Diary of a TEDx Talks Screener: A standout event in Norway … with GIFs

Pål Brekke @ TEDxArendal (Photo: Knut Helge Stenseth)

Pål Brekke at TEDxArendal (Photo: Knut Helge Stenseth)

  • Ama Y Adi-Dako is one of TEDx’s resident Talk Screeners, a talented group of folks who screen TEDx Talks at TED’s HQ in New York. In this diary entry, she shares her take on a recent event that really blew her away — TEDxArendal in Arendal, Norway:

In my five months as a TEDx Screener, I have watched over 200 TEDx events from around the world. I am always impressed by the ideas and innovations that come out of them. Very rarely though, am I as moved as I was two weeks ago, when I stumbled across TEDxArendal. It has henceforth set a standard for production quality, stage design and diversity of topics and ideas in a TEDx event  for me. This post is a salute to my favorite event to date, TEDxArendal.

TEDxArendal volunteers' kick-off event (Photo: Birgit Fostervold)

TEDxArendal volunteers’ kick-off event (Photo: Birgit Fostervold)

Their stage design was simple and elegant with a hint of whimsy:

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Talk to the heart because the brain is not listening | Jonas Brenna

They nailed lighting and camera angles …

From: How you buy the future everyday | Kaj Török | TEDxArendal
How you buy the future everyday | Kaj Török

… and audience-speaker reaction shots …

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How to live a rich life after a trauma? | Anne Grethe Solberg

… and included amazing onstage demonstrations:

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A Frozen magical journey from the Norwegian mountains | Sissel Morken Gullord

Below, my top three favorite talks from the event — selected from a group that included insights from a political activist, a virtual reality developer, a Northern Lights hunter and more:


A Frozen magical journey from the Norwegian mountains | Sissel Morken Gullord

In this magical talk, Sissel Morken Gullord demos various Norwegian folk instruments and explains how she became a part of Disney’s Frozen original soundtrack.


Why being in activity is better than inactivity | Jan Arild Svello

“Instead of thinking about having fun as a hidden benefit of working out, why don’t we think of working out a hidden benefit of having fun?” Jan Arild Svello demos his virtual reality bicycle that uses animation and hydraulics to simulate an extreme mountain biking experience.

Will aid and education give development or increase corruption? | Tone Ellefsrud

As a Ghanaian and proud member of the African diaspora, I often find talks about missions to Africa condescending and misrepresenting events and/or people as they are. Though the majority of this talk is about the suffering in Rwanda, Tone Ellefsrud manages to capture the mass devastation of civil war and corruption while keeping the dignity of the people, and the country’s opportunity for growth intact.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you! As part of the crew who organized the eventuelt this makes me proud!

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