The speeches of Tedx given around the world have one characteristic in common; ‘the circular red carpet’. On this carpet the speaker unfolds they, personal journey in life. They share their experiences, their knowledge and their dreams. It’s a certain place which resembles an island floating upon a stage of sea. By standing on that particular spot the speaker becomes the centre of the audience’s attention. They stand there alone against time, condensing all their experiences into eighteen minutes. That’s the maximum amount of time one is permitted to remain on that ‘spot’. When I learnt that I was to participate as a speaker in TedxAthens 2017, which was to take place at the centre stage of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, I knew I would have to stand on that ‘circular red carpet’.
In the theatre an object on the stage is of great importance. There is always a meaning to it, nothing is there by chance. The actor must find their connection with it and verify this by taking certain action, otherwise, that particular object will cease to exist. When Peter Brook, the great teacher, went on an extended tour around the world, he gave performances on a carpet. This carpet would transform itself into every kind of possible space. Nothing other than the actor, script and carpet was needed.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
The subject of this year’s TEDxAthens was ‘Edge’ that is, ‘LIMITS’. A word that, in Greek (Όρια), begins with the circular letter ‘Omicron’ (O). As the shape of the red carpet is circular, this in itself is a limit. This limit must be crossed for one to be able to speak on it, going beyond their limits. This gigantic ‘Omicron’ can fit into the internal journey of ‘all’ ‘Όλον’ people. Like our circular planet, earth, the place, the circle, the embrace and the pupil of our eye. Moreover, the word ‘Speech’ in Greek also begins with one ‘Omicron’. The word ‘Όλον (‘All’) includes everything, the total and unity of elements has two ‘Omicron’. The word ‘Philosophy’ also includes within it two ‘Omicron’. Even the Greek word ‘Oν’, that is every being that has substance and life, begins with ‘Omicron’ as well.
The ‘circular red carpet’ is the point where everything can unite through the understanding of an individual, through their words. The circle is the nest which can give you the opportunity to feel ‘Intimate’ («Οικεία») and to ‘Speak’ («Ομιλήσεις») so that the ‘World’ will become more ‘Beautiful’ («Όμορφος»). The circle is found throughout the Ancient Greek Language. In every word which includes coexistence, encounter, consciousness and creation for the common good. In TEDx the circular red carpet is the podium for a speech given by one person towards all the people of the world, in every language, on every continent.
In TEDxAthens 2017 EDGE, when I went onto the stage, I didn’t go immediately onto that magic place, but stood motionless in front of it so as to honour that which it represented, for the opportunity it offers to travel with one step a thousand miles. And, when I finally took that first step, I felt that the only role one could play there was that of themselves.
Thank you, TEDxAthens.
Photos by Konstantinos Sofikitis