Rio Helmi checks it out, jots down a couple of notes and snaps a few pics:

TEDx Ubud celebrated their 7th and most highly attended edition (500 and a waiting list of 140) yesterday, Saturday the 5th of May in a brand spanking new venue in Mas, Ubud. The Nyana Tilem Museum has long been the dream of the family of the  late Ida Bagus Nyana and his son the late Ida Bagus Tilem. Barely finished, and not even properly inaugurated in a full blown Balinese melapas, the venue, under the inspired directorship of Ida Bagus Alit Suryadi, Nyana’s grandson,  was baptised by ever innovative and hardworking TEDx Ubud team led by co-founders Mila Shwaiko and Daniela Burr. Above: Ida Bagus Alit Suryadi welcomes the attendees. Below: First off, Korean drummer Kim Sora’s exhuberant and explosive performance set the pace.

Differing from the more intimate central staging of the last two venues TEDx Ubud has hosted, the stage and seating seemed a little more formal set in a long hall with the stage at the end. But in the end, with the help of sophisticated Antida tech team and their screens and cameras, it all worked out well.

Here are some of our favourites scenes (in no particular order) from the Seen/Unseen themed 7th Edition:

Above: the Pancer Langiit troupe slipping in (almost unseen) during the afternoon session. Below: Ian Stevenson, a rising star in the Balinese music world according to Indonesian music critic Rudolf Dethu, wows the crowd with his voice, range and original songs. 

Bridging the gaps in diversity: Daniel Connell told the story of how when he felt he had lost 18 years of his life, ordinary Indian families took him in and gave him a sense of family and belonging, and how he turned to art there. Soon his little project became far more serious and impactful in scale as he started working with migrants in his native Australia, and using exhibitions of his work to reconnect migrants with their families, and to sensitise people in their host countries to the situation of migrants. “Art is supposed to be different!”.

Meiske Wahyu, an Indonesian of Chinese descent, told how the fear and chaos of the violent anti chinese riots in the late 90s in Jakarta drove her to seek ways to bridge the gaps amongst the diverse Indonesian people. And how discovering how bonding was possible amongst different ethnic and religious groups, she started her exchange program Sabang-Merauke across Indonesia that has brought young people of the multifarious Indonesian archipelago together.

Above: Daniel Connell,Below: Meiske Wahyu.

Below: Angga D Marta, at 27 the youngest UN Youth Advisor, walked us through the dilemmas and difficulties facing the Indonesian millenials.

Below: Also fascinating was Dr Barney Bishop’s research into the healing properties of the peptides contained in Komodo Dragon blood . Who would have thought that one day the blood of these drooling carrion eaters will lead to break through cures?

On the lighter side of the event, there was great food and beverage (as usual) to be had during the breaks, and there were of course great performances as well.

Below: as always, plenty of scrumptious and new things to try during the breaks

Below: Prehistoric Soul’s multi-media performance centred around the whaling culture of Lembata

below: Pancer Langiit performance, though modern and innovative for Bali, still contained traces of traditional elements

Below: literally last, but not least, the Nona Ria trio ended the event on a light, humorous and very Indonesian note. Apparently some of their die hard fans tried to crash the party….

Congratulations to the hardworking core  team of TEDxUbud (Daniela Burr, Mila Shwaiko, Gika Savitri) and to their kickass support team of volunteers (too many to mention here!). Well done, again!!!

Above: Self-styled “bell ringer” Oriana made her debut as one of the hosts, and nailed it. Way to go Oriana! Below: The ever-effervescent co-founder Daniela Burr wraps it up.