05 October 2014

Crowdfunding my way to TEDGlobal 2014

"You’ve got to be more than willing to accept generosity.
Often, you’ve got to go out and ask for it
Keith Ferrazzi

I first discovered that TEDGlobal 2014 would be hosted in Rio de Janeiro back in June 2013 and was very excited to see TED, long a teacher and source of thought-provoking ideas of mine, coming to Brazil.  I signed up for the reminder emails at the time and didn’t think too much more about it until I received an email in June 2014 inviting me to apply to participate.

The $6000 registration fee made me delay applying for many months, but I set periodic reminders that I snoozed numerous times yet never dismissed.  On 4 September 2014 after wrapping up a late night / early morning work session, I finally decided to submit my application at 1:58am and trusted that, if accepted, I would find some way to round up the required $6000...

It felt like somewhat of a longshot to get accepted, but I’m an (almost) always optimistic guy and, at the same time, I had a feeling that it was going to happen.  Admittedly, I was a bit shocked to get an email less than 12 hours later with the subject “TEDGlobal 2014: Application approval + next steps.”

My first reaction was a “YEAH!!!” followed shortly thereafter by “OH, $#!%...” as I remembered that this very exciting news also meant that I had to come up with $6000 in 48 hours to make this dream a reality.  It quickly became clear to me that crowdfunding was the way to make it happen.  I opened iMovie, filmed and edited a brief video pitch of why my participation was important, and then created my Luke Barbara TEDGlobal 2014 Crowdfunding Campaign on IndieGoGo.

I took to the social networks to spread the word and also reached out to many folks via email.  It was an intense and energizing 48 hours as so many people from different parts and times of my life, and even people I have yet to meet, so generously expressed how much they believe in me, the work that I'm doing, and the positive potential of me participating in TEDGlobal.  

110+ kind souls supported me by contributing financially (ranging from $5 to $500 per person), sharing via social media and email, and sending good vibes. I’m profoundly grateful to everyone who made my participation in TEDGlobal 2014 possible.  

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

A photo posted by Luke Barbara (@lukebarbara) on

I'm thankful to live in a time when it's possible to share a message around the world in an instant (social networks), raise money from large numbers of people for an initiative (crowdfunding), and share free talks from thought leaders around the world about ideas worth spreading for anyone to access online (TED). I'm inspired by the possibilities to harness technology - along with creativity, love, and compassion - to solve poverty, live in harmony with the environment, and unleash all people's potential.

Looking forward to this life-changing opportunity to connect with global thought leaders and share my ideas and the projects that I'm working on to bring opportunities and dignity to all people. Thank you kindly once again to everyone who made this dream come true!

You can stay tuned to the latest at TEDGlobal via the hashtag #TEDGlobal, follow me on Twitter @LukeBarbara, and here's a sneak peak of the venue on Copacabana Beach:

MUITO OBRIGADO! Gratidão _/\_


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