[Updated] Karima Bennoune on TED.com

Karima Bennoune’s talk from TEDxExeter 2014 had already been featured by TED editors among their selections on the TED.com home page, and we’re delighted that the talk itself has now been published on TED.com. Together with the talks by Bandi Mbubi and Scilla Elworthy at TEDxExeter 2012, that makes three!

Update: As of 11 August, our three TED Talks have now reached a combined viewing total of over 2 million! We think this is truly amazing, but not surprising considering their content and the emotion of the speakers. So to see why these powerful are so popular, give all three a watch, then let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

Karima has written a message for the people of TEDxExeter:

It is so very meaningful for me to be able to share on TED.com the stories of some of those challenging fundamentalism in Muslim majority contexts, stories which have never been so relevant given events from Iraq to Nigeria since I gave my talk in Exeter at the end of March. I am deeply grateful to the TEDxExeter team, and everyone at TED.com for all their work on this and support.

It is not an easy job to turn a 342 page book (Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism) into an 18 minute talk. The guidance and encouragement provided to me by the wonderful volunteers at TEDxExeter over two months made a huge contribution.  I remember thinking in January – “why are they asking me to work on this now? The talk is in March.” But, I found that it really did take two months to shape the diverse stories into this format.

I will never forget the electric atmosphere at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter on the day when I was able to share all of this work with more than 460 people – people who really seemed to care. Recently, I was able to show the resulting video – which includes pictures of their own murdered family members – to survivors at the offices of Djazairouna, the Algerian Association of Victims of Islamist Terror from the 1990s.  It seemed to mean a lot to them to know that, thanks to the unique TED platform, people around the world may now share some of their sorrow, and may even do something about it. Maybe for once their voices will be heard. For that, I will be eternally grateful to all at TEDxExeter and especially to Claire Kennedy.

Please help share these stories – tweet, email, post, skywrite… To take action to support people like those in the video, kindly visit wluml.org or any of the other wonderful groups listed under my recommendations on TED.com

In gratitude and friendship, Karima

Karima has also written an article for the TED blog about “The untold stories of the heroes fighting fundamentalism”. You can watch Karima’s talk here. And don’t forget, the other TEDxExeter talks are available on this site and on the TEDx YouTube channel.

TEDxExeter 2015 – Taking the Long View

We are delighted to be able to announce that TEDxExeter will once again be happening in the Exeter Northcott Theatre on 24 April 2015, with the theme “Taking the Long View”.

It is a truism to say that our present has been shaped by our past, but some events and cultures have had a more lasting impact than others. For example*, 2015 will be the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, yet several clauses are still in effect, in particular the right to due legal process. 2015 will also see the 750th anniversary of the meeting of Simon de Montfort’s parliament, the first English parliament without royal authorisation. The 9th century Persia gave us algebra and algorithms. What did the Romans ever do for us? Quite a lot! Then, of course, the ancient Greeks invented democracy, and many doctors still swear the Hippocratic oath.

Many of these innovations were made to solve immediate problems, without any thought to future generations. By contrast, we have an example of taking the long view to the future in the builders of the dining hall at New College Oxford. Kirsty Schneeburger described in her TEDxExeter 2013 talk how they planted oak trees in order that there might be timber available to replace the ceiling hundreds of years later.

At TEDxExeter 2015 we aim to take the long view back into the past, and explore how it has shaped the world we now live in. We want to ask about what responsibilities the past places on us in the way we live now and how we innovate. We will also take the long view to the future. In the present time, we bemoan the short-termism of much political and economic decision-making, and if we are honest our personal decisions are rife with short-termism too. How can taking the long view into the future reveal and help us to understand the challenges that face us now, and shape the way we live and the decisions we make?

We very much look forward to seeing you there.

* Disclaimer: The examples given are no indication of what subjects our speakers might explore!