As a heavy consumer of Technology and Entertainment, as well as a serial appreciater (is that even a word?) of Design, I have long followed the goings-on at the annual TED conference … which purports to "Gather the world's leading thinkers and doers for four days of rapid-fire stimulation, resulting in: Unexpected connections. Extraordinary insights. Powerful inspiration."
For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, TED is a non-profit organization devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading." Since its founding in 1984, the conference presentations have expanded far beyond the original topics of technology, entertainment and design to include science, business and global issues like international migration and climate change.
Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to attend the annual TED conference because space is limited (to encourage face time among participants) and credentials are issued by invitation-only based on a rather rigorous application process. You essentially need to be a pretty serious mover and shaker in your field to get an invite, and sometimes even that's not enough. For example:
There was once an episode of "Kathy Griffin: My life on the D List" (one of the funniest reality shows EVER) in which comedian Rosie O'Donnell asked Kathy to use her relationship with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (whom Kathy was dating at the time) to get Rosie into TED. Kathy said she would try, in exchange for the opportunity to meet Cher…who is evidently quite tight with Rosie. The point is, if someone like Rosie O'Donnell has to barter with her showbiz connections for tickets to TED, what chance does the average schmoe have of getting in?
Enter TEDx, a smaller-scale event designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to engage in dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. Several weeks ago someone I follow on Twitter posted a link to a website announcing TEDxÖresund being held right here in Malmö, and after reviewing the list of presenters, I jumped at the chance to apply for one of the 100 seats available. And on Friday, I got confirmation that my application has been accepted. WAHOO!
So on May 14 I'm taking the day off work to engage, connect, think hard and be inspired…and best of all…IN ENGLISH, BAY-BEE!