When was the last time you learned a new word?

For me it was Saturday at the TEDxConcordia, where several of the presenters were using the word serendipity. I was initially puzzled, I didn’t knew the meaning, but the dictionary app on my iPod saved my face. It means good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries… Learning a new word is serendipity.

Serendipity doesn’t have an equivalent in Hungarian, Romanian or French, the three languages I’m most efficient with. Apparently it’s in the top ten hardest words to translate, and many languages, because of its use in Sociology, have imported it.

Serendipity is exactly what TED is all about, discovering new and unexpected things, that will open your eye to new ideas and enrich your spirit. It’s a state of the mind, where you let yourself be taken to unknown territories, to meet new people, to talk about new ideas and learn new things.

I think TEDxConcordia succeeded in putting together all the necessary ingredients to achieve this. Just as most the presentations were amazing, and I would loose the sense of time while listening to them, the breaks were great opportunities to meet brilliant people. I really enjoyed this open atmosphere, where it was OK to talk to strangers or join discussions and I met people from various backgrounds, that all had one thing in common, they would all be thirsty for serendipity.

I wonder, do we really need events like TED to experience serendipity, to learn new things, to meet new people? When was the last time you experienced serendipity?

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