While I engaged with a variety of smart, interesting, motivated, and passionate people at TEDActive, the first person I met was Kristin Alford (@kristinalford). After a sleepless night and a long trans-continental flight, I blearily arrived at the Riviera in Palm Springs, checked into the hotel on Foursqare (I could not check-in physically as my room wasn’t ready), and was delighted that the app yielded a half-price Shiraz at the Sidebar Lounge!
I am genetically inclined towards bargain shopping and talking to strangers, so I immediately told the nearest person about the wine deal. Kristin, too, was waiting for her room to be ready, so we made quick work of introducing ourselves, deciding that wine was indeed in order, and situating ourselves at the Sidebar.
We had a delightful couple of hours (and glasses) together, and it was a pleasure to meetup throughout our time together at TEDActive. Kristin described herself as futurist; She is the Founder and Managing Director of Bridge8, which is “a foresight, industry development and science communications consultancy based in Australia.” (I was slightly disappointed that being a futurist didn’t mean psychic powers and the ability to predict lottery numbers…)
Kristin was also the lead of the TEDActiveSOC action project. Here are some excerpts from her blog post describing the project:
Last week, I had the privilege of attending TEDActive, the livestreamed sister of conference of TED. Amidst the talks, the conversations and the workshops for TEDx organisers, I participated in one of the TEDActive projects – Social Networks (or #TEDActiveSOC). The purpose of our project was explore how we might use our social networks to turn inspiration into action.
As the discussion unfolds, we realise we have surfaced a number of questions to explore with the wider TEDActive audience. These questions are:
- How might you find what matters to you through your social networks?
- How do you discover what you can do about the thing(s) that matter to you?
- How might you tip inspiration into action?How might we tackle big things with human-sized action?
- How might we you nurture your social aura (effectivess, reputation)?
- How might social networks make you more courageous?
- How might you move from tweet to street?
Rather than proposing a specific micro action, we are proposing a new micro philosophy. Know the power of the people in your network, know the way to reach them, and know to ask them to act in a way that matters. Whether it’s showing support for the middle east, participating in JR’s global art project, or spreading TEDED we’re asking you to be deliberate in your social networks. When you share your ideas from this week, we’re asking you to be the signal, not the noise.
Kristin talked about embracing “not micro-actions but a micro-philosophy,” and she quotes Amanda Rose’s interview on TEDActiveSOC in the Huffington Post:
- Be yourself. People will respond best to those with an authentic social media voice.
- Listen and give back to your community. Others will remember your contribution.
- Chose the right social media channel for your message. Consider the audience.
- Clearly define what it is you are asking. The more specific, the better result.
- Be passionate. Show people how they can be part of something bigger.
- Report back. People want to feel valued and hear about the impact or results.
Finally, I love Kristin’s last paragraph: The outcome of the TEDActiveSOC project is to ask you take on this micro-philosophy of using your networks more deliberately to create change that matters.
That is an idea worth spreading, for sure.