Tag Archives: Ibrahim Warsame

There are no strangers: Why TEDActive is about the people

By Ibrahim Mursal Warsame

It’s Thursday evening and I am in line for the gondola lift to the “Top of Whistler Mountain” party …

I am already on the verge of passing out from a combination of low blood sugar, cold weather and fatigue. Standing on the side, waiting for my turn to join a cabin, a woman asks me if am willing to ride with them. I say yes and run inside the gondola to sit down. I surely don’t want to be remembered as the ‘guy who passed out before the party.’

The 25-minute-long ride starts, and the three people with me sense I am not feeling ok. The woman asks me if am sick. When I say yes, they immediately stand up. Clearly alarmed, she takes out two blankets given to the whole group, wraps me in them and starts asking me questions. The two men join her and sit next to me to warm me up.

My biggest fear is about to be realized, ruining someone’s evening …

I try to play it cool and tell them it’s ok and that I am fine. One of them looks me in the eyes and says the following sentence that I will always remember:

“Listen, we’re going to take care of you. Whether you like it or not”

And that’s what they do for the next 20 minutes. They take care of a complete stranger whose name they don’t even know.

We reach the party, and I am still not feeling physically well , although I am on an emotional high from gratitude. I enter the place and what happens next is something I’ll never forget …

Everyone I come across starts to take action to make me feel better, from bringing me food, giving me their jackets, to making sure I am talking and laughing to stay alert. And 30 minutes later I am in the best physical and mental shape possible.

Now the reason I just made you read this long story is to tell you this:

TEDActive is many great things, but the greatest thing about it is simply: the people.

No words can describe the atmosphere created by the world’s brightest souls brought together to listen to it’s brightest minds.

To me, TEDActive is that kind of conference (the only one ?!) where you – on a normal Tuesday, for example – can casually play a game of pool with a NASA manager who offers you help with a cube Satellite project you’re interested in back home.

Then, you meet Stefan Sagmeister who offers you an internship in his firm after a quick chat that starts with: “I have the same shirt you are wearing!”

TEDActive is that kind of conference, where a group of complete strangers gather in a room at 1 AM for a spontaneous TEDxSalon, sharing intimate stories of personal and professional struggle to make the world a better place.

It’s the kind of conference where you constantly wonder late at night, how that great soul that you just shared a heart-to-heart conversation followed by a 10-second hug with, was a complete stranger two hours ago!

It’s the kind of conference where you see human potential in full effect.

Where Arab and Israeli attendees spontaneously take selfies together after a lip-sync battle late at night.

Where conservatives learn how to dance from an openly gay man and share intimate hugs afterwards, agreeing to keep their differences to themselves and focus on mutual respect.

To me, TEDActive is the people. It’s Will, Mark, Michelle, Sabeen, Asghar, Douglas, John Bates, Ally, Ashfin, Sami, Mazin, Mohamed, Javier, Ash, Ibrahim, Kara, Grace, Tim, Ruta, Panagiotis, Sheryl, Amir, A.J.Jacobs … and so many more.

TEDActive is not ‘what’ … it’s ‘who.’

The Newbie Report with Ibrahim Mursal Warsame

By  Ibrahim Mursal Warsame

My name is Ibrahim and I am a Newbie (Hi Ibrahim!). Well, actually I’m a fresh veteran, now. And since I am a fresh veteran, I thought it would be good to share the experience through the eyes of a newly (former) n00b.

Here are five things for you dear future newbie (and veteran) to look forward to and be aware of :

1. It’s EPIC
Yea , I know … DUH! … But seriously, no matter how much you read in advance and try your best to guess or anticipate. The night of your first day will arrive and you’ll be in awe of what’ve just happened. It’s not an event, it’s an experience! (Not a cliche!)

2. Everyone is nice
Like seriously and overly nice! It’s amazing what and where a simple “Hi, how are you?” can take you. Take it as a universal rule: A person with a TED badge is (at least ) an amazing conversation waiting to happen. Probably beyond just a conversation in almost all cases. Yes, some of us are shy (very shy?) but believe me. All you have to do is just utter that “how are you” line or any other line — just say anything and wait for the magic to happen!

3. The level of organization is amazing.
I now understand why it’s a requirement to attend a TED event in order to upgrade the level of your local TEDx event. Once you get a taste of TED, it’s impossible for you to think mediocre for your local TEDx event.The amount of attention to details from the TED staff is just mind blowing!

4. Get rest to prepare for jet lag:
This is an advice I’ve read and heard before, still! If you’re crossing more than three time zones, be prepared for a rough first night. Good news is, it’ll pass.

5. “You set the tone.”
This is actually an answer from the amazing host Rives in response to my question about the best tip to being an amazing host like Rives. I find it true not for just the hosting part, but for the whole week.

You, my friend, set the tone and pace of your week here, so please make the best of it . Stop looking awkwardly at your phone when you feel alone. Strike that conversation you are dying to make with that interesting (hot?!) person next to you.

Say yes and let it take you places (unless that place is jail, in that case say ‘maybe’!!) Just “be present” as awesome Aaron Tango says. It’s one week, allow it to positively affect you. Set the tone.

Throughout the week, we’ll be featuring content from the our contributing writers. Stay tuned for more on-the-ground coverage!