On Friday at Sydney Hall it was all about ideas worth spreading. TED, the usually very exclusive (and expensive) premium event was coming to DC for not only affordable prices but also for an audience that is willing to make a difference.
Now, you might wonder how does that differ from any of the other social networking events or speaking engagements. Well, here is the simplest concept put even simpler: 1. Take some of the most disruptive local ideas 2. Package them into short, inspiring and breath-taking presentations (so-called “talks”) on stage 3. Let the audience reflect and socialize about it, with the presenter and along the community (online/live stream) afterwards and during the breaks.
1. Disruptive ideas: TED facilitates not only a platform with a fancy stage and a lot of cameras. They involve lively presentation and most important engaging speakers. Every idea presented leaves a moment behind filled with emotions for the audience. Whether you listen to personal life stories — Ted Leonsis (owner of the DC capitals) was talking about his way to the top (buy selling his first business with 26 for 60 milion dollars) and stepping into the wrong airplane that changed everything – ; or lessons that should be learned – Diana Laufenberg is showing the world how we can learn from children that embracing failure, appreciating the wrong answer, is the right way to learn effectively –or current research concepts — Dickson
Despommiers method to re-think our living against the nature towards embracing a life for and with the nature — or simply by sharing their work about diseases, photography and art to stumble us with the way we interact, build and live together.
They are spelling. They are gripping. They leave you behind with doubts about our day-to-day pattern, our purpose, our goals, ambitions and reflections on life. Some of them are mystical and beautiful at the same time. The talks about happiness, the pledges about the importance of culture and creativity for a knowledge based and result oriented society or the impact of music for the human brain.
2. Breath talking: It is performance. There is an exciting atmosphere in the seats about the insight to come, the knowledge to share and the journey to take. And you do follow. You were lead by trips,stages, ups and downs, failures and victories with your eyes on the stage. You laugh, you stumble, you reflect, you are amazed, shocked and terrified.
3. Socializing: Afterwards you get your chance to interact. With TED you spend a significant time of about 70% in your seat absorbing the ideas. Within the breaks you get the time to challenge back, dig deeper or form alliances. Participants now have to prove their concept to other thoughts, new views, mergers and even potential acquisitions. You usually shake hands, look into new faces and listen to interesting stories. Obviously you do small talk as well.But it is unconventional. Unforced. No one is there out of pure interest to get rid of business cards and connect with the unreachable. People join to be part of something. The next big thing. The breakthrough trend. Something that changes everything. And maybe they helped. By talking about it, sharing perspectives and own personal stories and insights. It’s about ideas worth spreading and making the difference.
All TED talks are soon online viewable: http://tedxmidatlantic.com/