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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Constructive Cambodian: 9 Mar 2011

Constructive Cambodian: 9 Mar 2011

Tharum Bun talks about the profound significance of something that might seem small: sharing ideas.

The conference of ideas worth sharing called TEDxPhnom Penh that was held early this month marked a milestone for the capital city’s communities opening to a new culture of how we acquire new knowledge and perspectives. More than 100 people showed up at Northbridge International School (Cambodia) where legendary artist Kong Nai, who was paired with Japanese painter and illustrator Keeda Oikawa, kicked off the day-long conference featuring some of the Kingdom’s most amazing speakers.

As LIFT writers have already jointly discussed the enthusiastic talks and presentations by some great speakers, I’m going to take a further look at the significance of how such event contributes to how we learn and share our diversities in our fast-paced society.

Too often we’re more familiar with our dependence of learning new ideas through our formal education system. This is a necessity that has shaped how we perceive the world we live in today. But during the past few years, annual conferences like TEDx and BarCamp have introduced a completely different way of meeting and talking to people and have become an essential part of every one of us who doesn’t want to stop learning new things.

Weeks after the first TEDx in the Cambodian capital, the TEDxTalk videos have been made available online, making it possible for those without tickets to view, think and start an ongoing conversation over the theme of mapping out the Kingdom’s future. It’s probably these materials on the internet that will bring about the large significance of the event.

While some of the TEDxPP speakers touched and moved the audience with their stories and ideas, technology glitches caused frustration for many in other parts of the world who were staying awake to watch the live feed video from Phnom Penh. But the idea of sharing doesn’t stop there. The ability to deploy video technology to document the event for further distribution offline and online is a model that’s been used in many countries, aimed at serving and preserving our access to useful resources. This is probably one of the most remarkable approaches in the TEDx event, which can spark the use of video and internet tools to disseminate the content for a worldwide audience.

Digital video technology has been around for years, but when paired up with the internet and sophisticated web services, it’s now becoming many people’s favourite choice.

I believe this is the next big thing as we’re able to spread messages, news and ideas. For passionate self-learners, it’s easier than ever sitting before their computer screens at home watching a YouTube video teaching them cooking or gardening. But it doesn’t end there. This year sees the explosion of mobile internet services provided by major network service providers, making it more convenient for mobile phone users to capture and share what they witness on the street to share with the wider world on the web.

I expect more videos and stories will come from bloggers and internet users who are witness to the scene, just like Casey Nelson, an expatriate who took out a mobile phone to capture a government employee’s Land Cruiser running over a police motorcycle on Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard. The video, posted on YouTube, and described in his blog post in October last year became a news story for the media, and was covered by The Phnom Penh Post. This shows how we can catch up with what’s happening in this capital city or anywhere in the Kingdom.

When local rights group Cambodian Center For Human Rights (CCHR) announced last week that its website,, reached 100,000 visitors since it officially went online in July last year, it proved to be a successful online site dedicated to human rights issues facing Cambodia. The site is collaboration among rights groups working in most parts of the country, but it hasn’t been open to reports and submissions from individual citizens who wish to raise their concerns​​.​​​​​



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