TEDx Jerusalem

posted: December 19, 2012

(caution - long post ahead..)

Over 6 months ago I was approached by the Tedx Jerusalem to talk at the event.
Needless to say I was honored, excited and very nervous about it.
Yes I have spent a lot of my time in the last 5 years lecturing in front of large crowds and gradually my stage freight has been lowered.
However the combination of that strong TED name, with all the associations and comparisons to those wonderful online talks, combined with the rigid time structure of 15 minutes, made me feel somewhat anxious about it through the recent months...


(The idea for a Jerusalem Artichoke to be the image of Tedx Jerusalem came up early in a brainstorming session. It seemed the perfect intriguing symbol plus it just looks like Jerusalem! And NO. In spite of being named that, the vegetable is not technically an artichoke nor it comes from Jerusalem.)


The month before the event had been crazy! Probably the busiest ever in terms of traveling.

I had been..

in Omaha Nebraska working with fabulous teachers and students invited by the Family Literacy Program and the School of Education at the University of Nebraska (a post about it is on its way),
in Mexico City working in schools and at the Guadalajara's Book Fair,
in NYC lecturing and conducting a workshop at The School of Visual Arts (with Richard Wilde my "Alma Matter"),
in Washington CT doing a workshop with the fabulous dance troupe Pilobolus,
in Barcelona launching both an inspirational website for teachers called Aulas Creativas and my first book in Spanish, Objetos que Hablan,
and doing three intensive days of interviews and..
in Israel exploring visual ideas for internal communications with top executives of a Bank,

and through all that I was trying to prepare my talk.

So arriving to Jerusalem a day earlier and meeting Anja Waleson, the programming director, some of the other speakers, and Abigail and Michael the wonderful speaking coaches was just wonderful. There was magic in the air, or perhaps just a plain really good vibe. Somehow, the warm group of speakers and the lovely personalities of all the Tedx staff, made it all seem a very supportive, relaxed, easy and fun space to be in.

There was indeed a delicate and elegant work of curation by Anja. One recurring subjects was the way we perceived the world around us, through sound, language, visuals, taste and even conflicts. Another issue which kept coming up, and I talked about that, was about finding our unique and individual voice.

The other speakers I got to meet were wonderful, humble, yet very smart, and I hope to keep friendships with many of them. It was hard to keep focused through all the talks (and none of the translating equipment I received worked, so I did miss all the talks in Arabic!) but some of the bridges and connections between the different speakers were remarkable! Hard to separate and choose but here are some of the talks which I could attend:

Gideon Amichay (an old friend, colleague and my Creative Director in the Strauss advertising campaign) talked as only he can, about coping when receiving NO for an answer. A great lesson on resilience.

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand spoke about Polarities and how relevant that was to life in Jerusalem.

Dr Amir Amedi is one of my great discoveries as he explores the way the brain works. I am looking forward to getting many lessons from him!

Eyal Doron can talk about anything and his talk about living in an exponential world was enlighting.

Masarat Daud is another new friend. An inspiring and fun woman who organizes a Tedx event in rural India.

And more: sweet and smart Adital Ela, young 17 year old genius Or Sagi and Amit Carmeli with his amazing on-stage charisma and caressing voice.

There were many more talks which I either couldn't attent or sadly understand (see broken translator from Arabic..) and I look forward to listening to them online. Here's the whole list of speakers.


My talk which I hope will be online soon, was about what I have learnt in 20 years of "playing with bananas". Basically explaining lessons which COLLAGE taught me which are very easy to see and to share. Not very different from what I usually talk about yet more concise and focused. I was programmed to be the last speaker which I, of course, loved and hated. As the day advanced, I got more tired, anxious and less focused, and it was unavoidable to feel nervous again as I got on stage, and yet the atmosphere and the energy of the crowd was so pleasing that it was just enjoyable to be on stage and as my talk advanced I just felt more easy up there. Actually I did enjoy myself a lot!!

As if I didn't know before, (and as if my parents hadn't always told me that ...) it turns out I love to be on stage!

When is the next talk???


(check out the crazy eyes...)


And here's the video of the talk:


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by John Tremblay

June 19

Hi everybody,,,thanks a lot for this beautiful post.I'm a student

by hanoch

December 20

Toda Itay!

by Itay talgam

December 19


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