It’s 8am on a sunny and warm Saturday morning. Students from ALU’s Mauritius campus, African Leadership College (ALC) are moving briskly around the Rabindrath Tagore Institute in Pamplemousses, setting up registration desks, projectors and sound equipment – their goal, to ensure that everything is in place for TEDxALC. On 21 May, 2016, ALC students organised the first ever TEDxALC to create a space for the exchange of “ideas worth spreading.” The theme for the day was “breaking average thinking.”
Like other TEDx events that are organised in the spirit of TED conferences, TEDxALC was dedicated to the sharing of stories and ideas that will inspire the audience and also spark conversation.
The opening speaker, ALU’s Head of College, Khurram Masood touched on “living a life of meaning and not just success” as he looked back at his career and the challenges he faced into when he decided to leave his job as a associate with McKinsey to join ALU. “Passions are truly personal and you can only find them by looking inside and not from external advice,” he said. His talk set the tone for the other inspiring and provocative talks that shared lessons, predictions and cautions for the future, leadership lessons and more throughout the programme. Other speakers included the president of Mauritius, Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, self-proclaimed geek and Founder and CEO of Knowledge Seven, Avinash Meetoo and ALU Founder Fred Swaniker.
Also on the bill were musical performances by the Mauritian trio, The Clarisse Sisters, an original musical piece composed by ALU students, a spoken word piece written and performed by two ALU students – Nini-Rose Moru and Mpumalanga Zwane and dancing.
At ALC, we often say the next business idea may come up during a conversation over dinner or on the bus from the student residence to the academic campus and that is how TEDxALC came to be. Ukeme Jonah, a student from Nigeria woke up one morning, looked at his roommate, Isaac Agyemang from Ghana and said “someone needs to organise a TEDxALC.” Agyemang was in and they began to do their research and get the right permissions. They worked over a course of five months with classmates Thakane Selebalo from Lesotho, Sisekelo Dlamini from Lesotho and Hossameldeen Abdelfatah from Egypt as well as about 20 volunteers.
The event left participants feeling proud and hopeful. Staff, faculty and students were proud of the organisers and volunteers who run a seamless conference with little to no help from school “officials.” Attendees were proud and hopeful for the continent as they listened to the talented people who are leading and will lead the continent. See below for a list of speakers and topics. Click here to see some of the most memorable quotes from TEDxALC 2016.
TEDxALC 2016 Line-Up
- Khurram Masood, Head of College, ALU – “Living a life of meaning and not just success”
- Mrs Anneloes Smitsman, Founder & CEO, EARTHwise Centre – “Our world in crises, how love can provide a solution”
- Avinash Meetoo, Founder & CEO, Knowledge Seven – “Jobs of the future and how we can prepare for them”
- Her Excellency Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius – “Why great leaders fail”
- Professor Roshni Mooneeram, Global Consultant of the University of Nottingham – “Real feminism from bra burning to bridge building”
- Lisl Foss, Principal Psychologist, ALU – “Relocation – the woes, the grows and glows”
- Alex Mativo, Student, ALU – “Why the world should embrace design thinking”
- Fred Swaniker, Founder, ALU – “4 lessons learned about what it takes to be an entrepreneur”