On 21 June 2014 the fifth TEDxPrague, the Czech Republic’s version of the popular and global TED (Technology/Entertainment/Design) conference, took place at the city’s historic Hybernia Theatre. Around eight hundred people attended the event to listen to inspirational talks from speakers that included Marian Jelinek, the trainer and personal coach behind Czech ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr, scientist and philosopher Ivan Havel and artist Vendula Chalánková
The TED and TEDx conference take place around the world and feature the best contemporary thinkers, innovators and artists who, alongside millions of attendants, share ‘ideas worth spreading’. Past conferences have feature notable speakers including physicist Steven Hawking, co-founder of Apple Steve Jobs and WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. TEDxPrague’s return to the city for fifth time demonstrates the Czech Republic’s reputation as an innovative and forward-thinking nation
The theme of TEDxPrague this year was ‘Under the Hood’ and focused on the aspects of hectic modern life that often go unseen. "The world is like an iceberg. We see only a small part of it, just the peak. We take many things for granted, do not examine how they really work, and do not ask why. I just do not have the time or capacity,” explains Matej Novak, the programme leader of TEDxPrague.
Hockey coach Marian Jelinek held a talk on how the best performances happen without financial motivation, artist and producer Vendula Chalánková presented a series of works inspired by stories from her everyday life, and film makeup artist Jana Khalifa offered a very personal account of enduring domestic violence.
Other speakers at the TEDxPrague 2014 included the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, microbiologist Milan Gryndler, director and screenwriter Andrea Sedláčková and dancer and choreographer Miřenka Čechová – to name but a few.
Past TEDxPrague conferences have featured talks from high-profile speakers like Egyptologist Miroslav Barta, education innovator Ondřej Šteffl and businesswoman Francis Hana Garlíková.
Since the first TEDxPrague was held in 2009, the conference has become a popular and widespread phenomenon in the Czech Republic and its neighbouring countries. A TEDx conference will take place in Brno next week and in two weeks another will take place in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava.
Further information about TEDxPrague, alongside videos of past conferences, can be found at www.tedxprague.cz.