This week, TEDGlobal went live far beyond the limits of the Edinburgh International Conference Center. In over 55 countries worldwide, excited TED’xers became TEDsters for a day (or night!) — gathered to experience “Radical Openness” in the heart of their communities: inside theaters, schools, local haunts, and cultural centers.
In Amsterdam, while audience members watched the simulcast in a historic 19th-century theater, TEDxAmsterdamLive found a whole another life on the World Wide Web. For several years they — and other TEDx’ers throughout The Netherlands — have worked with the Dutch collaborative World of Minds to mind-map their TEDx events. This year, World of Minds introduced the hashtag #myTEDidea, which inspired TEDGlobal watchers around the world to contribute TEDGlobal-inspired ideas to their universal mind-map: the TEDGlobal Idea Donation Center.
Organizers also created a TEDxAmsterdamLive Tumblr blog, which was curated by Sjoerd Los, an artist who “confronts different pieces of art by putting them up against each other daily.” Sjoerd aimed to “[create] challenging collisions and [add] new meaning [to] the content of the TEDGlobal Talks.” A screen in the TEDxAmsterdamLive viewing room alternated between this and mindmaps.
Fatiha Hajjat, from TEDxLyonLive, was moved by the connections formed at their event: “All day, we were blown away by the amazing speakers at TEDGlobal,” she said, we were “shifting from states of high excitement to moments of soulful tears.”
“During the pauses, we asked our community members to determine how radically open we could make our city. During one of the pauses, we went on the campus and ‘radically opened’ the conference to professors and students who were sitting for exams. An Iranian PhD student who was in the [University] for a short training programme popped in with his wife, not believing his luck at getting a sneak view of TEDGlobal in the most unexpected place. He was over the moon! Later came another unexpected guest, herself from Iran and a French resident for years. One of the volunteers ticked straight away and connected them.
“At 5.15 pm, something highly symbolic happened. Total strangers a minute ago, the three of them hugged each other, their eyes in tears as if they knew they were meant to meet that day. We could sense that the conversation between them was just beginning and we were so proud of being a tiny part in this process.”
TEDxGuatavitaLive overcame technical difficulties to host an amazing event, a prelude to what will be the first locally-organized TEDx event in rural Colombia later this year. “At the beginning we had a lot of problems with the internet connection [because] Internet at countryside locations in Colombia is not very reliable,” said organizer Felipe Spath, “but at the end it worked! And it was an incredible afternoon, sharing this experience with people who hadn’t seen a TED conference before. Really inspiring!”
In Islamabad, Pakistan, TEDxRawalLakeLive’s attendees were greeted at the door with an assignment. “x =” was written on large sheets of paper, and every attendee was given a sheet and asked to fill in what “x” means to him or her. Participants were then photographed with their project, as a way to document the collective ideas of Islamabad’s TEDx’ers.
TEDxAustinLive chose a very specific venue for their stream of TEDGlobal: the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Visualization Lab at the University of Texas at Austin.
TEDxAustinLive organizers chose the Vislab because it is a place that “embraces data as a treasure trove of information that can tell stories –- the kind that can change how we work, play, and, well, live as human beings.”
“The Vislab houses Stallion, the world’s highest resolution tiled display, which supports exploration of data visualizations at extremely high levels of detail,” says Shawna Butler, one of the event’s organizers. “Its interdisciplinary approach to interpreting data exhibits the sort of ‘Radical Openness’ described by TEDGlobal speaker Shyam Sankar.”
“Attendees interacted with touch screen displays and experienced research at the forefront of fields such as scientific visualization, visual analytics, human-computer symbiosis, and high-performance computing,” Butler reported. The simulcast was paired with a live talk given by Dr. Todd Humphreys about his radionavigation lab’s experience using a GPS spoofer to take control of a drone.
Last night at the Autodesk Cage Match at Ghillie Dhu — hosted by Tom Wujec in full Scottish kilt — four duos took to the stage, armed with Scottish tartans and boxing gloves, for a battle of wits — pitting idea vs. idea, to leave only one standing:
Photo: Ryan Lash
David Rowan, Editor of Wired UK vs. Jason Silva, TEDGlobal speaker
Don Tapscott, whose TEDGlobal talk is the second to go to TED.com vs. Eddie Obeng, TEDGlobal speaker
The co-founder of Sun Microsystems Bill Joy vs. TED Fellow Rachel Armstrong
…and TEDxBeaconStreet organizer John Werner representing TEDGlobal vs. Walter DeBrouwer of TEDxBrussels representing TED Long Beach:
Photo: Ryan Lash
TEDGlobal is whiskey, TED is wine coolers
TED has White Castle, TEDGlobal has Edinburgh Castle
Both TEDGlobal and TED have Bruno, but more people at TEDGlobal understand him
Then Rives (representing TEDActive, of course) joined the debate with the assertion that TEDActive should be the winner because,
The motto of TEDActive is ‘WWCAND’…’What Would Chris Anderson NOT Do?’…
Then, unannounced, TEDxDubai organizer Giorgio Ungania jumped to the stage countering all three with TEDx:
TEDx is the ultimate in ideas worth spreading, a superbrain made of thousands of neurons located all around battling together for the power of ideas. TEDx also solved one of the biggest mysteries in the history of mankind: how do you get thousands of super-talented individuals working for TED for free?
Host Tom Wujec took an audience vote — TEDx reigned supreme and Giorgio as its representative won a space on the Autodesk throne.
Photo: John Werner
At TED 2012, the most recent TED Prize was announced, and given to an idea, rather than to a person: the City 2.0.
The $100,000 prize was divided into ten $10,000 grants, with the first five announced at TEDGlobal. Two went to TEDx communities in Pakistan, one to an event in Uganda.
Five more grants are available, and anyone can nominate their project to win.
Going forward, the TEDx community will have a larger voice in the execution of the yearly TED Prize, including this year’s. TEDxCity2.0 will be one day — October 13th, 2012 — when TEDx communities around the world can organize an event themed City 2.0 to highlight the amazing voices and stories making change in their local communities.
These stories and ideas will shape what the City 2.0 is and will be going forward.