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Europe - how to unleash a common spirit

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Europe - how to unleash a common spirit Intro - I am European Song Isn’t Europe exciting? Isn’t Europe emotional? The romanticism of Paris. The Bohemian world of Prague. The fashion of Milan. The craziness of Berlin. The design of Barcelona… I love Europe! I am in love with Europe! And you? Do you love Europe? Why is it then that so many out there do not agree with us? For them Europe is not exciting. For them Europe is dull, bureaucratic, crisis, tax spendings, threat! For me Europe has always been like a football field… Yes, we all are pretty different, but we all wear the same jersey. With only one passport we can move around freely on the entire field. We follow the same rules: a throw-in in Portugal is a throw-in in Poland. And still - we have a problem: the pass by the Portuguese defender doesn’t reach the Latvian midfielder. And the pass by the French midfielder doesn’t reach the Swedish striker! Why? Why don’t they reach? I will tell you why… They do not know each other! We don’t know each other. I did play in a team once where we all knew each other. We always won! It was not Barça! We always won because we knew each other. Very different, very diverse - but we knew each other and this team is called… Erasmus! Yes, I am a victim of the Erasmus program. Who of you in this room have done an Erasmus? Man, so many Europeans! Very good! Erasmus is fantastic because there a common European spirit does exist. We lived it at the parties. The Belgian argueing with the Bavarian about who produces the better beer… This unites! It was fantastic! We came from different places in Europe to a single place - city, university - and we discovered the European idea together. [Apart from that] how does the European Union promote a common European spirit, to date? From top to down. You can see it on the left side. Obviously there are many initiatives. Yet, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on March 25 2007 in Berlin with… Berliners. And in France with the people from Paris. In Italy with the people from Rome. Is this the most powerful approach to create a common spirit? On October 5 2006, here in Barcelona, in Aribau Street, the idea was born. Why don’t we do it the other way around? Why don’t we bring people from all over Europe through one platform to the European idea? Like in Erasmus. It was a simple idea, a banal idea, an absurd idea… But as Albert Einstein said, “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” The idea was born to create... It is this platform where people from all over Europe come to one place to unite and live, experience and enjoy Europe - together! The Festival is that non-political platform - non-political - where people will discover new horizons without fear. It’s that platform that will be carried out in another European metropolis every two years to make it a true European event. When is it? You want to go, don’t you? When is it? Well, haste makes waste! If you enter our website - today, this morning - at thefestival.eu you will see July 2011... Haste makes waste! With this talk I communicate, also via the web, that we go for July 2012! And where could we start? Maybe in a central city of Europe to make it easier. A vibrant city. A city of change. A city like… Berlin! Berlin has it all. It has space. It has experience with large-scale events. And there are more Spaniards there than in the city of Zaragoza! I don’t know that for sure, but it feels like… Now - this is the moment that we have an absurd idea, a new and better date and a vibrant city to kick off our European journey. Now everybody asks me the 1 Million € question: “Why should I go?” Why should I go… We offer them an experience they’ve never had before. A European experience. Exploring new horizons, new facets of life. Making cross-cultural friends and being part of a European team spirit which has never existed and it is… not enough! They want bread and circuses. And our circus has six pillars: Together - people from all over Europe will live, will see the art of Europe. We will eat the magnificent food of Europe. We will see the new fashion talent of Europe. We will live Europe through our great films - like the ones from Almodóvar or Life is beautiful. We will hear the best music of the continent. We will share our passion for sports. Six topics. Six common interests. Common ground. The 657 taxi drivers I have talked during the last three years say: “It’s a good initiative!” And then they also ask me: “And who goes?” Who goes… In four years we’ve had many definitions. The European Union. The European Council. The geographic definition... The marketing departments want to know: from 18 to 40… No! A gentleman from India gave us a reality check. A gentleman from India who wrote a post on our website where he said: “I also feel European. Me and my family have been living in Europe for many years. I also want to go to The Festival - can I?” Are we going to exclude this gentleman from India? No! We will invite all those who feel European! And right away we have no problems anymore with the EU or the Council (definition). Everyone who feels (European). So - now we have people who feel (European), they want to go in 2012, to Berlin, a vibrant city, to the European celebration… But, of course, we need the resources to make it happen. For two years now we've been struggling with brands and media to make it happen. And, for the time being, we have decided that our M is not the M for “marcas” (Spanish for brands) neither the M for media. There is a third M we are interested in. Somewhere here is Tony Anagor, a friend of mine, and his friend Simon Lingard from the UK once said to us: “Guys, what you are doing is not an event – it’s a movement!” The third M stands for movement! Because it’s the people who will move the brands and the media - not the other way around. Because a movement - you cannot force it. A movement grows through the people who believe in the same idea. We already have ambassadors, voices who support, who believe in this movement. Local stars… And I see it, I see it in your eyes. I see you! You ask yourself… You - you ask yourself… “And where is U2?” Man, can’t one start a movement on this planet without U2? Colin, you are from Africa. Mr. Bono is very active in Africa. We are focusing on Europe! We are very happy to have on board Sarah Connor from Germany who has sold 12 Million records there... Or Brainstorm from Latvia who play in front of 45,000 people there. These are local heroes, voices who already support this movement without… money. But are these the most important people of this movement? If I ask like this - no. It’s all of us! And, of course, when they ask me, “How many fans on Facebook do you have?” I tell them: “Well, this morning we had some 1,328!” - “So few?” To me this is not few! Because six years ago - imagine Europe, an abstract topic - six years ago and without Facebook this number would have been zero. Today we have 1,328 people who already believe in this idea. That’s a lot! And this number can do one thing: grow. These people share our vision. What is our vision? It started here, four years ago, in Aribau Street, in Barcelona with an idea. The German Ambassador in Madrid said, “You have to do it!” Very good, that’s how we started. Then other people were thrilled about the idea like my six partners, all Europeans from Berlin - all Germans. We are very good at constructing cars and organizing events. And where is this movement heading to in the end? We will let this football field grow and on top of this field there will be playing a team much better than today. This is our vision. To have players who know each other. Because this is our problem, we don’t know each other. And there (on that field) we will be playing. Will we always win like Barça? I don’t know. But for sure we’ll play much better than now. And for sure we’ll have a team spirit much better than now. And for sure we will not lose as easily anymore. We will have a better European team! After Carlito here said that we cannot motivate people any longer to participate - because people don’t want to participate anymore... I will not tell you to participate. - I will invite you to be gardeners! We will - and the last row too - we will let this field grow where we all play better. In Facebook, on our website. Everyone. We are just turning this into an NGO. This is for everyone. I will end with a very personal dream. I have been a citizen of this great city for the last seven years - of the “Ciudad Condal” (Barcelona). This project started in Barcelona and yes, of course, I believe that Barcelona... ...this vibrant city, this innovative city, this Mediterranean city, cosmopolitan city - that this city we all love will be a perfect host... maybe in 2014, maybe in 2014 - like it proved to be in the past. Barcelona - yes it can! I see them, I see those thousands and thousands and thousands of Europeans coming to Barcelona - and all of them will sing together: “Yes, we are Europeans!”

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 40 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: Spain
Language: Spanish (Spain)
Producer: TEDxBarcelona
Director: José Cruset
Views: 246
Posted by: thefestival on Jul 19, 2010

TEDxBarcelona talk from July 7 2010 about the European movement - www.thefestival.eu

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