How TEDx is spreading through rural Colombia—thanks largely to one organizer

As if I didn’t love Ted talks already, they’re making their way to my favorite place #proud #colombian

TED Blog

TEDxGuatavita took place in rural Colombia and TK. Photo: Courtesy of Philipe Spath TEDxGuatavita took place in rural Colombia and focused on the “enormous hidden potential of projects germinating in the countryside.” Photo: Courtesy of Felipe Spath

If you were to map out all 10 TEDx events that Felipe Spath has organized, you’d have a constellation of waypoints zigzagging through Colombia’s countryside—passing farms, mountains, lakes, coffee fields and mines. The tireless Colombian native organized his first TEDx event in 2012 and has been going nonstop ever since, working to bring ideas from TEDx to small rural communities that, without him, may not have heard of TED.

Spath, an anthropologist, grew up in the country’s capital, Bogotá, and studied at the local university, Universidad de los Andes. After working in the restaurant business for several years, he decided to quit his job, leave the city and spend three years visiting rural areas in Asia. When he returned to Colombia, it was with a different mindset—he…

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