How a model of mentorship is helping TEDx grow throughout Iran

TED Blog

Speaker Reza Pakravan gives a talk about TK at TEDxTehran 2014, themed "On the Verge of Breakthrough." Photo: Ali Taheri Reza Pakravan talks about cycling at TEDxTehran 2014, themed “On the Verge of Breakthrough.” Photo: Ali Taheri

It’s not every day that you see a desert cyclist, a Tanbour virtuoso, a Persian literature professor and a health systems expert in the same room together. But at the second TEDxTehran, held in September, they all took the stage, sharing stories of their “breakthroughs.” In the audience, representatives from TEDx events in all corners of Iran — from the coastal city of Kish to the Gholhak neighborhood in Northern Tehran to the Northwest province of Qazvin — took notes on the ideas presented, while absorbing the ingredients of a memorable, inspirational and substantive TEDx event.

By next year, 12 TEDx events will have taken place in Iran. But when Sara Mohammadi first applied for a license in 2012, there had been none. In fact, Tehran was the only major urban city in the…

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