TED Talks are famous. Watch my TED TALK Presentation about manifesting your dreams.
How to present in TED Talk style? Several books have been written about writing ánd presenting in TED Talks style. It is a wonderful format, that I used earlier, when I gave a TED TALK Presentation called: How a smile can change your life.
As the founder of Young SIETAR (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) I gave this TED Talk Presentation during the 25th Anniversary of Young SETAR at the congress in Luxembourg. Here you can see the video of this TED Talk.
Dreambuilding: How to birth your dream into existence step by step.
Who of you remembers the first time that you fell in love? Who of you remembers the first time that you had a great idea, a dream that you wanted to bring into the world? Who of you remember the first step that you took towards this dream?
Go with me on a journey how to build dreams by taking first steps, by birthing and rebirthing, by serving a purpose. Young SIETAR was built on first steps. To go with me on this journey I need your help. When I say: ‘”one, two three, Step!” please step with 1 foot on the ground. Let’s do it to exercise: one, two three Step!
As founder of Young Sietar I have seen Young Sietar develop in waves in the past 29 years. Living and dying and rebirthing. And it was always a first step that Young Sietar awakened to life.
Imagine Italy, Milano, in 1993, where I was doing research for my thesis about how Dutch managers were doing Intercultural business in Italy. Imagine you meet somebody that serves you as a mentor. In my case it was a business woman called Ruth. She took me with her to an evening lecture organized by Sietar Italy. It was the first time that I visited a Sietar event.
I was already passionate about meeting professionals in the intercultural field and looked around to see these professionals, trying to find likeminded people of my age, people around mid-twenties. And I saw no one. I asked Ruth, and she said there were rarely young professionals in any Sietar meeting she had ever been, not in Italy, not in Europe, nowhere.
It starts with longing
It was that evening that the inspiration hit me. Have you ever felt a longing, to feel at home with likeminded people, with other interculturalist, to have a place to go where you could share experiences that you mutually understand because you know what it is to live and work with several cultures and even experience a multiple cultures from within?
My ancestors are Chinese, my parents were born and raised as Chinese in Indonesia. Their first job was in Germany, were they worked at an Indonesian ambassy. After that they emigrated to the Netherlands. So I was born in Germany as a Chinese girl with an Indonesian passport, and was raised in the Netherlands. I was living in a mix of all these cultures.
With this longing and dream that was lit in Italy, I went back home to the Netherlands. Ready for the next step? One, two three Step! I told people about it the idea, got feedback from friends. It finally led to writing a plan about building Young Sietar. and finally presented it to the president of Sietar Europa. She thought it was a good idea, promised to forward it to the board members and put it on the agenda of the general assembly of Sietar Europa.
Presenting the policy plan
A few weeks before that Sietar Europa congress, that would be in Prague, I got in an accident and had to walk on crutches. What would you do? Give up on your dream or go with crutches? Travel with crutches of course!
So full expectancy I attended the general assembly, to discover there was not a word about Young Sietar. Nobody knew, no board member was informed. It was not on the agenda. I spread copies of the plan about building young Sietar, went back home. A year went by, no response.
First Young SIETAR newsletter
When you do nothing, nothing will happen. Ready for the next step? One, two three Step! Let your step be inspired by your inner fire and you act as if already exist. I created our first young Sietar newsletter, with the input of 1 German and 1 Dutch friend who lived in Belgium. The first Young Sietar newsletter was born and I just spread it at the next Sietar congress. People reacted: nice idea, go on! or neutral and said nothing or they were against it. But further no response again.
Ready for the next step? Ready for the next step? I decided to give myself a task. Every week I would call, write or visit 1 contact, either senior professional or junior professional in the intercultural field, to ask for support in the founding process of Young Sietar. Almost a year passed. No co-creators. Willing to think, but not willing to do something.
Ready for the next step? Ready for the next step? I released we all have a part in ourselves, called The Creator. And the creator in me told me to put advertisements in the student paper. I called it an internship to create Young Sietar. 6 students reacted, I worked with them all, facilitated weekly meetings. We were also excited, because we all had the feeling, we were writing history., Having in mind it would be a worldwide, international network, we decided to start with local Young Sietar events. So, the first Young Sietar event was born, in a local student city with a handful of visitors.
The Founding congress
I said, let’s organize a founding congress. Because we had no money, and big risks to hire a venue without any members, I created a foundation. A foundation called Synergy. And in the name of Synergy, we promoted the congress, and several professionals I previously asked for help were willing to give a workshop for free. We worked on it for months, but there were no one applied, no registrations, no participants. Not one!
We had to cancel the venue to avoid costs. We had to cancel all the professionals. We had to cancel the event. It had died again.
We realized we had made a mistake. The mistake was that we used the name of the Synergy foundation, and the name Young Sietar came secondary. We were too hesitant to use the name Young Sietar, since we did not have a lot of support of Sietar Europa. Therefore, Young Sietar was not officially set on paper in the Chamber of Commerce not did we go to the notary. But the list of professionals who were willing to give a workshop impressed Sietar International, that was still existing at that time. And they were willing to give support.
Next step? Ready for the next step? Remember: you act as if it already exists. So, we started all over. We created a congress in the name of Young Sietar, and 10 professionals were willing to give a workshop. And Sietar International was going to attend to support us. And suddenly from all over the place young people came. One of the participants said: “I saw an announcement on internet, I just had to go there, so I jumped in the car and here I am!” In a few months our first founding congress was loaded with 40 students, young professionals and trainers.
From then on, we had congress after congress. And new fires were lit.
- Step! In 2005 we organized the first strategy workshop in which we created our Friends of YS sponsorships, so professionals could sponsor 1 participant to join. Our first Friend of YS was Marjeta, who organized a YS congress in her home country Slovenia
- Step! In 2006 there was Bettina, a YS member who took the first step to invent the first TOIT, training of intercultural trainers. In that TOIT a new idea was born to create intercultural children books written by Young Sietarians
- Step! In 2009 we had our first immersed congress. Stop being only in classrooms talking about culture. Get yourself into an intercultural experience!. It would be the fundament of a new tradition of immersion day at the start of every annual event.
- Step! In 2011 we gained a lifelong sponsored free account to organize webinars that could host up to 1000 people by Citrix. So that year we had our first virtual conference on 11 -11 of 2011.
- Step! In 2012 we had our first joined congress with Sietar Germany, because we were invited to do so with a Young Sietar fan who happened to be Sietar Germany’s president at that time
- Step! In 2014 we had our first congress outside Europe in Canada
- Step! In 2016 we had our first summer school seminar in Finland
- Step! In 2019 we had our first TOIT plus
Dreams are built on first steps
I leave you with this: realizing dreams is built on first steps. In the Young Sietar history, it was not always smooth. Several times the energy within Young Sietar faded away. But when there is someone like you to take first step, you can rebirth it. Act from your inner fire and act as if your dream is already realized. Serving your dream is serving a higher purpose. Each of you have the potential to take a first step and write a new Young Sietar history in the future.
I invite you to put your hands on your heart, close your eyes and take a dream in your mind that you would like to realize, maybe you already know what will be your first step. One two three, step!