On the road to TEDx

This year, here we are co-founder and Central Asia Focal Point Nasima Karim was invited to speak at a TEDx event in Kyrgyzstan. After the event we asked Nasima a few questions about her global development path and how she ended up at TEDx.


Nasima, who are you personally and professionally?

I am from the most spectacular region of Pakistan called Gilgit Baltistan and currently live in The Kyrgyz Republic with my husband and our two sons. I love doing yoga, hiking, social work and I’m a peace activist too.

I have a bachelor in Economics, International Relations and Sociology from University of Karachi and a MBA in Human Resource Management from Muhammad Ali Jinnah University. I have previously worked in a variety of industries including the bank industry, the hospitality industry and at WHO. Since we moved to Kyrgyzstan I have, among other things, volunteered at the University of Central Asia in different capacities. I have working experience from Pakistan, Tanzania and Kyrgyzstan.

Please tell us about your global development path.

For me, experiencing life as an expat has been a great learning experience, learning about different nationalities, their cultures and their competencies. The global life is a learning experience that has no comparison, as we have firsthand knowledge and exposure to so many new opportunities.

How did you get involved with here we are?

I was part of the group who initiated here we are in Bishkek a few years ago to create a forum for professionals and personal development, bringing together people from all over the world who, for different reasons, now lived in Kyrgyzstan. Many of them had come as accompanying partners, others had come to seek new opportunities, but we all had to redefine our professional lives.

We started organizing different events with very diverse topics to bring together people from many different sectors, partly so they could exchange their professional knowledge but also to create a network that could share ideas and professional opportunities in our local area.

How did you get the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event?

In all modesty I can say: They called me. But this was of course the result of a lot of previous networking efforts and my volunteer work at the university. And actually I will say, that it was because of here we are. Building here we are has made me a motivator and a networker.

While developing here we are and organizing events I have meet so many different people, and I will say that the diversity of our members has given me such a great learning experience. Also together we have acquired so much knowledge about the country we live in, as well as about the many organizations working here, and together we have explored new trends and opportunities. When I spoke at the TEDx event in Naryn in June, I felt it was an accomplishment, not just for me, but for our here we are network, as this proves how we are now recognized as a network of professionals on the move.

What was your speech about?

My speech was about social media and how the development of social media is changing the way we educate, do business and create social change. One of my example was how we have used first Facebook and Twitter and now also LinkedIn, a webpage and an app to take here we are from a local network in Bishkek to a global network involving more than 20 nationalities located in four different continents.

How did you prepare for the speech?

I used my here we are network and also got some support from the organizer of the event. After getting the invitation I talked to my dear friend and here we are founder Jannie Skov-Hansen about how to tackle this great opportunity. Later after deciding on my topic the TEDx event staff coached me on the practical requirements for the speech, and finally before giving the speech I hooked up with here we are’s communication consultant Mette Lindgaard Seligmann who gave me a few tips on public speaking and helped me review the speech to make sure my main points came out nice and clear. Preparing for this speech is another wonderful example on how we can use our global network to co-create and work together to support each other across borders.

What type of reactions did you get after you speech

First of all it was a big personal achievement, speaking at TEDx gave me confidence as a public speaker and the experience of speaking in a prestigious forum like this. I felt comfortable, believed in myself and my ability to express myself.

Also, after giving the speech I was overwhelmed by the support and positive feedback I got from both here we are members and also from my personal network.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Search for your “Why” and work on it, and if you already know your path and are already on your development path, you should help others develop as well.

Do you have any advice for fellow here we are members?

Life gives you so many opportunities to explore, to get to know yourself and to get to know others. Knowing one self, knowing humanity and the universe is an accomplishment, and for me the purpose of our lives.

Also I would like to take this opportunity to send a message to all professionals: Keep developing yourself and your surroundings will definitely develop and change. Don’t stop yourself, believe in yourself. You are the one that can encourage and discourage yourself from further developing, like no one else can.

About TEDx

A TEDx event is a locally organized event inspired by the global TED event held every year, you can find more information in a short youtube video explaining TED and TEDx.

You can also check TED’s event sight to see, if there is a local groups organizing TEDx events near you.

Nasima Karim spoke at a TEDx event organized by University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan on June 4th 2017.

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