Anyone who has ever watched a TED talk knows how great the experience can be. Which is why I was looking forward to attending the opening night of the TEDx Summit in Doha, Qatar, the first TED event to be held in the Middle East — according to Bruno Giussani, TED's European director.
And it certainly was a varied presentation, the 10 speakers ranging from Indian artist Raghava KK to Iranian-American comic Maz Jobrani to rare-book scholar William Noel to Jordanian singer Zain Awad. The setting was spectacular, in the outdoor Katara Amphitheater on a cool mid-April night. And the presentation speech given by Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thanis was particularly inspiring.
But … and there's always a but, right? … the program started a half-hour late, there were a few technical glitches, one of the summit organizers stopped his speech mid-delivery for what seemed like a minute (but was maybe 15 seconds) to consult his notes and a few of the speeches just didn't match up with the overall quality of the best TED talks.
Most of all, though, was the attitude that TED was not just something good but was the greatest thing ever to grace the history of the Earth. I mean, TED is definitely something cool. But I don't need to be told that over and over. And over. Again.
Which is one reason why I left early. That and the jet-lag that travel across 10 time zones will cause.