Events & Conferencing Interview South Africa

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

[TEDxCapeTown] Speaker profile: Marlene Wasserman/Dr Eve

At TEDxCapeTown on 15 August, Marlene Wasserman, also known as Dr Eve, graced the stage to talk about cyber infidelity, a trend she's picked on during her sessions with clients.

Wasserman engaged the audience on why partners are delving into this new online realm, and how it's affecting the trust aspect in relationships, seeing as everyone has a smartphone and entering these online dating sites are easy and accessible.

[TEDxCapeTown] Speaker profile: Marlene Wasserman/Dr Eve

Bizcommunity Tell us more about your company, and how you got involved?

Wasserman: I am the founder of the DR EVE brand, I founded the brand 21 years ago, pioneering sexual health, rights and relationships in South Africa. My latest research into #sextech, specifically Cyber Infidelity, resulted in a book "Cyber Infidelity: the New Seduction" (Human & Rousseau, 2015) and ignited me into a new career focus. Due to the cutting edge nature of this research, I am taking this work globally, positioning myself as the global go-to person in this particular field.

I completed my South African book tour and top of my list of reaching out internationally, was, naturally TED. Surprisingly I received an immediate response from TEDxCapeTown, inviting me to present - two weeks later! And so my journey with TED began.

Bizcommunity How was the experience giving a TEDx presentation?

Wasserman: Daunting! Presenters are usually coached for 2-3 months, I had 10 days. I have my own unique way of presenting and I had to unlearn this, and coached into the TED template. Psychologically, it was harrowing as TED is my dream, here it was and I wanted to really give it my best.. with 10 days preparation! Despite 21+ years of public, academic, radio, TV appearances, nationally and internationally, this was my biggest challenge to date. I loved it! I give full credit to my coach Carryn Ortlepp.

Bizcommunity What did you enjoy the most from the event?

Wasserman: The coaching was a new experience for me, I found that fascinating and tremendously useful. I enjoyed being intellectually and psychologically challenged at that level, really wonderful bitter sweet pain. Mostly I felt privileged to become part of the TED community.

Bizcommunity What is your interpretation on the theme: Open Access Control

Wasserman: It was a perfect fit for my presentation on Cyber Infidelity. After all the cyber world is open and accessible to all of us yet we need to control our own behaviour online. It reflects a current philosophy on how we are expected to live life: we have all the freedoms, and access via internet yet so many people, mainly women, are controlled by their partners, we are controlled by government policies, such as anti-gay laws, anti-abortion laws, which makes access to our right to healthcare and services, impossible.

Bizcommunity What innovative or inspirational message will you take home from TEDxCapeTown?

Wasserman: People have amazing ideas. People live interesting lives as evidenced by the diversity of presenters. We should open ourselves up to learning out of our comfort zone. I was inspired to read more widely, different topics and authors, poets, to what I normally read. TED is the perfect place to which we can stimulate ourselves to new ideas and I hope followed by new behaviours which make individuals happier.

Bizcommunity Do you have a website or twitter profile for the audience to follow you?

Wasserman: Of course - I am a social media fanatic! Visit these web sites and follow me on Twitter (@Dr_Eve), Facebook and my YouTube channel. Also listen to me weekly, Friday 11-12pm on Radio 567 and Cape Talk and watch me every Monday 8.00-8.30am on Expresso Breakfast TV, and follow my international presence!

*Accenture South Africa has partnered with TEDxCapeTown in 2015 to ensure #IdeasWorthSpreading

About TEDx, x=independently organised event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

These local, self-organised events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organised TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organised.*

About TED

TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On, we're building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world's most inspired thinkers - and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.

*Interviewed by Beverley Klein

About Beverley Klein

Beverley Klein is the editor of the Marketing Media South Africa section on With a background in journalism and historical studies, she's dived into the world of industry news, curating content, writing and interviewing thought leaders. She's often spotted in a forest on the weekend and rarely seen without a camera. Follow @BevCPT.

Let's do Biz