Most probably you know TED…I’m often the last person to find out about something or someone new and/or cool, so I just spent my whole afternoon getting to know TED. For those of you who don’t know of TED already, first let me let you in on a little secret. TED isn’t a person. TED is a group of people…A group of people that changes every year; a group of people (extremely talented and intelligent people-Why not?) who get together and discuss any and all topics that humanity sees as being ‘fresh and important’.
TED stands for ‘Technology, Entertainment, and Design’, but as the ‘About TED’ page will tell you, no relevant subject evades these passionately focussed minds that are so keen to learn and share knowledge with one another. The Arts, Business, and the Sciences aren’t left out-you can read, listen to podcasts, and watch video talks from some of the most renown and scholarly individuals on the globe…plus they throw in a few healthy comedians to keep things light (as they should be).
The ‘Tedblog‘ keeps you up to date with all that’s being said, and normally I like to focus on the written word (as opposed to videoblogs and podcasts), but in this case I was completely captivated by the video links found on the ‘TED Talks’ web page (linked to from the main TED site). These are ‘talks’ or oral presentations, usually around 18 minutes in length, but which can be as short as 3 minutes, although the length definitely doesn’t limit the potential for impact. I haven’t witnessed a boring talk as of yet.
Check this little 3 minute talk about ‘Why people succeed’ by Richard St. John and you’ll know what I mean. I also watched an incredible 14-year-old concert pianist named Jennifer Lin whose skills will simply blow your mind. Wait until the end and watch her improvise with 5 random notes chosen from a member (You’ll probably recognise her too) of the crowd.
Closer to home and relating to some of my recent posts here at MiContent, this talk by Sasa Vucinic about venture capitalists helping to fund independent media in developing countries (where most media is controlled and censored) was quite inspirational. In my last post (‘Some ‘real’ journalists don’t think bloggers can write’ I discussed the opinions of some mainstream media (newspaper) journalists who felt that blogs were destroying some of the information sharing process. This video talk touched on some interesting points relating to the need for more independent newspapers in the world…at least blogs generally don’t seem to have much problem with outside interests filtering content. Or do they?
Another awesome, enlightening, and even humorous presentation I saw (a must see) was from a Swedish professor named Hans Rosling (founder of ‘Gap Minder‘), which was based on the changing health and wealth in our world. A while back I wrote about a book I read that discussed how humanity could change our behaviours to make the world into a better place (‘Can you change the world?’). Well, this fellow pretty much proves that our planet is now already much better off than it ever has been!
I also had a good couple of laughs with this comedian Ze Frank, and another quick 3 minute performance by the poet/spoken word specialist who calls himself Rives. Check out the Tedblog and some of the other talks and tell me about any that grabbed your attention and why. I think it’s about time we all got to know a bit about what TED is all about.
Jesse S. Somer may never be invited or be able to afford a ticket to see TED, but just watching TED’s work has been uplifting in itself.