The TEDxUbud 2013 Experience

Just like last year I find it hard to even start writing about it. Well for one thing it wasn't because it's not interesting, but it's the complete opposite instead; TEDxUbud holds so many interesting things worth sharing, ideas to think about, thoughts lingering in your head weeks after, so it's kind of hard to conclude them in a single blog article. But it's a crime not to write about it so:

First thing first, what it TEDx?

TED is a conference started in 1984, and now evolves into a nonprofit organization devoted to "Ideas worth spreading" related to three fields: Technology, Entertainment, and Design [01]. TEDx is the TED-like international (and sometimes localized) version of TED [02], with topics allowed to include more local flavor, as long as they abide to the "Ideas worth spreading" guideline.

TED itself is the brainchild of Richard Saul Wurman, a prominent designer who gave birth to the term "Information Architecture (IA)," and he's my inspiration that instill the idea that information should be easy to understand. Seeing that IA later evolved into ID (Inforation Design), and eventually UX (User Experience Design), therefore think the "x" in TEDx actually mean "experience." Hence TEDx literally stands for "TED Experience;" not just some fancy coding that ends up deciphered as "local."

TEDxUbud 2013

Started back in 2011, its intention is to present "a taste of TED in Bali," have in turn offers a new kind of Bali experience that encompasses entertainment, cultural, and spiritual tourism. And to align with Ernest's stand up performance, now there is another reason to visit Bali beside "Eat, Pray, Love."

Here are the speakers, based not by order of their appearance, but somewhat logical grouping:

01. The Serious Talks

Ernest Prakasa

Revolving around the wonders of Balinese life from his own very personal (and unconventional) perspective, Ernest Prakasa (@ernestprakasa) delivered one of the highlight of TEDxUbud 2013.

While you might think it's a joke to put Ernest under "Serious Talks," it is not. Because bside of his clever jokes, what's more interesting about this Kompas TV's Stand up Comedy Indonesia (SUCI) 2011 finalist is that he also supports a very serious movement of "Ayah ASI," or fathers supporting breastmilk feeding (@ID_AyahASI).

Lashing out facts and statistics on how Sufor (Susu Formula) tends to create problem, even deaths in the past, Ernest raises awareness about the importance of breastmilk feeding, including how fathers can help mothers to achieve success with this program.

As a breastmilk feeding supporter myself, Ernest talk was not only reinforce my belief in ASI goodness, but also on the biological process behind it, including how a husband's role is not only important but is critical: 40% success of not husband-supported vs 90% success for husband-supported programs. The secret? Very simple: make the mother happy! Because happiness help mothers' body to generate the feel-good hormone that plays a vital role in releasing the milk.

Erin Michelle Threlfall

Started by a big question about why some children in the war & conflicting zone's are able to maintain a happy attitude despite their country's chaos, while those in a more developed countries often aren't, Erin took a journey into finding out, formulating, and set up exercises for other less happy children to instill happiness. Because she believes all good things happens if you're happy, not the other way around.

Learning from the conflicting zone's children Erin draws out guidelines and develop exercises around them. She then applied them to her own students in Bali, and with constant readjustments based on the children's feedback, she finally came up with exercises that makes most if not all of her students she teaches managed to apply a more positive view towards life, and in turn helps them to have a happier, and better life.

As for myself, Erin (@ethrelfall‎) talk is very important because it answers one of the biggest concern fathers have: "How to make my children happy?"

But more than just for the kids, Erin reminds us about the importance of being happy, and how it's actually a trainable skill; something you could learn and practice. And while her examples are children, however her guidelines would works well for all of age.

Ruici Tio

While sharing perhaps one of the darkest talk in TEDxUbud about human trafficking, and made many attendees shed tears, Ruici (@rtio) inspires the audience with the success of anti human trafficking organization he leads in Thailand. He also shows good example about the importance to have a positive view towards life, even though he has every rights to become bitter; considering he's coming from an Indonesian family who were forced to leave the country because of political situation back in 1965, and his grandfather must endure 12 years in Indonesian political prison.

Sri Lestari

Sri (@sriklaten) shares a heartwarming story about how she became paraplegic through an accident, tried many healing methods and failed, but despite all odds was able to went through it with perseverance, started her own sewing business then earn enough money to own a modified motorbike/cart made for wheelchair, which she can get on and off by herself, thus regain freedom once more.

She has now become a role model for other difabel (Indonesian term for differently-abled) through her participation in UCP Wheels for Humanity, sharing inspiration and motivation with others.

Delphine Robbe

Sharing her passion for the sea, Delphine tells a sad story of how Indonesia, despite having the longest shorelines in the world, and one of the richest underwater biodiversity ever, has only about 6% of its reef in good condition. Driven by this fact, and her passion for the sea, Delphine moved to Gili Island some while back and initiate a Bio Rock program to remedy the damaged corals of Gili islands, along with creating a mutual benefiting relationship with local fishermen through Gili Eco Trust foundation.

Nila Tanzil

Concerned about illiteracy rate in Eastern Indonesia, Nila (@nilatanzil) through her initiative Taman Bacaan Pelangi (@pelangibook) develops free library; with the hope of changing the children's future, one library at a time.

While those speakers addressed critical issues, trying to right what's very wrong, and some even involves live or death situation, the rest of the speakers brings out the lighter side of TEDxUbud:

02. The Creative Talks

Michael Bodekaer

Michael (@bodekaer) shares his experience in building Project Getaway; where adventurous entrepreneurs live and work together in inspiring locations around the world; to set examples how great success, adventure and a balanced lifestyle goes hand-in-hand.

Peter Wall

One of founder of Hubud (@hubud) Peter shares his story about involving his twins (and his older son) in a casual film-making projects focusing on story telling and role playing; thus changing his children roles from a mere film-watchers into film-makers; something we can achieve today with very simple tools.

Btw, that's him on the big screen, acting as a boxer in home-made music video singing "The Eye of The Tiger" by Survivors; one of my favorite 80's songs too!

And what would become of TED without the "E?" So here's the E part of TEDxUbud, which holds array of very interesting performances:

03. The Entertainers

Cozy Street Corner, Bonita, and Indra Aziz

Lovely performance; and very powerful, speaking of Bonita's (@rumahbonita) performance. I was expecting to see Indra Aziz (@indraaziz) doing his amazing beat-boxing again like in TEDxUbud 2012, however Cozy Street Corner (@cozystcorner) was highly entertaining as well.

Gika Savitri

Started at the very young age, performing the dynamic Balinese dance for TEDxUbud 2013 is Gika, the youngest member of TEDxUbud 2013 team.

Kobagi Kecak

The dance done by this group of dancers; Kobagi, or Komunitas Badan Gila (Crazy Bodied Community) is something so very different yet so mesmerizing. Dressed more like a South American Indian than Balinese, they combines Kecak dance with a more contemporary and experimental approach, topped with very interactive and cheerful feel; a result of year-long workshop with French artist Greggoire George.

Last but nowhere near the least:


Two times world champion of Yo-Yo, Black shares the same vision with many of the TEDxUbud 2013 about "no dream is impossible;" started out as a regular low-esteem teenager, he first encountered Yo-Yo when he's 14, and wasn't good at playing it either. However seeing there's a good progress after continued practising it for a week, he then has a vision that he could be good at it, and set a goal of becoming really good at it. 10,000 hours later, he became the world champion for the first time.

Thinking to become a professional entertainer, Black then learns performance-related skills to further enhance his attraction. In turn, he regained the world champion title for the second time, this time in artistic category. He also passes one of the world's toughest performance artist audition of joining Cirque du soleil.

Black is now a professional Yo-Yo performer that combines Yo-Yo playing with theatrical attraction. Dressed in a Samurai attire, even him entering the stage received huge cheers from the crowd; and what followed after was a really jaw-dropping attraction involving complex combo, very swift moves, and even gravity-defying actions.

The aftermath

While the speaks and performances of TEDxUbud 2013 are nonetheless interesting, half of the event's charm happens outside the talks; meeting other participants, sharing stories and interests, all done over tidbits of good snacks, coffee, and a hearty organic vegetarian lunch.

Even though I came with a friend, throughout the event I was sitting with four different sets of people; hanging out during coffee breaks with new acquaintances, and having lunch with a whole different crowds too. It was tiring but well worth it.

I myself carried two "flags" to this event, first the UX designer flag of "bayuamus" (just like last year), and second this hobby-getting-serious-business as food writer under "Epicurina" flag. Throughout the event I also found that the foodie thing is an easier conversation starter, while UX only hits it with fellow designers or technology people.

In the end, what I can conclude is that TEDxUbud was not just an event that share ideas worth spreading, but also about meeting people worth knowing and sharing your stories with. Thank you Daniela Burr (@danielaburr), Daniel Ziv (@danielziv), and all the good people making TEDxUbud 2013 experience possible. (byms)

01. About TED -
02. About TEDx -
03. Richard Saul Wurman -
04. About TEDxUbud -