TEDxSummit in Doha with @dbirdy: Day 3



Catch up with this series:
TEDxSummit day 1 - Boots on the ground in Doha!
TEDxSummit day 2 - Camels, horses and Sheik Faisal's private museum, oh my!

I finally met someone who has heard of Charlotte! Actually, two people. One, an ex-pat from Roanoke and one gal who used to live here.

There are 700+ people here across 90+ countries and, frankly, it's refreshing that nearly no one has preconceived notions about Charlotte. I love my city and I feel like it's a blank slate to work with.

Nonetheless, the people who have heard of Charlotte are all ex-patriots, so I'm not sure if they count in the "Charlotte is world class" hunt. It's not looking too good, y'all. I'm really beginning to believe that perhaps we should discontinue (until we can fix it ...) or at least reducing the frequency in which we refer to ourselves as "world-class."

Maybe we're nation class instead of world class. What do you think?

Anyway, on to the good stuff:

Day 3 was spent on a traditional Qatari dhow, which is their old-school fishing boat, where I had the opportunity to jump off the ship into the water! Sure, it was totally against the rules, but at the time they hadn't said we couldn't, so along with three others I totally dove into the Persian Gulf.

Really, I'll realistically never have the chance to do such a thing again, so why not. It was refreshing!You would not believe how beautiful it is overlooking Doha from the dhow.

As this special feature is about looking at TEDxSummit, the global gathering for TEDx organizers the world over, through the lens of a Charlottean, one theme that is beginning to emerge is how much we desperately need to do international outreach if we are going to legitimately call ourselves "world class." It seems, at least from my desk, that Charlotte has a tendency, apart from amazing initiatives such as Crossroads Charlotte, etc., that we generally wait for things to, oh, what's the word? Bubble up organically rather than make a concerted effort to actually do international outreach. Doha is making us look bad!

Tomorrow: TEDxSummit day 4 - Museum of Islamic Art, Reggie Watts, Shisha!

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