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From an Idea to a Movement: TED’s Impact on #IAmRemarkable

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From an Idea to a Movement: TED’s Impact on #IAmRemarkable

What if you could eliminate self-doubt, especially in spaces where brilliance is the norm? 

Imagine walking into a room filled with some of the world's most brilliant minds, feeling not just accepted but celebrated for who you are, no matter your background or identity. 

Many newcomers at TED feel a lot of self-doubt. That’s why we partnered with Anna Vainer and the team behind the #IAmRemarkable Workshop to deliver a Discovery Session that sparked an international ripple effect.

What Is #IAmRemarkable?

The #IAmRemarkable movement started as an idea in 2016 while Anna Vainer and Anna Zapesochini were working at Google. They were interested in tackling the social perception of self-promotion. 

“There’s quite a bit of research that ties professional and personal advancement to advocating for yourself,” Anna  says. “And yet, when we talk about self-promotion, a lot of people look at it as negative or bragging.”

This is especially the case for women, who tend to be less likely to promote themselves and struggle with imposter syndrome. Anna and her colleague wanted to help all people celebrate their achievements and teach them how to promote themselves. 

Inspiring Self-Promotion

They developed a 90-minute workshop that teaches participants the importance of self-promotion and equips them with tools to develop it as a skill. #IAmRemarkable is designed to dispel biases around imposter syndrome and stereotypes. The workshop leverages stories and research to inspire participants and make them feel empowered to share their accomplishments.

With Google’s support, since its inception, #IAmRemarkable has been delivered to more than 600,000 people around the world in 182 countries by more than 3,000 facilitators. The results have been astounding.

“We measure the impact immediately after the workshop and three months later,” Anna says. “What we’ve found is that 82% of participants report an increase in self-confidence and 50% experience some sort of career advancement within three months.”

She adds that many workshops also inspire new volunteer facilitators – which happened as a result of the #IAmRemarkable workshop at TED.

#IAmRemarkable at TED

Bringing #IAmRemarkable to TED was a huge milestone for Anna and her team. They were able to reach a unique audience of participants who could help bring the workshop to companies, organizations, and groups worldwide. 

First-time TED attendees often show up with some level of imposter syndrome – regardless of how accomplished they are in their own lives.  The TED community is intentionally designed to create a safe space where every attendee feels seen, heard, and valued. As a result, the palpable self-doubt on Day One transforms into an inspired, collaborative feeling of optimism and possibility by the end of the conference on Day Five. The #IAmRemarkable workshop accelerated that process. In fact, a number of participants have since joined the movement and are facilitating #IAmRemarkable in their companies and countries. 

Anna points out that the TED workshop brought together one of the most diverse audiences in a single workshop. Participants ranged in age from 21 to 82, representing a multitude of genders, abilities, and disabilities – all of which contributed to the workshop’s impact. 

Not only did the experience inspire the workshop participants, but it also inspired Anna.

How Anna’s TED Experience Advanced Her Own Career 

For years, Anna had been attending conferences, but they were usually dedicated to a single industry where she would see the same people over and over. That topic may have deepened or progressed over time, but every conference started to feel the same. Being at TED was unlike any conference she had ever attended.

“It was one of the best experiences in my professional and personal life,” Anna says. “Everyone is either a CEO, a founder, a non-profit leader, an amazing writer, a scientist or in some other fascinating role. Even if you come solo, you’re going to quickly make friends.”

TED puts a focus on creating the right spaces and the right structure to inspire meaningful human interactions. You could be queuing for coffee, talking to the person in front of you and realize that they are one of the speakers on the TED stage or a Discovery Session leader. 

Anna made more connections at TED than she could imagine. The experience also helped her start a new venture by creating a non profit organization - where she is sharing these powerful teachings with even more people. 

“#IAmRemarkable is our first mission but definitely not our last,” she remarks.

Anna Vainer, TED2022

What are TED Discovery Sessions?

Discovery Sessions at TED Conferences are intimate, expert-led excursions or hands-on workshops. They’re once-in-a-lifetime experiences tailored to awaken new interests and passions.

Each conference can feature up to 80 of these unique workshops and curated experiences that dive deeper into current issues by taking ideas off the main stage and applying them in real life. Led by past speakers, TED Fellows and other TED community members, small groups of participants engage in intimate and candid conversations, coming away with new skills, deeper understanding, and new learnings. 

Fun fact, anyone who registers to attend early can submit and lead a Discovery Session. 

TED participants can choose from intimate excursions, hands-on workshops like #IAmRemarkable or other intimate gatherings designed to help them get out, get moving and get interacting with ideas and people in unexpected ways. It’s in these sessions where TED attendees meet the people they stay connected with over time.

Find out more about the TED Experience and Discovery Sessions.

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