Conferences, Events, Guests, Interviews, Kazimierz, Speakers

“Experience Christmas”

The last main TEDxKazimierz conference was held this April. The underlying concept of this conference was an essential mix of topics between art, entertainment, motivation, education, science and technology.

The talks from the stage are fundamental to our event but they are only part of our TEDxKazimierz life! It is very important to keep in touch and continue to engage our audience, speakers and other community participants to our activities, because it is the best way to share updates related to our upcoming events and also to get some news about their social activities and different initiatives.

This week I have an opportunity to interview two TEDxKazimierz speakers: Zbigniew Marzec, pastor, youth worker, entrepreneur, actively involved in the local community and Don Allen, British actor, film director, and producer.

Don Allen from Krakow Kings Player, Zbigniew Marzec from the ‘Krakow City Church’, and the ‘Daleko Więcej’ Association are working on a special program in the Kazimierz district of Kraków. I spoke with them about this special Christmas project and about their TEDx experience.


Impactful Initiatives: Interview with TEDx Speakers


TEDxKazimierz: To start off, how did you get involved with TEDxKazimierz?

Zibi: Richard Lucas visited our venue about year ago for coffee. He has been visiting us from time to time. After while he have seen what we are doing. He got interested who we are, what we are doing and why. We had a few conversations. After while he mentioned to me about the TEDxKazimierz event that he runs and he said that it would be good if we can be a part of it. I knew what it TEDx but it was my first introduction to TEDxKazimierz.

TEDxKazimierz: Don, what about your first contact with TEDx?

Don: I’d met Richard on a few occasions and he mentioned the event. I thought it would be a great idea because it would help spread a message I was very passionate about – and also provide me to broaden the reach of my English speaking theatre company here in Kraków.

TEDxKazimierz:  What was the motivation to decide, Ok, I’m going to do this talk?

Don: There was no motivation needed! I understand the value of TEDx talks and their reach and impact. It was really exciting to know I was going to be a part of it.

Zibi: Motivation. Sometimes when you are in the middle of something you do not realize what are you a part of, how big your impact is . Talking with Richard helped to realize that as Kosciol Dla Miasta (KDM) we are greatly involved in many areas of activity in our district. It takes someone from outside to help you to realize that you might be one of the best kept secrets in the district. Talking about our story encouraged me to share it  with bigger audience. If we could come to such place with our project ‘why not encourage others that they can do the same or even better ?’ that was my motivation.

TEDxKazimierz: What were your feelings after your speech on TEDxKazimierz conference?

Zibi: I get used to speaking to bigger group but TEDx crowd is different. It was challenging, nervous but good. I was happy that I did the speech. I was more nervous than usual. The stress was high.

I felt good when we finished and the pressure was gone. I loved the idea that I could  share  what we do and why. My hope was that maybe few people will be encourage or to they will to dare to do things for others. It has been good experience and the possibility to share an idea with others and meet other great people was great.

Don: After talks (which are very similar to performances) I tend to want to be quiet and alone. I also reflect far (far!) too much! Missed chances to talk about this and that, and missed opportunities to chat with people…

TEDxKazimierz: I know, that currently you are working on a special Christmas program in theKazimierz district. What is the main purpose of it?

Zibi: Yes, as you said our special program is about Christmas, called “Experience Christmas”. We would like to bring our Christmas Spirit to our life. For 3 days we want people to come, stop for a while and experience Christmas. We want whole families and single people, young and old to come and feel, taste, smell Christmas. We want people from our community to come and taste, bake, decore ginger breads, cookies, build ginger house. We want whole families to be involved in some craft, singing carols, watching Christmas movie with hot chocolate. Our goal is to build local community, show people that doing life together is better.

Christmas is great time because we focus on other. We want to celebrate what is important, our faith, family, other people. Doing life together, building local community. Christmas is a good season to start this.

Don: The project has been designed to bring people (and businesses) together and celebrate Christmas and to help young people in hospitals or difficult circumstances through the charity Daleko Więcej.

The ‘Christmas Experience’ is in two parts, and the first part (from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th) will allow people to ‘experience’ Christmas. This means taking the time to stop from their usual routine, and have fun with family and friends; try new things such as carol singing and gingerbread decorating! (Plus more!) We also want people to share their experience of Christmas from their country.

The second part (from Monday 18 to Thursday 21) is a more traditionally English experience featuring an international cast! We will be performing “A Christmas Carol”. It’s unique because it features a live choir, more than 30 actors aged between 9-70, from more than 10 countries, professional actors (including Paweł Okraska) working alongside those with no experience.

The performance will be in English but accompanied by Polish subtitles.

We are still able to welcome those interested in participating. Our website has much more information and we can be contacted directly at,

TEDxKazimierz: In what way would you like to bring this project to life and expand your audience?

Don: We would simply like people to treat themselves and allow themselves the pleasure of Christmas! To take the time to stop and enjoy their family and friends and all the things around them that makes Christmas special.

To book tickets for the play, visit:

Zibi: I would like more local people to get involved and participate. I hope this won’t be another tourist attraction but an event for local people. I would love local business to partner with us so they will understand that together we are creating community. I would love to see our building full of people with different backgrounds getting together to experience Christmas. I would like this year to see few hundred people not only thinking of themselves but actually thinking about others. I think this is good idea worth sharing.

TEDxKazimierz: It is really brilliant idea, I’m wishing you all the best with the project. Thank you so much for talking with me today, I appreciate your time.

Zbigniew Marzec (and his wife Magda) at the last TEDx Kazimierz conference spoke about their Community Church here.

Don Allen spoke about why he believes the emotional impact of what we do is the thing to focus on here.

If you are interested in participation in “Experience Christmas” check out below posters and KKP website for more information.

November 11, 2017/ by Alina Usyk