My congratulations to the U.S. Ambassador in Stockholm, Matthew Barzun, and his crew for organising a great TEDx event at the embassy yesterday. A very fine example for others in diplomacy and the public sector to follow!

There were around 40 attendees, people from the Stockholm chamber of commerce, media, students, embassy staff etc, a good mix.

I liked the program, with great talks (we Swedes have a LOT to learn about public speaking from the Americans), awesome TED Talks and music. An American musician, Ben Sollee, (stranded in Stockholm due to the Icelandic volcano), gave us an unforgettable music piece, singing and playing his cello in a way that I have never experienced before.

The Ambassador, Matthew Barzun gave a talk about his work with the Obama grassroot campaign, with wonderful pictures “From a candidate in a corn field in Iowa to the presidential inauguration in Washington in front of 2 million people”.

Cameras were not allowed in the embassy, so I have no pictures from the event, but here are the TED Talks that we enjoyed:

UPDATED: Here are pictures on Flickr, taken by the embassy staff

Adora Svitak, 8 minutes: What adults can learn from kids

Child prodigy Adora Svitak, age 12, says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism.

This is an amazing talk from a 12-year old, with important messages!

Hans Rosling, 20 minutes: Let my dataset change your mindset

Talking at the US State Department this summer, Hans Rosling uses his fascinating data-bubble software to burst myths about the developing world. Look for new analysis on China and the post-bailout world, mixed with classic data shows.
Hans, as usual, gives an extremely insightful and uplifting talk, all politicians and citizens should watch this!

The TED@State event in Washington DC reportedly had over 800 attendees!

Read more about it at the Whitehouse blog “Open Government Initiative: “Hands down it is the best event that I’ve attended in all of the years that I’ve been at State” and on the TED blog: TED goes to Washington

I think this is wonderful and hope that we can have TEDx events here in Sweden too. During the embassy event I talked to a guy from the City Hall who expressed interest in arranging an event at the Stockholm City Hall, that would be great!

And what about our own State Department, Regeringskansliet, surely they would benefit from organising a TEDx event too?
I will try to plant a seed there too…

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Henrik Ahlén

I am an eHealth Strategist in Stockholm, Sweden I drive eHealth development projects from needs analysis and idea generation to service design and implementation. See my LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mrhenrikahlen

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