Tag Archives: TEDActive

Reliving favorite moments from #TED2014 via the @TEDTalks weekly newsletter…

On the bottom right of TED.com is a little subscription widget that invites, “Sign up for our daily or weekly emails to receive notifications whenever new talks are published.” It’s so worth it.

I was privileged to attend TEDActive two months ago. It was the 30th anniversary of TED (TED = Technology Education Design) and their first annual event in Canada, so I knew it would be special. I’m still deconstructing all that I experienced and learned while there, and the weekly email updates I receive from TED is a lovely push to listen anew to awesome people sharing their passions. I’m still awaiting news of more uploaded talks from TED2014 including those from Sara Lewis, David Kwong, Moshe Safdie, and many others. Plus, AJ Jacobs and Ben Fry spoke live at TEDActive, and it would be great to be able to watch and share the videos from their talks too…

Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites from TED2014:

Sarah Jones: What does the future hold? 11 characters offer quirky answers

Mark Ronson: The exhilarating creativity of remixing

Chris Hadfield:What I learned from going blind in space

Randall Munroe: Comics that ask “what if?”

Ziauddin Yousafzai: My daughter, Malala

Del Harvey: The strangeness of scale at Twitter

Ed Yong: Suicidal crickets, zombie roaches and other parasite tales

Hugh Herr: The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance

Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform
(Larry spoke at TEDxNYED in 2010!)

Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work

Larry Page: Where’s Google going next?

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Who are the people in your [online] neighborhood? After TEDActive, @kristinalford is one of them.


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:

  1. Be yourself. People will respond best to those with an authentic social media voice.
  2. Listen and give back to your community. Others will remember your contribution.
  3. Chose the right social media channel for your message. Consider the audience.
  4. Clearly define what it is you are asking. The more specific, the better result.
  5. Be passionate. Show people how they can be part of something bigger.
  6. 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.

[image: (from http://galleries.thedigitalphotobooth.com/CORPORATE-EVENTS/TED-Active/1602814…)]

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I’m down with T.E.D. (yeah you know me)


Last week I was in Palm Springs at what was essentially Club TED. Along with about 500 other people at TEDActive, I watched a simulcast of TED 2011 from The Riviera Resort and Spa. It was totally awesome and extravagant to be mentally stimulated in such a deluxe way; There were screens all over the resort. The designated main room was full of posh Steelcase seating clusters, each facing their own duo of Sony flat screens. Additionally, there were other rooms full of snacks, coffee bars, refrigerators full of beverage choices, and power strips up the wazoo with a variety of seating arrangements and screens everywhere. The most lavish area were the cabanas around the pool, also with dual screens and Lawrence-of-Arabia-inspired interior designs.

It was a monumental few days, and I’m still mourning the fact that I had to leave early to get back to New York in time for TEDxNYED which I co-curated with Basil Kolani (@bkolani). However, we pulled off a pretty spectacular event that exceeded even my high expectations, thanks to the good people at the New York Academy of Sciences and our amazing team of organizers: Dan Agins (@agins213), Erin Mumford (@erinmum), Jeff Weitz (@scienceteacher1), Kiersten Jennings Chou (@choutofu), Sean Freese (@seanmfreese), and Tammy Mckenna (@tmck76).

I joked more than once that this second annual TEDxNYED could be renamed TEDxKaren. I consider the other organizers friends, and I am inspired by all of our speakers. Plus, I’m proud to know so many of the organizers and speakers personally. I even had connections with our co-hosts, Don Buckley (@donbuckley) and Sylvia Martinez (@smartinez); Don is my boss, and Sylvia makes me laugh more than many other people. At TEDxNYED, we heard “ideas worth spreading” from:

Alan November @globalearner
Homa Tavangar @growingupglobal
Lucy Gray @elemenous
John Ellrodt and Maria Fico @johncellrodt @mfico1158 
Kiran Bir Sethi 
Gary Stager @garystager
Brian Crosby @bcrosby
Heidi Hayes Jacobs @HeidiHayesJacob
Dennis Littky  @Dennis_Littky
Diana Laufenberg @dlaufenberg
Rinat Aruh
Luyen Chou @luyenchou
Patrick Carman @patrickcarman
Morley @morleymusic
Stacey Murphy @bkfarmyards
Samona Tait
Steve Bergen @stevebergen
Will Richardson @willrich45

On top of everything else, it was a thrill that Morley, a New York based singer/songwriter/activist, joined us. Below is a video of her song, “Women of Hope,” which includes the line, “If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.” It is my new mantra.

Photos from TEDActive: http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Photos from TEDxNYED: http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649


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