in a few disciplines, ideas too general and not accounting for the reality of discovered idiosyncrasies…

And the next generation dust off many discredited ideas and programs, and adopt them as very relevant to the period and time…

Archives are packed with all kinds of worthy ready-to apply projects and ideas that nobody was assigned to take on the responsibility of following through, of selecting teams to consider as the ideas as theirs and take the plunge of transforming valid and detailed ideas into socially pertinent applications…

Ideas? Almost every week I have gorgeous well-developed ideas, a few I took the trouble to post in the category “Daydream projects”…

And who read projects and programs?

TEDx annual event in the Near East (Palestine in Ramallah, and Lebanon in Beirut) have shifted perceptibly from the realm of ideas to the pragmatic direction: What is useful and badly needed are the discovery of teams and associations grabbing ideas suited for the region and communities and transforming them into tangible projects.

The thousands of people who are familiar with the countless speakers of TED might have realized that the ideas thrown around are basically Ideas generated by elite classes of billionaires, trying to disseminate a new ideology of “Reformed” elite classes, reaching for the other less fortunate classes around the world…in order to develop mental capabilities?

Ideas, there are plenty and can be gathered in shovelful.

There are thousands of ideas and detailed projects in archives in all government ministers around the world and in companies. And there are a few bold and determined persons who are dusting off these files and retrieving a few of these ideas that are still very much “modern” and readily applicable…

TEDx Beirut 2012 adopted the theme: “All we need is…”

In the case of Lebanon, we actually need almost everything to make our daily life barely sufferable: From potable water reaching homes, electricity, affordable heading fuel, non-contaminated imported food, trustworthy imported medications, managing refugees (Palestinians and recently Syrians by the hundred of thousands), managing safe and sane prison systems, reforming the judicial system, passing legislations for civil marriage…

Just your basic needs: We have to leave out the fundamental problems, a long laundry list of political and social reforms, sitting in drawers since 1943…

TEDxBeirut 2012 was hoping to focus on solutions rather than the problems, as if the problems have already been identified, clarified, discussed, and agreed upon for resolution…

And how can you focus on solutions for problems not seen as problems by many communities?

What we need are varieties of opportunities, created and facilitated by private  associations, organizations and public institutions…

What is needed are options for possibilities to grow and gather people around definite feasible projects, tailor-made to Lebanon and the Near-East conditions

From limitation to Inspirations“?

How to inspire the Lebanese into associating into teams, and focusing on specific pragmatic projects and programs that the society badly needs and take a life of their own…

Ideas, there are plenty of ideas.

And focusing just on ideas within the domain of new technologies is plainly an elitist idea, which can be afforded by the elite classes around the world.

Elites conversing with elites and letting the common people share and bask in their glorious ideas

Unconsciously, TEDxBeirut reversed this trend: MOST of the speakers had no new ideas and what I observed is a refreshing new direction of discovering “Ideas in action”…

Many speakers have moved to applying older ideas and constituting associations and organizations in order to realize good ideas that their time has come.

The speakers were:

1. Sareen Akharjalian: Created an online comic called “Ink On The Side”

2. Amal al Dahouk is a marketing manager at Exeed and a blogger whenhopespeaks.com

3. Hani Asfour is an architect specializing in design of workspaces at Polypod (polypod.com.lb

4. Loryn Atoui is founder of One Wig Stand for providing wigs to cancer patients (onewigstand.org)

5. Jana Bou Reslan is in Educational PhD program and teaches at La Sagesse Univ. Her coming project is a book “I are, We am: Beyond Oneness”.  (iPoetry.info)

6. Farid Chehab is advisor to the board of leo Burnett MENA and an author “A bet for a national conscience”. I overheard that he is the representative of the owners of luxury hotels and resort complexes in order to secure plenty of water for them…

7. Rabih el Chaer is managing director of Lebanon Transparency Association, such as advising on rule of laws, public affairs programs, and media… (transparency-Lebanon.org)

8. Esraa Haidar founded a marketing firm Consult-E Market and keep a blog on the topic of veiled women (7ijab.wordpress.com)

9. Marjorie Henningsen is experienced in mathematics education and Educational Reform, curriculum and Instruction… Co-founded Wellspring Learning Community (wellspring.edu.lb)

10. Zeina Saab founded The Nawaya Network dedicated to developing hidden potentials for at-risk youth (nawaya.org)

11. Imad Saoud is an “Aquatic scientists” with emphasis on coastal reef ecology. The talk is to optimize usage of water, both fresh and salty, in order to feed growing population (See note)

12. Suzanne Talhouk founded the association “Fe3l Amr” (Verb order) and advises media associations

13. Salim Zwein talked on the usage of Thorium as a cheap, clean, efficient and abundant source of energy to replace uranium…

Note 1: Prof. Charles el Achi, director of NASA/Cal Tech Jet Propulsion Lab, paid a visit and briefly talked on team building for the Mars landing of Rover Curiosity.

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/technology-education-and-development-ted-corporation-who-is-chris-anderson/

Note 3: In the next 40 years, we expect to add two billion people to the world, and the amount of freshwater in the world is not increasing…
So how are we going to feed these extra 2 billion people?
With the same drop of water we have cleaned the cow shed, produced energy, produced duckweed, farmed fish and irrigated our crop.
Now this is how you feed two billion people if you do not have much water.”
If each Lebanese person saves one liter of water a day, that will amount to 4 million liters every day.
With 4 million liters I can produce 80,000 kg of tomatoes and 80,000 kg of fish while decreasing energy use by more than 100,000 liters of fuel and decreasing pollution tremendously.”
Aquaculturist / Aquatic Scientist Imad Saoud
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