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Cambodia: Review of Tedx Phnom Penh

Tedx Phnom Penh conducted its first event in Cambodia last February 5. “Building the Future” was the chosen theme for this year’s Tedx Phnom Penh

We hope that this is the start of a much larger conversation in Cambodia about sharing ideas and collaborating to build the bright futures we all are envisioning for ourselves and our communities. This is part of the reason we choose the theme “Building the Future” as we hope that those of us from or living in Cambodia and those travelling through will begin to focus more on Cambodia’s future than dwelling on its tragic past

The speakers during the program

Keeda Oikawa & Kung Nai: Live Painting & Chapei
Sithen Sum “Self-Education”
Mike Rios “Dong Chim the Quarter-Life Crisis”
Enemies of the People Video Presentation by Rob Lemkin & Thet Sambath Live
Tiny Toones “Dance Your Life Around”
Kounila Keo “Blogging: The New Generation of Cambodia”
Chris Brown “Lean Startup – a bootstrapping guide for young entrepreneurs”
Channe Suy “Building the Future of Cambodia starts with Sharing”
Colin Wright “Extreme Lifestyle Experiments”
Chris Noble “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”
Theary Seng “Reconciling Peace with Justice in Cambodia”
Phloeun Prim & Cambodian Living Arts Performers “Transformation of a Nation through the Arts”

Cambodian blogger Tharum Bun expects the speakers to contribute in improving the global image of Cambodia

… they collectively represent some of the brightest observers of modern day Cambodia, a place that has no shortage of stories worthy of international attention, yet, is off the radar of Western news outlets, save for times of massive human casualties or major decisions in the Khmer Rouge; stories which do little to change the view of Cambodia as a seemingly hopeless casualty of the cold war era. Given the global reach of TED.com, speakers should feel the responsibility to tell Cambodian stories in a way that evokes hope and admiration from an international audience, rather than pessimism or pity.

Tharum also liveblogged the proceedings

10:23 – Not as many as registered attendees are showing up this morning. It’s less than a hundred people here
11:04 – A Cambodian organizer, Rithy Thul, said about 120 people are now at TEDxPP this morning. 150 tickets were given away.
11:11 – It’s as if people outside Cambodia are having difficulties watching live-video from #TEDxPP

Sophal Ear, one of the speakers, is happy that this event is being held in Cambodia

TED is about ideas worth spreading and Cambodia has many wonderful ideas worth spreading and sharing. I believe that Cambodian thought leaders and visionaries can come together at TEDxPP not just as speakers but as audience members who can absorb ideas from one another for a better Cambodia.

Thomas Wanhoff commends the organizers

The dramaturgiy of the event was well prepared and executed. I dont now how much they had to follow TED rules, but the organizers did a great job.

So my conclusion: A well organised conference, where I learneda lot, where I learned from other people as well, and where I had moments when some tears came out. TED is not just a rational event, but also emotional. This TEdxPP followed this claim. In the future, the planning team should try to get a location that represents Cambodia better then the expat compound of Northbridge. There are good and suitable locations in town. Also I would like to see more Khmer people in the planning team, and not only the usual young white volunteer gang. And please, no more “from that dark ages of the Khmer rouge regime” talks. We know it, thanks.

Again, a big thank you to the organizers for making a dream come true for me.

Leigh is also impressed with how the event was organized

First, I want to tell you that the organizers hit it out of the park. It was an incredible blend of thoughts & cultures.

The conference consisted of 13 live presentations & 3 previously recorded Ted talks that were projected on screen. The speakers and subject matter were diverse, but some common themes arose including the importance of sharing information (so appropriate at a Ted event!), engagement (especially of the target community), innovative solutions, and execution of great ideas.

What struck me most about the conference was the strong presence of Cambodians. I’d guess that half of the attendees were young Khmers, many of whom are entrepreneurs & students. Half of the speakers were Khmer, a few of whom grew up outside of Cambodia due to the Khmer Rouge but returned in their adult life.

This event was so thoroughly steeped in Cambodian culture and tradition

TEDxPP is the official twitter account of Tedx Phnom Penh

TEDxPP wrapping up, a huge thanks to everyone who presented, a really special experience
Intl webcast problems diagnosed: further you are from Hong Kong the more likely it is to drop sorry folks. Stay tuned for the edited videos!
Webcast update: US apparently able to connect, apologies to those having problems, will update you as soon as we hear back from ISP
TEDxPP has gone into group discussions: what has generated success for you?

Use the #TEDxPP hashtag to monitor the reactions of twitter users

worldnomads #tedxpp was superb, top themes, knowledge sharing = empowerment, engagement creates ideas & opportunities and know your WHY !
tenaciousleigh my mind is still completely blown from how awesome #tedxpp was. reviewing notes & plotting for the future. thanks to speakers & organizers!
thomaswanhoff a big thank you to the #tedxpp organisers. you created an unforgetable event
dickonverey What a day at TEDxPP… Completely inspired… Want to compile a list of Best ofs… Brilliant work by the organizing crew. #TEDxPP

Here are some photos of the event.

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