Red Cross Red Crescent organizes worldwide TEDx event

25 November 2011

Geneva (ICRC/IFRC) - "Multiplying the power of humanity" is the theme of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's first-ever TEDx event, called TEDxRC², which will take place in Geneva and across the globe, via webcast, on 27 November.

The event will last for two hours and focus on innovative and thought-provoking ideas for tackling the world's toughest humanitarian challenges. "RC²" in the event's name stands for "Red Cross × Red Crescent".

TEDxRC² will feature seven speakers, including Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, renowned editorial cartoonist Patrick Chappatte, the intrepid Somali humanitarian Edna Adan Ismail, and a musical performance by Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita.

"Each speaker will offer a unique perspective on how to address some very real problems, such as overcoming the physical and social barriers that the disabled face in war-torn countries," said Charlotte Lindsey Curtet, the director of communications and information management at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"They will also touch on some incredible new opportunities, like the ways in which mobile technology is changing how aid agencies interact with disaster-affected communities," she added.

Around 500 invitees are expected to attend the event at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva. It will be simultaneously webcast in Arabic, English, French and Spanish so that people around the world can share in the TEDxRC² experience. TEDx events are independently organized under license from TED, the nonprofit organization behind the well-known TEDTalks online lectures.

"At TED, we nurture the power of great ideas and good thinking to peacefully change the world for the better, through creativity, innovation and commitment," said TED's European director, Bruno Giussani, who has been invited to host the event.

"The Red Cross and Red Crescent is also about improving people's lives and making a difference at a local level and on a global scale, so it seemed like a natural fit for them to initiate their own TEDx event. It also made sense to do it in Geneva, which is arguably the world's humanitarian capital," he added.

The event is independently financed through in-cash and in-kind donations from several Swiss and international sponsors and partners: Nestlé and its Creating Shared Values programme, the Mövenpick Hotel and Casino Geneva, Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), the private bank Lombard Odier, Reportage by Getty Images, the Republic and Canton of Geneva,, Livestream, the Clos de Céligny winery and Laiteries Réunies Genève (LRG).

"Our sponsors recognize that such an event represents an excellent opportunity to reach new audiences and spark a global conversation about issues that matter. Without them, we never could have made it happen," said Pierre Kremer, head of communications for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The audience will include Swiss and international political leaders, ambassadors, scientists, heads of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, representatives of international organizations, students, volunteers, entrepreneurs and executives, journalists and bloggers, artists, participants in the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and other individuals from at least 40 countries.

"This is an ambitious undertaking and an innovative approach to sharing ideas and information for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement," said Mr Kremer. "We also hope that it will demonstrate that our Movement is much more than the sum of its individual parts and that, together, we are indeed multiplying the power of humanity."

The full list of speakers and more information about TEDxRC² can be found at:

Learn more about our sponsors:

The webcast can be viewed live from 16:00 to 18:00 (European Standard Time) on 27 November at:

Follow TEDxRC² on Twitter:

For more information or to line up an interview please contact:

Anna Nelson at the ICRC, tel: +41 79 217 3264 or

Jason Smith at the IFRC, tel: +41 79 249 3380 or

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED's media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit

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