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TEDx cancels Chennai license for violating rules, India ethics questioned

In India Online by NextBigWhat

The folks at TEDx seem to be mighty pissed at India. On Monday, communication sent from the TEDx headquarters surfaced on Pastebin and without mincing words, it said that after seeing repeated violations of the TEDx rules in India, they have decided to cancel the license for TEDx Chennai. TEDx has seen almost all of its rules being blatantly violated in India, it said.

TEDx has decided to appoint additional TEDx Ambassadors to India and create a more rigorous due diligence process for those entering the community.

The communication was sent to TEDx fellows about six weeks ago, according to one TEDx fellow who received the mail.

The rules of engagement?

No sponsor logos on stage
No sponsors giving TEDx talks on stage
No TED branding instead of TEDx
No running a TEDx event one day and another event the next day that uses the same funding and sometimes the same speakers – we call this co-branding
No exceeding 100 attendee limit

What went wrong? Almost everything.

Apparently, the folks organizing TEDx out here were using it to plug sponsors, a strict no for the TED community. In India, TEDx has seen repeated violation of the 100 person rule too. It has also seen sponsors speaking on the stage, students hosting TEDx events as part of a campus festival, incorrect TEDx logos on stage, individuals intentionally blurring the difference between TED and TEDx, speakers who abuse the TEDx platform by turning their speaking opportunity into a promotion for themselves or a book tour and speakers speaking at more than two TEDx events in any given year.  We are told that TEDx in Punjab has also been banned for a long time for mixing up the TED and TEDx logos during an event held in a campus.

What went wrong with Chennai?

From the TED mail on Pastebin: Most recently, it has also come to our attention that TEDxChennai violated the rules by holding a press conference with sponsors, having a venue sponsor as a speaker on stage and speakers that were part of another conference.

As a result, the TEDxChennai license has been cancelled and Kiruba Shankar has “agreed to step down,” from his position as TEDx Ambassador in India.

Hat Tip: @madmanweb