At TEDxOPorto, postcards from strangers across the globe

Attendees find postcards from strangers beneath their seats (Photo: TEDxOporto)

Attendees find postcards from strangers beneath their seats (Photo: TEDxOPorto)

Last March, TEDxOPorto took on a novel way to connect their community — through the notes of strangers. Organizer Norberto Amaral was inspired by Postcrossing, a project that aims to liven up people’s physical mailboxes with postcards from around the globe.

“After much convincing, we finally were able to get [Postcrossing] to come to TEDxOPorto’s latest edition,” says Amaral. Co-founder Ana Campos gave a talk inspired by “one simple question,” Amaral says: “When was the last time that you felt magic in your mailbox?” In an age when physical mail often feels more like a hassle than a treat, he says, Campos and her team are dedicated to making checking the mailbox fun.

To revive the tradition of hand-written mail and revive physical mailboxes of the world, Postcrossing connects half a million users with one another, assigning random addresses to users with the simple instruction of send a postcard.

To demonstrate the effects of Postcrossing’s work, Campos worked with the Postcrossing community to prepare postcards for every member of the TEDxOPorto audience from all corners of the globe. The reaction was incredible, says Amaral: “You should have seen their faces! I still get goosebumps from that moment!

For more, watch Campos’s whole talk below:

1 Comment

  1. Before there was Postcrossing and before there was Postsecret there was postcards from strangers. I was aghast when my wife pointed out your ted talk to me. I have been leaving postcards for people to find and return to me since October of 2003.

    I have proof. go to my website, which I knowledge needs updating, and you will see the very first cards that i left for someone to find.

    I am disappointed in the fact that you never mentioned my idea, the original postcard idea, even in passing.

    Good luck with your life and do better research next time.


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