“Every girl deserves to dream and be supported in her dream” Interview to Cristina Cretu
Cristina Cretu is one of the speakers of next We Hate Pink event in London on the 9th October 2019.
Founder of TEDx Obor and and the TEDx Floreasca speaker.
In this interview she shares her story and the cause she is fighting for.
1. How did you decide to get involved with a TEDx event and what inspired you to host TEDxObor?
TEDx Camden Head Organiser inspired me to get involved with a TEDx event. Back in Romania, I used to dream little. Girls, from modest families are conditioned by society and families to study, to have great marks at school, to get a well paid job, get married and have children. I come from a modest family and I followed this social rule, This pattern until my partner passed away. At that time, marriage and children seemed far away for me.
The experience made me question many things in my life. During that period, I started to dream, and I realised that my dreams, as a woman, matter little. Dreams were not encouraged. To have higher goals was not encouraged. All your value as a woman, in a traditional country like Romania, was given by your husband, your job or your children. Not your actions or your aspirations.
My attitude changed when I met my current partner, someone who grew up in the UK. He gave me the inspiration to dream and to believe that I am able to be more and do more.
During the TEDx Camden event, my dream to organise a similar event started to get bigger and bigger. This experience made me realise the gender bias I had and the lack of confidence that came along. I did encourage others to dream more, but not myself. After 8 years of working abroad, with a boost of my confidence, I considered that I can give back this new knowledge to my community and my country as well as part of my knowledge, and to put my skills and abilities to use for a higher purpose. I wanted to create opportunities for people, especially people from vulnerable groups to have a context and a platform to express their ideas.
2. What drives you to give up so much of your time to organize TEDx? Is this a cause you are fighting for?
I gave 12 months of my life to organise such an event. I made a lot of sacrifices: personally, professionally. Things are moving slow in Romania, so 12 months was a great decision for a first event. If you lack visibility or a strong network and you are as well a woman, your barriers and challenges are greater, and you’ re definitely put in a vulnerable situation. It is difficult to strive when most of the all higher managers are men and when you are judged by titles, by the people around you or your background. Yes, I am a strong supporter of inclusion and gender equality, of dignity especially. Every girl deserves to dream and be supported in her dream, every vulnerable person deserves dignity and support.
3. What inspired the theme of your event and why do you think it will have a major impact on the audience?
The theme of TEDx Obor is “Embrace”. The name symbolises the journey I took from a person who was working abroad to a community leader. The theme also incorporates the attitude of the TEDx Obor team: cooperation, engagement, mutual trust.
The audience is mixed. The speakers are all leaders or significant representatives of their communities and the audience is shaped by them. The speakers share their ideas related to vulnerability, inclusion, communities. All these are either taboo subjects or not popular ideas. The Audience is going to be impacted by the ideas exposed and by the format of the event: speeches translated in sign language.
4. What is the biggest challenge in organising a TEDx talk and how do you approach it?
I can only talk about my experience. My greatest challenges were related to the cultural adaptation of the brand to the Romanian market and the biases I met on my journey. How did I approach them? Through teamwork, collaboration and patience, a lot of patience. An optimistic attitude is a must: every problem has a solution.
5 What have you learned from the speaker selection process and what is your advice for organizers looking to develop a good speaker -line-up?
I organised an audience (an innovation in Bucharest) to open up the platform and identify talent and I invited community leaders and those who embraced great challenges in their lives in order to incorporate different perspectives of the theme “Embrace”.
6. How important is gender equality in your job?
It is a top priority for me. I have two representatives of generation Z in my team: a young lady and a young man. It is important for me that they have a great example of the implementation of gender equality values. The speaker line- up and the team – all together had to be gender- balanced.
7. What you would say today to your younger self?
You are able to do everything you put your mind to. The others are just expressing their own limitations and fears. Unachievable is simply not yet achievable. I talk in truisms, I know. Sometimes, the talk or the encouragements we give to ourselves may be beneficial or it may put us down. As a younger Cristina, gender and social conditions were perceived as limitations. I was conditioned to work without a purpose or to follow my higher values. I used to be told that “I’m a woman, so I need to get married and have children, get money and have a well paid job. This is what is required of me.” so I’d tell myself: “Not anymore.”
independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.
These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.
The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.) About TED TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED conferences, including our annual gathering in Vancouver, as well as TEDWomen, intimate TED Salons and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are made available, free, on TED.com and other platforms.
Audio versions of the talks from TED2019 will also be published to TED's podcast TED Talks Daily, available on Apple Podcasts and all other podcast platforms. TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which licenses thousands of individuals and groups to host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; the Audacious Project, which surfaces and funds critical ideas that have the potential to impact millions of lives; TEDSummit, which gathers the most engaged members of the global TED community for brainstorms, discussions, performances, workshops and an eclectic program of mainstage talks; and the educational initiative TED-Ed.
TED also has a library of original podcasts, including The TED Interview with Chris Anderson, Sincerely, X, and one of Apple Podcasts’ most downloaded new shows of 2018, WorkLife with Adam Grant.