From the TED Blog’s week-long celebration of TEDx:
The Great White Continent. The Frozen Desert. The Real Land Down Under. Antarctica might not be the easiest of places to travel to but, in the past year, there have been two TEDx events staged on the continent.
Darren McGann organized TEDxAntarcticPeninsula, which took place on March 6. After watching TEDx talks online for years, he decided to hold his own event while on the International Antarctic Expedition (a multi-week trip designed to show global leaders the beauty and history of the Antarctic wilderness, as well as its fragility to climate change) in 2011.
“During the expedition, the thought kept coming back to me that if I ever get back to Antarctica this would be the perfect setting for a TEDx event,” McGann tells the TED Blog.
His TEDx event, themed “Renewable Reality,” brought together 80 leaders from 23 countries. They were shielded from the elements by two banks of snow. And the event was powered completely by solar energy.
“I am really proud that we were able to demonstrate that you can run a solar powered TEDx in the harshest environment on the planet,” says McGann. “If it can be done in Antarctica, it can be done everywhere.”
McGann also feels proud that nature became a part of his TEDx.
“Having a penguin walk up on stage was certainly a highlight! The speaker couldn’t see it, but the gentoo penguin came waddling up behind her. We had a good laugh about it,” says McGann. “During the talks we also had whales blowing and a glacier birthing. There was a lot going on that day.”
(See photos of the event on Flickr and watch the talks on YouTube.)
...Read more on the TED Blog
Written by Kate Torgovnick