After last year’s success in 2015, TEDxKish announced its second conference in May 4 to May 6, 2016 with the theme of Momentum. TEDxKish is the biggest TEDx conference in Iran. Nearly all the talks in the 2 day conference would be in English. TEDxKish would be an attractive conference for foreigners who want to attend a TEDx conference and get to know Iran.

Mission and Approach

If you know the phrase “Ideas worth spreading” then you are probably into TED talks and if you don’t, you are probably going to love it. With sanctions being lifted, Iran would want to be more connected to other countries in the world and TEDxKish is one of the best approaches to this. TEDxKish’s mission is to catalyze innovative ideas into action and their approach is to:

  • Promote Kish Island as a hub for innovation and spark new conversations, connections, and collaboration that continue into the future.
  • Reconnect a thousand years of Persian culture, civilization and innovative spirit with the rest of the world.
TEDxKish Prize

There is also a TEDxKish Prize. TEDxKish Prize seeks to recognize and reward ideas that would make a practical impact in a reasonable time frame.

TEDxKish Prize
TEDxKish Prize
Who is Eligible to Apply?

Individuals and organizations residing in Iran who have developed:

  • An early stage tech venture
  • A self-sustaining enterprise that addresses social problems
  • An innovative idea with an implementation plan designed for Youth
What Are the Selection Criteria?

Winning projects should address one or more of the following criteria:

  • Innovative: An idea with a novel approach to address a problem
  • Collaborative: A project that engages and enlists others
  • Social Impact: A solution with a positive and measurable impact
Last But Not Least, What is the Prize?

Winners will benefit from one or more of the following and most importantly will get the exposure they need to help further their projects.

  • Scholarship to attend TEDxKish
  • In-kind services
  • Participate in an accelerator program


Highlight of Last Year’s Event

For reconnecting thousands of years of Iranian arts, culture, civilization and innovation with the rest of the world, TEDxKish defined its mission to:

  • A conference to inspire new ideas and to energize and connect all Iranians.
  • Reconnect Iranians living outside of Iran with those inside the country.
  • Create a platform for new conversations between Iranians and global influencers.
  • Celebrate and share Iranian art, culture and innovation globally

In the last year’s conference, TEDxKish leveraged a team of more than 30 dedicated volunteers for 12 months and close to 100 volunteers during the event. It’s interesting to know that the conference for last year’s event had the support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, top 10 universities in Iran, Kish free trade zone organization, and all other public authorities which were needed. Not to mention that many other companies in Iran went on to support and sponsor the conference.


You might be wondering about the demographics of TEDxKish 2015 conference. As you can see in the infographic below, more than 800 people attended TEDxKish conference last year from all over Iran. It’s interesting to know that TEDxKish had 120 guests from outside if Iran. Most of the population is under 35 so it’s no surprise that most of the attendees belonged to 25 to 35. The young generation of Iran is highly educated and as we can see in TEDxKish demographics, 45% of them have a graduate degree.

Demographics: TEDxKish
Demographics: TEDxKish 2015
Other Statistics

Let’s get into some of the other statistics from TEDxKish:

  • 810 attendees from all over the country including more than 120 attendees from overseas
  • Complementary registration offered to 250 students, researchers and young entrepreneurs from Iran
  • 5 pre and post conference workshops: Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Art & Culture
  • 25 talks from all over the world
  • More than 150,000 views as of July 23, 2015.
  • 9 teams of young entrepreneurs from Iran with innovative projects were selected as winners of the TEDxKish Prize 2015

With over 800 attendees, with a high survey response rate of 47%, 8 out 10 expressed that they would attend next year’s conference in 2016.

You can watch one of the TEDxKish talks by Kaveh Madani below:

About TED

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

About TEDx

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” It supports independent organizers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community.