Ted X Marrakesh 2016: An Inspirational, Thought-Provoking Day.

This weekend, Es Saadi Palace held the 5th Annual Ted X Marrakesh event. Organised by a team of four; Andrea Bury, Patrick Benjaminsson, Per Sjödell and Abdelhamid Bousaadi – attendees received a full-packed day of intellectual and inspiring speeches by a variety of people from all over the world.


The theme of this year’s event was co-existence or no-existence. A fitting question whilst we are in the midst of war, economic crisis and environmental downfall. The conclusion of the theme, as made by all of the speakers, was that co-existence is – and will always be – paramount to the survival and development of the human race and our beautiful planet.

We heard talks from all spectrums of careers, experiences and interests. Each speaker focused on showing how their certain job or interest strives for co-existence – be it physically, mentally, artistically or figuratively.

We heard from a political consultant, a sustainable investment advisor, a chef, a famous singer-songwriter and authors. Each of them expressed their ideas in unique ways. One speaker in particular; Maryam Montague, Author of Marrakesh By Design and Humanitarian, prepared a film that spliced footage together from Hollywood films and real news reports of the modern day. This visual representation moved everyone as it became clear that what we see in the movies are things that are happening now, within societies, across the world – none of it is merely fiction.

Reactions like the audience had in the room after Montague’s talk, and after all the speakers’ talks – where ones of change and purpose; of realisation. And that is exactly what Ted X Marrakesh aim to do.

Taking a look at the organisation of the day, everything was executed extremely well. If anyone knows TED talks, one of the rules is that your presentation cannot exceed 18-minutes, so to combat any possible delay, the team trained their speakers to finish up in 15 minutes! This ensured the day stayed to schedule and was lively. Apart from the usual coffee breaks, the organisers also broke up the speeches with great dance and music performances; all in keeping with the theme of course.


This year, Ted X Marrakesh also brought some new ideas to the table; it was the first time there were two speakers on stage at once; (husband and wife Meryanne-Loum Martin and Gary Martin), and it was the first time there was a live music performance (Faty S Project). Small touches like this kept the event interesting and engaging, even with the post-lunch-slump.

From the “registration” breakfast at the reception, a wonderful lunch spread, right through to delicious cupcakes at tea-time, made by Marrakech’s very own Amandine, attendees were made to feel extraordinarily welcome on Es Saadi’s grounds and we most certainly felt like we got our money’s worth.


One of the speakers, Vanessa Branson, president and founder of the Marrakech Biennale said something very interesting: “A country with a rich historic culture attracts a visitor once. A country with a rich contemporary culture, invites a visitor to come back again and again.” This is what Ted X Marrakesh is all about – contributing towards the contemporary culture of the Red City; making us all think and question; making us all express ourselves as individuals and share those experiences with others when we do. Ted X this weekend, wasn’t about sitting and listening to a bunch of speakers, waiting for the buffet lunch; it was about spreading ideas. And powerful ones at that.

With that in mind, it’s great news that the wonderful team have planned the next Ted X Marrakesh. The Es Saadi Palace will once again open their arms to the inspiring event on October 7th 2017, for which you will be able to buy tickets on their website – and judging by the enormous turn-out of this year’s event, you better hurry!ted-x-marrakesh-2016-the-venue-es-saadi-on-marrakechconfidential-com

It’s with this that we say a great thank you to the organisers and everyone involved in Ted X Marrakesh for a motivating and energising day.

One thing is for sure, with the innovation of this year’s event, Marrakech Confidential can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves next year!

To see the interviews with the speakers and the organisers of Ted X Marrakech 2016, check out the “Interviews” category of our site.



Half Turkish-Half English, born and raised in London, Nadine has been living in Marrakech since 2014. An entrepreneur at heart, and a love for the Red City like no other.


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