LITTLE BIG PORTRAIT of NAZANINE MATIN
With the TEDxMonteCarlo team in 2016
Nazine's friend Marieke showcasing the 2017 TEDxMonteCarlo posters
With friends Ina & Natasha
A GIRL ON A MISSION
Nazanine Matin is the Founder of TEDxMonteCarlo. We meet her on a sunny Thursday morning at the Met Café where she shares with us what happens behind the scenes of the famous TED talks and especially all the preparations for the upcoming TEDx she is organizing on the 11th of November entitled “License to Know”.
It is fair to say that we were beyond excited to meet the woman that brought TEDx to Monaco 4 years ago. "TED" stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design” and is a non-profit organization that was created over 30 years ago and is devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. TEDx events are conferences organised in local communities around the world, where the “x” stands for independently planned TED-like event. Like all of us at LittleBigMonaco, Nazanine believes in showing the world that Monaco has so much more to offer than what we see in the media - that it is a place full of local talents and innovations.
From Iran to Monaco
Nazanine was born in Iran and moved to the South of France during the Islamic Revolution in 1978. Having spent a lot of time in Monaco during her childhood, she decided to move back here 4 years ago after working many years in the US.
Although she comes across as calm and soft spoken, Nazanine confesses that she is a rather adventurous spirit and can be quite restless. In fact, she has already lived many different lives. A graduate in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, she worked several years in the Financial Planning and Analysis department for General Electric, as a Business Consultant in a software startup, but also in R&D designing coronary stents and she also managed to complete an MBA in Luxury Management at the International University in Monaco. And if that wasn't enough, she has also co-founded the Monaco- based luxury handbag brand ZANNAZ.
Inspire and create emotions
It was after attending a TEDx Women event in London that Nazanine decided to import the concept to Monaco. “I had never seen so many smiling and inspired people” she tells us.
“Attending a TEDx event is actually a very emotional experience. You are going to laugh, cry and be inspired. "- she says as her eyes light up. Attending the live event is very different from watching the talks online because it's not just a 18 minutes inspiring pause in the middle of your busy day, but actually a full day of inspiration. My work in the end is to create emotions, and spark conversations between people. I also have to make sure that people walk away learning something new."
Nazanine’s role as the Founder, Licensee and Curator of TEDxMonteCarlo requires a lot of work. First, she needs to find themes that are relevant and interesting to the local community, then she has to find experts who are available and able to come and talk about those ideas.
For the upcoming November event, Nazanine's team worked through a list of approximately 200 speakers that they narrowed down to the final 18 who will speak on the day.
A major part of her role is also to find sponsors. “There are two challenges with finding sponsors: first Monaco is an expensive destination when it comes to organising an event for 100+ people and secondly, the truth is that TEDx is still not very well known here which makes it even more difficult to promote. Luckily, I have a core team of 7 dedicated people to help“ - she says and adds “ it's a team which will increase up to 70 volunteers on the day of the event because of all the logistics".
It's all about preparation
When we move on to talk about the speakers, Nazanine explains, people don’t realise how much work the speakers need to put into their speech. “They usually spend about 30 hours on average. Then some speakers take it to the extreme, such as one of last year’s speakers who put over 60 hours of work into her speech but her effort did pay off- she got a standing ovation”. Nazanine mentors all the speakers individually and they also get 5 hours of professional coaching in public speaking by TED/TEDx experts - “you really do not need to be a natural speaker to participate, it’s all about your ideas and how they can change the world.” Nazanine is quite strict with her speakers; she insists on having unique contents and she doesn’t accept the participation of what she calls "serial TEDx’ers” who are speakers participating in multiple TEDx events. Nazanine also asks her speakers for a full 2 days commitment to create a unique team spirit. "They have dinner together and breakfast on the day of the event. They also need to stay for the full day and attend each other’s talks.” she explains". More importantly, they need to be able to exchange ideas with people attending the event during the breaks. Ultimately, my objective is to connect people, start new conversations and inspire people to change the world” she said with a hint of hope in her voice.
We certainly can’t wait to attend the event and be part of this unique gathering in our community.
For more information and tickets go to www.tedxmontecarlo.com
OUR QUESTIONS to NAZANINE MATIN
Which place do you find the most inspiring in Monaco?
The view of the sea from different angles in Monaco. I have a soft spot for the Monte Carlo Beach Club as it’s where I have most of my memories as a child.
Your favourite restaurants ?
La Piazza, Sass Cafe, La Bionda, My Sushi, Emily’s, Cova, Pinocchio, Starbuck (NiBox rooftop - the best view!)
Or your secret to stay in shape?
I don’t feel in shape… I’m very lazy when it comes to exercise. This is my resolution every year and I really need to start exercising. But jokes aside, without an exercise plan, I walk everywhere in Monaco. I don’t have a car, so on average I walk 1-2hrs per day between meetings and other things.
A local artist you admire ?
I have a soft spot for artists… It’s impossible to name only one.
My dear friend Nick Danziger (http://www.nickdanziger.com),
Mr. One Teas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RXLET7InxU),
Alessandro and the Portofinos (https://www.facebook.com/AlessandroRistoriMusic/),
Emily Johnson, The Cosmopolitans.
One of your daily little pleasures
A good cappuccino
Your secret addresses to share with our Little Big Monaco reader?
They are mainly my favourite restaurants. Something different would be the open air cinema in the summer, the free concerts once a month on Thursday nights at the Grimaldi Forum and the concerts at the Leo Ferre Space (Espace Leo Ferre).
Sea view picture by Nazanine
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