Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is TEDx? What is TEDxDhaka? ‘Who’ is TED?
    Watch this video to quickly understand what is TED and TEDx For more information check out our ‘about‘ page.
  2. Who owns TEDxDhaka?
    Nobody! TEDxDhaka is an independently organised event under license and guidance from TED. It is open-source, non-profit, and run by unpaid volunteer organisers. The license is given to an individual for organising one event, and generally renewed annually. The TEDxDhaka license is currently held by Mohammad Tauheed and it is organised by the TEDxDhaka Team.
  3. Does TED pay for organizing TEDx events?
    No. TED does not pay TEDx organizers. Neither they charge money for the license. There is no monetary transaction between TED and TEDx organisers. The entire TEDxDhaka team works voluntarily, nobody gets paid.
  4. How is TEDxDhaka funded?
    Mainly by the attendees, through the ticket price. We also accept cash sponsorship and in-kind supply of goods and services from companies and organizations who love TEDxDhaka.
  5. What’s the benefit of sponsoring TEDxDhaka?
    Our attendees are ‘curated’, they are carefully selected from a huge pool of applicants. They are the most connected, influential, diverse bunch of people from Dhaka and beyond. Where else would you want to showcase* your products or services? *Rules and limitations apply, contact [email protected] for details.
  6. Where does the surplus money go after an event?
    Nowhere. We rarely have any surplus though, rather most often we remain in debt. If we have any surplus after an event, it remains as TEDxDhaka fund and we use it for the next event or the smaller, free events we sometimes organise with students or travels related to TED activities. The organisers and volunteers are not paid.


  1. How can I become a speaker?
    You can nominate yourself or someone else to be considered as a speaker for the next events, our nomination form is open through-out the year. We may also reach out to potential speakers directly without any nomination or audition.
  2. Do I have to be an entrepreneur, CEO or Founder of something to become a speaker? Is it about motivational speaking? Do I need to be a professional speaker?
    No. It is not about entrepreneurship or your role, title, position or academic background (but yes, entrepreneurship is of course among the important topics). Anyone can become a speaker at TEDxDhaka (certain parameters, vigorous vetting/editorial process and several rules apply). Answer to all the above mentioned questions is ‘no.’
    There are several myths around TEDxDhaka and TEDx talks overall. To understand “what it is NOT about,” please go through this entire Facebook album of ‘myth busting!’ Primarily remember, it is not about you, a TEDx talk is about the idea, not the speaker.

  3. What sector/discipline the speakers are selected from?
    It is undefined. The speakers are derived from various diverse disciplines, ranging from technology, entertainment, design to public policy, global issues, entrepreneurship, education, health, science, politics, economics et al. In a particular event the lineup is always diverse.
  4. What are the rules/terms for speakers?
    Check out our nomination page, most questions are answered there. The most important ones are: strict time limit, no selling or pitching from the stage, no religious or political partisan agenda, no pseudoscience, sponsors can not be speakers.
  5. Who selects the speakers? How do you do it?
    TEDxDhaka Team select speakers from the public nominations, (occasional) auditions and also from their own knowledge and direct personal communications. It is a complex process of curation at the heart of TEDxDhaka! Generally it is a team effort headed by the Curator. TED doesn’t help us with finding or selecting speakers, they also do not ‘approve’ speakers for us. TEDxDhaka team have (almost) full editorial independence about speaker selection. Although in special cases we run some decisions through the TED office whenever it is deemed necessary.
  6. Can I pay to be a speaker? And do you pay the speaker?
    No and no. We do not accept payment and sponsorship from the speakers, and we also do not pay our speakers. There is no monetary transaction or exchange of service or product in any form or direction between the speakers and the organisers.
  7. Do you pay for the transportation and accommodation for the speakers?
    Technically yes, we always want to. However, in most cases our budget and fund remains so tight we often fail to pay for the transportation and accommodation for foreign speakers who are traveling to Dhaka from outside, but we try our best to arrange it. Since it is always a one day event in Dhaka, the local speakers generally don’t require arrangements for transportation or accommodation, we still try our best to provide for it.
  8. Why he/she (a particular name) became a speaker?
    This is a common question we face and we reply with “the correct question would be ‘why not?!” Positively answer ‘why not!?’ you will realise why we selected a particular speaker. It often depends on the theme of the event, flow of the program and diversity of the lineup, and they “idea” they are presenting, remember it is about the talk/idea not the speaker as a person. There is no single equation or answer to this question of why we select or reject a particular person as a speaker. It is a decision made by our editorial freedom, wisdom of the team and the intuition of the Curator. The next answer explains it better…
  9. Why he/she (a particular name) is NOT a speaker yet?
    Another similar very frequently asked question! A better question would be “why him/her?” “what would the big idea they would talk about?” if you have a solid answers for these, then your suggestion deserves an attention! Please nominate the person immediately to be considered as a speaker and let us know about their works and why you think he/she would deliver a great TEDx talk!
    Although there is no equation or particular answer to this question, these are some of the potential reasons of why we didn’t select someone:
    1#. We don’t know about them! Nobody nominated them or informed us or simply we may not have heard about them yet! Please go ahead and nominate them!
    #2. They may not have anything new or unknown or original to offer, or may be their idea/talk is already extremely popular or cliché or overused. Unless they bring in an exciting new idea or story of a ‘work-done’ or a brilliant new story or theory, a TEDx talk may not add much value.
    #3. Their ‘idea’ is purely an ‘idea’, it is not tested, implemented, researched, published or proven in the field or ‘no work is done’ yet.
    #4. Their research or technology or claimed innovation or ‘made device’ is not verified/tested or peer reviewed yet.
    #5. The person does not have enough credibility to talk about the particular subject. We sometimes look for ‘external validation’.
    #6. We already have similar speaker or subject matter on the table at a particular conference, we always strive for diversity on stage. If they are in our perpetual nomination form, we might consider them again for a future event.
    And there’s hundreds of other reasons! Editorial decisions come from a complex set of parameters and personal judgement calls, taken with carefully applied editorial freedom, wisdom and intuition. You may sometimes see speakers on the TEDxDhaka stage who may not validate ANY of these six points, they may be still up there (or not) for a reason (or none), as we often take risk and leap of faith and we are not afraid of making mistakes.
  10. How do you define an “idea,” What do you mean by crafting and delivering an “idea”? Why can’t I simply talk about the success story of my life, my organisation or a new product?
    Sometimes it can be difficult to understand, why are we inviting someone because their works or success then asking them not to talk about it! It can be also difficult to understand how to squeeze the gist of a work and craft an idea to spread for others. TED Curator Chris Anderson explains it beautifully in this talk:

    We help speakers craft an idea out of their stories and works. Almost 70% of the content on stage at TEDxDhaka are designed by the curatorial team of TEDxDhaka, not exactly by the speakers. The speakers come to us with their whole body of works and ten different thoughts and ideas. We help with focusing, pinpointing and crafting a talk removing frills, personal stories and company sales pitches from it—if the speaker wholeheartedly work with us 🙂


  1. Why do I have to ‘apply’ to attend?
    Because we want to know who you are to keep a balance of diversity in the audience. Also several hundreds more people want to attend the event, we have to select the best candidates.
  2. Do you really ‘select’ all the attendees (from so many applications! are you kidding?!)
    We aren’t kidding, we really select. It is not randomly picked, it is neither first-come-first-serve basis. We read every single application individually and decide about someone’s entry. We treat our attendees as equally important as the speakers on stage. They are the heart of the event!
  3. How do you select the attendees? I was not selected, why?
    We select you based on your answers in the registration form. If you wrote nothing substantial to any of the questions, most certainly we will not select you, even if our seats remain empty. Also diversity plays a vital role here, we always try to keep the audience as diverse as possible. So if you do not get selected, please do not take it personally or be sad about it, because either you were lazy to answer the questions properly or you might have been a victim of a diversity call. We always encourage you to apply next time.
  4. Your ticket price seems high!
    We are sorry about that! We always dream of making the event free to attend, just by application and selection. The ticket is still heavily subsidised, and only a small portion of the event cost is covered by ticket sales. However, since a TEDx event is not a place for vigorous branding (we do not let our sponsors advertise on stage or become ‘title sponsors’) not many companies show much interest in sponsoring TEDxDhaka (imagine the local scene and practices of corporate sponsorships and branding!). Hence, we have no other way but to request this price for the ticket from you to keep the stage free of branding and sales pitches. Still the ticket is generally within $50 USD. FYI, during a full day conference we serve snacks, lunch, drinks, coffee etc. free of cost at the venue throughout the day. That’s two big snack breaks and a full lunch meal covered within the ticket price.
  5. We saw quite a few logos of sponsors in the list, why do you still need to sell tickets?
    The ticket price doesn’t cover everything. We very rarely have ‘cash sponsors’, all the logos and names you see as sponsors or partners of TEDxDhaka, they contribute in-kind via direct goods and supplies, small services and other supports in general. So the cash we need to run TEDxDhaka operations comes mainly from the tickets sales, and typically from the ‘sponsors’. The quality of production TEDxDhaka maintains, requires cash for paying the professionals, services, venue etc. that doesn’t come from the typical ‘in-kind’ supports.
  6. I am a student, may I get a discount? Can I attend for free?
    For the annual big conference, generally you will not get any discount. However, keep an eye on our social media we sometimes give scholarships to let certain students attend the big event for free. Also we sometimes organize smaller events focused on students, those are generally free to attend. For example all ‘TEDxLive’ events are always free to attend.
  7. Will I receive any certificate for attending TEDxDhaka?
  8. I am a journalist, shall I get a press-pass? 
    You may not. You are always welcome to cover the event, however, you have to go through the regular attendee application and selection process, be selected to attend, regardless of which media house you are representing. If you want to cover the event once you are in, you have to follow certain rules. All journalists must follow our Press Policy, most important rules: you are not allowed to bring any gadget at the venue with your media company logo (i.e no professional camera or hand-held microphone is allowed. No bag, t-shirt, ID or badge etc. or any object with any visible logo of your TV/Radio/News agency is allowed at TEDxDhaka venue) and you kindly have to remain as discrete as possible during the event. You are most welcome to write and ask for photos from us. All our contents are open-source, you can use any photo supplied by us/ posted in our Flickr without any permission or payment. We do not provide any press-release, you have to do your own homework and groundwork, please check our website for details and updates.
  9. I am a VVIP / VIP / CIP / Govt. Official / Diplomat / Ambassador / Celebrity, will I receive any special arrangement?
    No. You may have to kindly apply and get selected/invited to attend, and once you are at the event, you will be regarded as equally as all other attendees. We expect you to kindly mix up with everyone comfortably, and be really engaged without boundaries, with the great bunch of carefully selected people around you. Please be sure, there will be NO out of the way greetings, no reserved seat, no escort, no special arrangement and absolutely no on-stage appearance. You will be sitting and spending time among the audience just like everybody else. You may not bring additional guest/assistant/personnel with you. If you must be accompanied by someone or ‘professional security personnel’ (i.e: police/armed-forces) as per mandatory protocols, we would request you to kindly inform and discuss this matter with us before you show up, and it is best if your security escort would not be in any uniform, and they will remain as discrete as possible, or most preferably they should be stationed outside the venue. Please note, this is a ‘sans-protocol,’ casual event.
    *Please note, during any TEDxDhaka event, you may be on camera, and we will publish any photo/video from TEDxDhaka event without asking your permission.


  1. How can I be a volunteer?
    We typically run open volunteer recruitment process around 2-3 months before each event. It is generally an open call for application, from which we shortlist, interview, and we vet vigorously before recruiting.
  2. How can I become a part of the core organising team?
    In most cases core-team members are pooled/promoted from the volunteers, who have been recruited through open hiring process and already worked for TEDxDhaka for years. We also seldom bring new people through direct personal recruitment to join the core-organising team, based on the necessity and skill-set.
  3. What are the benefits of volunteering for TEDxDhaka?
    That’s a secret you need to learn from former volunteers 🙂
    In general, if you are looking to gain exposure and fame, this is the wrong place for you. If you are looking to earn money, the is the worst place you are looking into; just to repeat and make sure, none of the team members of TEDxDhaka gets paid. All the members of TEDxDhaka team works merely towards the mission of spreading new ideas and bringing them to mass people.
  4. Do you provide certificates for volunteering?
    No. However, if you ever need a recommendation letter on TEDxDhaka letterhead for applying somewhere in future, we generally give you one.
  5. Do you pay for volunteering?
    No. (However, we compensate for transportation and meal, whenever our budget/fund allows us to).
  6. Then why shall I work for TEDxDhaka?
    Don’t! Who gave you the bad idea? :p

If you may have any more question feel free to write to the team group email: [email protected], someone will reply ASAP.

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