Meet Zoltan Bencz, TED volunteer translator

zoltan_2.jpgIn the next weeks, the TED Blog will shine the spotlight on the fantastic TED volunteer translators — offering a glimpse of the people whose efforts continue to enrich the Open Translation Project. Today, we’d like you to meet Zoltan Bencz.

Tell us about yourself.

“Philosophy. A domain that has nothing to do with practical life, has nothing to do with business …”

As business coach, I have found that the above statement is false. Philosophy does have true value for business. Philosophical principles may even precede dreams and vision. Philosophy is an opportunity to enter new terrains, to enter blue oceans, to find breakthroughs, to do good work. I am not saying that management 1.0 tools are not sufficient most of the time — but, as Edward de Bono says, they are EBNE, Excellent but Not Enough.

I’m doing a survey on the above point, and would be pleased to talk to you about it — about exploring the use of philosophy in business. If you feel like taking part in this study, please contact me.

Some personal points: before the current chapter of my life as business coach, I did business development of an international pharmaceutical brand. Earlier I worked for a Hungarian software and chemistry company, which remains a benchmark for me in terms of vision, professionalism and success.

My passion is sailing in the heart of Europe, on Lake Balaton, with my family, every summer. Since this passion is shared with my colleagues, we decided to make Lake Balaton a venue for a TEDxBalaton event in June 2010.

zoltan_3.jpgWhat drew you to TED?

In January 2009 I was looking for approaches that are “outside the box,” related to intuition and creativity, which are ingredients of business success. Then, by mere chance, I saw the TED presentation of Elizabeth Gilbert. “Wow!” I said. “This is exceptional in terms of content and style.” Then I started to look for other presentations. This was the entry-point to the slope where there is no way to stop sliding … upwards.

Besides translating, my colleagues and I decided to organize TEDx events.

Luckily, we were not the only ones attracted by the spirit of TED in Hungary. Another team, who are organizing the TEDxDanubia event, were open to collaboration and we decided to work together. From now on, there will be two related events in Hungary every year devoted to the TED spirit, with a spotlight on Hungarian men and women, whereever they live on the globe.

Why do you translate?

The reason I started to translate for TED was a very natural consequence to keep balance between the abundance of incoming mental benefits with that of the desire to share them. So I wrote a “Dear TED” letter, and asked whether I could contribute. Translating is a simple, yet very effective way of contribution. Try it and you will feel the reward!