Challenge to the TED Universe: Sustaining Positive Disruption by Samir Yassin

Samir is a Sudanese who was born in Libya, went to school in Cyprus, worked in USA for 7 years and then for another 7 years in India and now has come back to where he belongs-Sudan.
This he observes is an emerging segment, a new culture created by people coming back to Sudan. If you watch the TEDx talks you will see a complete kaleidoscope of what Sudan is.
Sustainability has two parts. What we need today is to Sustain the Ability and have the Ability to Sustain. We need both.
Samir spoke at the TEDx Khartoum Change 2013 (Positive Disruption) on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 at DAL Excellence centre. This event was inspired by the TEDx Change which took place on the same day and time at Seattle and was convened by Melinda French Gates. Samir referred to Melinda Gates statement that Positive Disruption needs courage. He wonders why courage and why not perseverance, genius, hard work or intelligence.
Samir shared the TEDx Khartoum statistics which says that there has been a 50% increase in attendees in the last 3 years for TEDx Khartoum as well as TEDx Youth. There are 2800 active Facebook members, Weeklong Blog Contributions, Talks on YouTube and official website.
The base has been set for TEDx Khartoum. How do these TEDx events take place? Announcements are made in FB and websites. People get mobilized. Groups work with Speakers. Themes and topics are finalised. Marketing activities begin, blogs are written. There’s a lot of excitement. Then the speakers deliver their basic stories which are so interesting that they motivate and energise and develop you. They show you how to think outside the box. Some of us are excited, moved and energized with some of the speakers.
What happens the next day we wake up? What percentages of people actually do something about it?
Samir spoke of his cousin and uncle who had initiated the open heart surgery on a child who was 3 years of age. Samir was inspired by their sustainability. He also spoke of another cousin who had pioneered a forum called ‘One Mike’ where people could voice their opinion. “Now that’s sustainability action” said Samir.
Samir has seen the world in USA and India. He has interacted with people from all over the world. Learnt the typical accents of Americans, Indians, Italians, French and other people. Having watched TED since 2006 he came back to Sudan with a dream. Has already spent 3 years in Sudan and is unable to do much. He has his plans but whenever he wanted to do something he has been hit. He wanted to make a difference but didn’t know how to do it. What to do next?
There is a paradox in Positive Disruption. Every time you make a Positive Disruption it becomes a norm and you need to make another positive disruption.
TEDx is a positive disruption. What next? How can we spread the thoughts and ideas all across the country? More people need to have access to it. The telecoms are trying their best to expand and meet the increasing demand of users. We need sustainability. This is a challenge to TED Universe.
We need the experts to show us how to do it. Give your expertise and show people how to make the difference. There is a difference in the Sudanese culture. We think in terms of today and less of tomorrow or the day after. We need to evolve forums, councils and institutional bodies to make things happen. The world is changing. His favourite hero is Spiderman. Spiderman’s uncle, before his death, told him that with power comes great responsibility. Likewise, TED has opened the Pandora’s box.
People in this world are dying by the seconds. Even if you can take care of the six people next to you, one can achieve something. He quoted Julie Dixon, one of the speakers in TEDxChange- “Influence is the currency of change”. Currency means barter, exchange, one gives you ideas you need to take action upon and in return you give your enthusiasm, effort and your drive.
He shared his favourite Dalai Lama quote “If you think you’re too small to make a difference… try sleeping with a mosquito in the room”. Well don’t we understand that very well being in Sudan?
“Thus let not there be just talk but let us put them into action. Make this a way of life. Let us take professional help whether from Sudan or around the world. This is a country with potential and resources. Sudanese nationals have written the constitution in other countries, built regions, taught today’s billionaires in other countries. Why not apply here. Why can’t we do it here? That’s my challenge” declared Samir.

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