In an area famous for festivals, TEDxCannes manages to stand out — with its dedication to Côte d’Azur ideas worth spreading.
For three years, the team behind the event has worked to make it special; this year is no different. For their April event at the Palais des Festivals — the home of the Cannes Film Festival — they explored the theme: “Transitions, inventing our future. Choice or constraint?”
To start off the event, the team hosted a morning of (seaside) exercise designed to prep attendees for a day of talks in the theater. Team member and yoga teacher Emmanuelle Mothe led the group through stretches on the beach by the Palais des Festivals.
“We believe that being on the beach, seeing the blue horizon and preparing yourself physically for the conference that takes place in the afternoon, brings a lot to people,” says organizer Norbert Barré.
Once inside the theater, attendees were treated to the work of the students at The Sustainable Design School of the Université Côte d’Azur — who created the TEDxCannes stage in a design contest at the school. At the beginning of the school year, TEDxCannes organizer Barré met with the students to brief them what he and the team needed, and later — teams of students pitched proposals to a jury of professors and TEDxCannes team members — who then selected the winning (sustainable) design.
“The TEDxCannes team members met and analyzed the proposals; we gave grades very seriously according to precise criteria — does it fit the theme; does it create impact on the public; could we re-use the components; how much would it cost; etc,” Barré says. “Then, all students had to work together on the project that had been chosen.
“The students not only design the stage, but they also produce the elements locally at a FabLab, and take care of the installation of the stage at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.”
“The result was really amazing this year,” Barré says.
But the stage wasn’t the only treat at this year’s event — the team also recruited a local pastry chef, Bruno Laffargue of Mic Mac Macaron, to make special TEDxCannes macarons for the coffee a break, a perfect symbol for the Côte d’Azur, says Barré.