TEDxKazimierz – the next chapter ? and FAQ

By Richard Lucas, Curator

3rd December 2020

I’ve decided not to re-apply for a licence to lead TEDxKazimierz.  It is eleven years since I first got involved in TEDx in 2009, and it is time to move on.

I’m ready to mentor and help if someone applies, but they have to take the lead. I know that a couple of team members are considering applying.   The FAQ below answers questions I am already being asked about what happens next.

1 Question Is this the end of TEDxKazimierz?
My Answer I am not sure. There is a meeting on 3rd December at 18:30 Polish time as per here and here where I will explain a bit about what it involves and answer questions.

2 Question Is it your decision who takes over?
My Answer No –  it is TED’s decision. TED grant a licence. They often take account of the recommendation of the existing licence holder but it is the TED team’s final decision not mine.

3 Question Does TED give you any financial support?
My Answer  No. You are not allowed to be paid, or make money out your TEDx, but you can try to get sponsorship and make revenue from ticket sales to cover your costs.

4 Question Do you get any other support?
My Answer YES – TED makes a lot of resources and available to TEDx organisers, there are knowledge sharing platforms and groups, country groups for organisers, events and training videos.

5 Question  What does running a TEDx involve?
My Answer  There is full and detailed information on the TEDx part of the TED website here:
Finding and preparing speakers and performers, finding and managing venue, audience experience, dealing with PR & Marketing, Fundraising and budgeting, filming and lighting, tickets, badges and registration, and team and volunteer management. People often are a bit surprised that there is some much to read and learn about how TEDx works, but that is the consequence of being involved in a world-class organisation with high and audited standards.

6 Question How do I know that someone else hasn’t got the licence already?
My Answer That’s easy to check, just go here and type in the city or country you are interested in. People’s reaction is often “I had no idea that there were so many TEDx-es.”

7 Question  I want to visit some other TEDx-es to get a better feel for what they are like. What should I do”
My answer Great idea. check the calendar here to see what is coming up. While the Pandemic is on it’s easier to visit TEDx-es in other countries than normal by joining online.

8 Question  I want to speak at a TEDx, what should I do?
My Answer Find out who is responsible for speaker selection at the TEDx you want to speak at and ask them what their speaker application process is. The most important question will always be “what is your idea?”.
I wrote a blog post about how TEDxKazimierz chooses its speakers here.

9 Question What have been the benefits of organising TEDxKazimierz
My Answer
There have been many, many benefits of organising TEDxKazimierz.
Having a TEDx licence is like a superpower, enabling you to do things that would otherwise be impossible.
The mission of TED and “raison d’être” – finding “ideas worth spreading” is a worthwhile and important goal. We have put many important ideas and memorable speakers on the stage.
Finding and getting to know the speakers and performers has been a privilege and a pleasure – they put such incredible amounts of work and effort into their talks. Recruiting and working with the teams of volunteers is a tremendous experience. The wider community of TEDx organisers in Poland and other countries has been a pleasure to get to know. There is a sense of being part of something bigger than all of us. TEDx is the largest voluntary idea sharing platform in the world, and being a TEDx organiser exposes you to working to world class standards. Every event I’ve organised since being involved in TEDx is far better as a result of the embedding TED standards of quality and attention to detail.

I’ll write a separate blog post about the highlights.

10 Question If it is so great why are you giving up?
My Answer It’s not an easy decision. As I wrote above I’ve been doing involved since 2009. There is a real cost in terms of the time and energy I devote to running the TEDx. Although I can do it and do it well, I am not sure I am getting better at it.   I want to have capacity to take on some new projects and pay more attention to existing ones other than TEDx.

11 Question Any particular frustrations ?
My Answer It was never easy to get local media coverage of the amazing people and ideas we had on stage. Sometimes, not often, people with great ideas and projects did not want to speak or even respond to invitations. Every year there was some challenges in managing and motivating a team of volunteers, and of course the pandemic did not make it any easier.

12 Question How did you get started ?
My answer  I wrote about it in a blog post here, describing my role in TEDxKrakow and the decision to start TEDxKazimierz here.

13 Question I want to take over, what should I do ? Do I have to talk to you?
My answer  If you missed the meeting on 3rd December as described above you should check the Facebook page here to see if there is anything planned, and I’ll be happy to introduce you past team members. Please do read through the information described here first. You can apply to TED directly. They are likely to ask me! but that is entirely up to you.

Richard Lucas
TEDxKazimierz Curator