When Katr first started attending the TED conference, no one I knew had heard about it. It was held in Monterey, CA and I would get to go with her every year and catch glimpses of celebrities like Forest Whitaker and take terrible videos of seals and write deep thoughts at my favourite Monterey cafe Plumes.
Now, eight years later, TED is ubiquitous - I can't go on Facebook without seeing friends posting and reposting thousands of cool TED talks - and instead of going down to Long Beach, where it is now held, Katr is a TED Associate and we livestream the conference here right to our house. TECHNOLOGY!
This livestreaming approach has distinct advantages:
a) It is cheaper.
b) I don't have to worry about letting one rip just as Cameron Diaz gets on the elevator at the Portola Plaza hotel. Not that that happened. Twice. Or anything.
c) I get to actually *see* the TED talks instead of just *hearing* about them from Katr and then *thinking* about watching them online but never getting around to it.
Something that always kind of put me off TED was the collective orgasm a lot of folks seems to have over TED (including the organizers). But I have to say, there are some pretty awesome and amazing things going on that were very cool to hear about.
There were a lot of interesting talks at TED this year but probably my favourites were:
Bryan Stephenson, lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, who gave such a moving and motivating talk about racism in the justice system that he managed to raise 1.2 million dollars towards his latest campaign (to keep kids from being sentenced to adult jail) in less than a day at TED. Because the people at TED are super super rich.
Book designer Chip Kidd, who designed iconic book jackets like the one for Jurassic Park. He was gay, bitchy, hilarious and really got me thinking about "what does a story look like"? Also, he made me slightly ashamed of my new Kobo.
Journalist and writer Jon Ronson, whose latest book is about psychopaths and who shared a few of his stories from his research, with some added audio-visual aid from Evan Grant and Julian Treasure. I'm dying to read his book now, if only to make sure that I don't have too many checks on the Psychopath Checklist.
Ainissa Ramirez, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, who gave a talk about changing the way we educate and inspire kids. My favourite quote was "Scientists fail all the time; we just brand it differently. We call it ‘data.’”
I'm sure all of these talks will be online seconds after I write this (so far there are only four posted on the TED 2012 Playlist but I'm sure there are many more to come). In the meantime, you can check out the TED blog for other highlights from this year's conference.
As I mentioned on Facebook, inspired by the brilliant minds we've been hearing from at the TED conference this week, I've decided to take a risk and implement a new pilot project I like to call "No Bridge Mix Left Behind". So far, project is exceeding expectations! I look forward to my invitation to speak at TEDxConfectionary. Anytime, guys. Annnnytime.