Put Up Your Flag

Drive around Western Cape

Two weeks in Cape Town and I am totally blown away by the place. So blown that I wish I have all of my friends and friends of friends to be here to be able to share the joy, the beauty, the magnificence, as much as the warmth and hospitality of the people. Every new turn on the road is the visual blast, every new encounter is a heart-warmer, every bite of food is a treat. Besides, coming back to the English-speaking environment is a relief, the pain is driving on the «wrong» side of the road, yet the driving is nice by itself, «I like».


However the travel plans have been distorted from the original idea of traveling the African continent. Firstly, because of the Ebola threat: airlines have already closed some virus affected areas. Secondly, the visa struggle with the Indian consulate: it took them 2 weeks just to accept the passport and still I am not sure if it is being processed. I only hope the gods of travel are willing, but if they are not, then I am to go with the flow and change directions to explore those African countries which are still open for travels. Thirdly, simply I got homesick: I remember it happened on the 3rd month of the travels, now on the 6th month — is the second «rush». But because I am staying with such a wonderful family, and I’m blessed to meet great people along the way, I feel truly cared for, thank you.

TEDxCapeTown 2014
TEDxCapeTown 2014

One of the highlights of my stay in CT was attending the TEDxCapeTown event. It was one of the firsts «other» than «mine» TEDxes elsewhere and should I tell you that I was impressed and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The City Hall gathered 700 people who have passed through the selection process and paid the attendance. From the organizational point of view everything was impeccable: the communication before the event — great welcoming emails with detailed and cheerful instructions, the apps, the everything; the smooth registration; the stage, sound, video; the coffee breaks, the food, the vegans; and… what is most importantly — the speakers. 16 speakers. All obviously very well coached and prepared. All obviously passionate and to the point. 16 ideas appealing, striking, often very emotional, often fun. As soon as the team will publish the videos I will make sure to share the ones I loved most.


What is important today is the «x»-gene people I find around the Globe. Yes, even though I have kinda invented the term which for me stands for the «unknown» gene which unites the change-makers and curious minds, but mostly it could be rooted from the «X» in the TEDx — people who do the TEDx-es. What drives them? What motivates? The opportunity and the zeal to facilitate positive change in their communities, to spiral new ideas, to pivot new conversation topics, to create the space and the platform where the like-minded but diverse people can meet and collaborate, where the new ideas can come from. To witness the magic of the birth of the new universes. The sense of belonging to the community which is simply good and willing.

That community brings in another reality of living in creation. The reality of possibilities. The reality of empowerment and support. The reality of the feeling that your aspirations are credible and shared. It’s almost a synonym for the «hope» that «yes, you can» and a call for action as «yes, you should». That sentiment is particularly credible for the societies which are in the so-called «developing», «2-3rd world» areas, I reckon.

No matter what platform unites people, be that TEDx or any other, it simply means one thing for me — the importance of finding «your tribe». And the more specific you get about your own idea of what drives you and motivates your positive intentions, the more specific the tribe you’re looking for will be. Or perhaps, there is no yet such a ‘tribe» in the world yet, so go, create your own. Stand up with the POLE flag — declaring your idea and there always be people who will relate and will join. That’s pretty much how we’ve started the TEDxAlmaty in the «middle of nowhere» with 5 friends, and now there are hundreds or maybe thousands who joined.

My point is simple — Put Up Your Own Flag: your own idea, your own concern, your own fear, your own project, your own craziness, your own loneliness, your own awesomeness, your own unique selfness. It can be as simple as giving a cake away http://www.girlwithcake.co.za or as complex as transcending the world into the singularity http://singularityu.org

And don’t forget that TEDxAlmaty is happening on September 14th, and you still have a chance to get there. Registration is open! Get your Flag Ready.