Wow, talk about a crazy mixed up last few weeks. Jumping head first into my new job, going to a comedy show, a burlesque show, a movie, and finally ending it with TedXFoCo. I mean, where to even begin with the craziness!?!?!? It makes sense to me at least why I haven’t posted anything in a while.
But, this past weekend was an absolute blast because I was able to be actively involved in a TED branded event. What joy!
For those of you that don’t know what TED is it stands for Technology, Innovation, and Design. Their tag-line is “Idea’s worth spreading.” To explain what a TED conference is is rather difficult because it is a non-profit built on the culmination and spread of ideas. It is our geeky version of the Rennaisance, minds from all over the world invested in millions of different fields talking about what they find interesting or challenging the audience’s perspective and views on our modern world. Talks can be as simple as talking about how someone’s kids have changed their life all the way to how we have developed super conductors for public transportation. There is no limits, no pretentiousness behind the event, just a shared desire to learn and innovate…life.
On Sunday whilst many people were drinking cheap tequila and wearing sombreros celebrating independence from France in a completely American made holiday, the lady and I headed to Fort Collins and attended the TEDx at Avogadro’s Number. Unlike the original TED conference based out of California, a TEDx event is an “independently organized event” that addresses the specific issues of the community it is in. A TEDx can have a specific theme relevant to that community and the speakers would all be asked to relate it to the topic and the people you are speaking to. To me, a TEDx conference is much more difficult than the TED conference because it forces you to focus more on the community surrounding you and the impact you have on lives that are directly related to you. At a general TED talk you can talk on and on about community and sharing ideas with people, but for me, to see someone that you have an interaction with on a consistent basis really reinforces the ideas and holds everyone accountable.
As this blog has pointed out, and as I always talk about when I am on my soapbox, the word Community is super important. A community of like minded individuals coming together to talk about ideas and higher level thought is important and really awe inspiring, but for those same people having to come together, but than maintain an interaction after an event really reinforces and perpetuates the need to build on those ideas presented. Accountability between the speaker and the audience is constantly shared.
I think the speech yesterday that truly embodied this need for community was Josh Awtry’s The Geography of Information meets the Information of Geography. In his presentation, Josh discussed the idea of crowdsourced news. Instead of the news being presented to the people, but the local community and citizens dictating what the news is and maintaining what is relevant and news worthy. His talk was very fast paced and I got lost due to the amount of booze that I had, but in essence, the responsibility of good news, or for a good community for that matter, is giving the responsibility and power of influence back to the community and the people. By making them empowered and invested, you build stronger connections and more impactful news sources. An idea that I think can be universally shared.
The TED conference was a great learnign experience both personally and professionally. It is definitely something worth while and a great experience. I hope that as TED grows, this importance of Community, and Empowerment are not lost.
A talk from the official TED conference. Check it out and look at their site if you need some inspiration!