Interview: Norbert Barré, Founder and Curator TEDxCannes

We speak with Norbert Barré, organiser of this year’s TEDxCannes annual conference at the Palais des Festivals, which was focused on climate change and sustainable solutions for a better planet.
The future is a source of opportunities, and TEDxCannes aims to project this positively through its speakers.
TEDxCannes has been organised independently by TED since 2014. It is the only event of its kind in France to be officially bilingual, while most of the 25 videos of the talks are available in five languages.
Monaco Life: What can you tell us about this year’s conference held in June?
Norbert Barré: This year, we fully adopted TED’s Countdown initiative, which aims to identify and promote solutions to the challenges of climate change. But we went further: we launched a Climate Solutions Accelerator to support start-up CEOs for eight weeks before TEDx in order to “accelerate” their business development.

How did you source your speakers?
Out of the 17 talks of the day, seven came from this Climate Solutions Accelerator, launched following a Call for Expressions of Interest. We benefited from the partnership of Cannes Lérins and from the Capenergies competitiveness cluster, EDF and SUEZ being our main partners, and also ENEDIS, GRDF, the Port of Cannes and ENGIE Solutions as supporting partners.
Who were the speakers and companies involved?
There was a 1st session in the morning to promote concrete solutions brought by start-ups from the large South East quarter of France, but also from other regions. We talked about biowaste mechanisation, catamaran hydrogen propulsion, solutions to avoid the discharge of waste at sea, protection of the Posidonia, and opportunities to recycle and revalue land excavation to manufacture building materials, in an ultra-short circuit.
Were any of the speakers from the French Riviera?
70% of the solutions promoted in the morning of TEDx were from the French Riviera. In the afternoon, for the even more inspirational talks – most of whom are also connected to the Countdown on a human level, we had the same proportion of local speakers, from Aix and Marseille to Nice.
When is your next event and what will the topics be?
Our next event will take place around the COP 26 (Climate Change Conference) in November in Glasgow. We will remain focused on the Countdown themes, such as protection of the sea, waste management and food, sustainable mobility, 100% clean energy, sustainable materials and construction, fight against major risks.
Photo credits: TEDxCannes