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TEDxAUBG and UniCredit Bulbank probed the Core of Inspiration


TEDxAUBG and UniCredit Bulbank probed the Core of Inspiration

A theoretical physicist from CERN whose job is to uncover the secrets of universe, a former president of the biggest students’ organization in the world AIESEC, and a volunteer from the NGO sector of India, an influential entrepreneur and a best-selling author, a modernist animation artist and others were among the nine Bulgarian and international speakers at the conference for innovative ideas TEDxAUBG 2014 in the American University in Blagoevgrad, organized with the partnership of UniCredit Bulbank. The participants dedicated their talks at TEDxAUBG to the Core of Inspiration and smashed the conventional wisdom on topics such as leadership, education, business and social problems.

The biggest Bulgarian bank, UniCredit Bulbank, for a second year in a row said “yes” to the innovative event and included it in its sponsorship programme “FOR education”. Education, entrepreneurship, culture and innovations are some of the main areas of focus in the “FOR” programme of UniCredit Bulbank for corporate and social responsibility.

TEDxAUBG 2014 opened with the talk of Georgi Kamov, according to whom the social change does not necessarily mean to change the world but rather to create a better quality of life for people. Later, the theoretic physicist Rob Knoops, a CERN researcher, challenged the audience with the questions whose answers he and his colleagues are searching for: where do we come from, what are we made of, where are we going. It is a curious fact that besides the cutting-edge technologies, Rob and his colleagues at CERN work mainly with a chalk and a blackboard to understand the universe with the language of logic and mathematics.

The guests of TEDxAUBG met with enthusiasm the talk of the history teacher at the American College in Sofia Philip Altman, according to whom it is essential how we teach in the 21st century, even if only for the fact that 83% of the professions of our students from 2023 have not yet been invented. He emphasized that technologies are important to education, but since Plato’s times knowledge itself has always been more important.

“It was a long time ago when the role of teachers was to teach us how to survive, now we have to learn how to win”, he said. Meanwhile, TEDxAUBG reminded us with a short film of the US astronomer Clifford Stoll from TED, that if we want to understand what the future holds, we have to pay a visit to today’s kindergartens. According to the next speaker Hugo Pereira, the most important thing in order for us to develop is to keep asking the right questions and to improve ourselves while looking for their answers. He further explained that each of us must be able to answer the questions: what is it that I have gone through that is worth sharing with others; what am I passionate for; what is the most exciting event in my life; when have I felt best and how can I have this feeling again. He underlined the importance of asking ourselves the right questions and to be surrounded by the right people.

“Who are the five people you spend most time with? Are they the right people for you?”, asked Hugo and to close the speech he invited us to keep asking questions, to step out of our comfort zone and to dare experience something different.

Marija Draskic, assistant professor at the Architecture College with the Belgrade University, showed how animation can be a powerful instrument to present our ideas. She herself has been granted numerous awards with her modernist comic strips. A powerful observation was shared by the Cambridge graduate and researcher of intercultural communication, Milena Milicevic. In her view, the only thing that has not changed significantly over the last 50 years is the education system and this is a problem which creates prejudice and obstacles. Studying must go out of the schools.

The author of the best-seller Will there be donuts? Start a business revolution one meeting at a time David Pearl continued Milena’s presentation with his idea that “the street is an invisible university which gives us access to tons of free knowledge”. David is a founder of the initiative called Street Wisdom.

“If we look at our diaries, they are full of meetings which give us the feeling that we are achieving something. One lady recently confessed that she almost fell asleep at an assessment meeting, moreover a one on one such that she had arranged and was leading. The numerous appointments in our diaries, however, keep us from seeing that we have less and less time to reflect, to ask ourselves questions, to wander around the streets of the town in search of an answer and to create something new and original”. He advised that we could use our time of travel to and back from work to look into the town and assured us that it could give us solutions even to the most complicated problems. We only have to break our daily routine.

Veneta Andonova, PhD, associate professor at AUBG, invited the Bulgarian people and also the media to be ambassadors of our own achievements because no one else has a reason to present us instead of ourselves. According to her there are many rankings for example such for social development in which Bulgaria stands at good positions and it is important to spread and get inspired by the good examples. She thinks that this positive approach is more productive than only focusing on the negative rankings and news in the media.

In his conclusion, the chairman of TEDxAUBG Roman Sorocan paid special attention to the link between the ideas of Veneta Andonova and the mission of UniCredit Bulbank. “Our main partner UniCredit Bulbank is here exactly because it wants to find and showcase the examples of positive influence, of valuable achievements. We will be glad to continue our cooperation in this area”, he said. In a round of applause and thumbs up after this speech, UniCredit Bulbank assured the young people of its support for the next TEDxAUBG event as well.

TEDxAUBG is one of the key events of the American University in Bulgaria. It is a one-day conference organized by a team of students who believe in the creation of a positive change by sharing ideas, innovations, active training and self-improvement. The TEDx format is an independent programme in the style of TED, a non-government organization which 26 years ago started organizing conferences first in California and already all over the world, dedicated to the most innovative ideas.

Although because of the TED requirements the number of people in the hall of the American University was limited to the permitted maximum number, the audience of TEDxAUBG grew more than tenfold in the social media through the Facebook page of the event, Facebook and Twitter of UniCredit Bulbank, of the friendly TEDxNBU and many other channels.

More information for clients:

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Phone: 0700 1 84 84

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UniCredit Bulbank, Identity & Communications Department

Viktoria Blajeva, Phone: + 359 2 9264 993, wjlj/ebwjepwbAvojdsfejuhspvq/ch

Ekaterina Ancheva, Phone: + 359 2 9264 963, flbufsjob/bodifwbAvojdsfejuhspvq/ch

Magdalena Ivanova, Phone: + 359 2 9232 528, nbhebmfob/jwbopwbAvojdsfejuhspvq/ch