October 9, 2010


TED TEDx logos 415x380
I keep meeting people who aren't familiar with TED or TEDx. So highlights from TEDxToronto 2010 aren't meaningful to them. This post provides context.

TED is the best source I've found for consistent, diverse great ideas. Talks generally run 18 minutes or less. Some are less than six minutes long. That's enough to convey a powerful idea but short enough to cut out the fluff.

Bill Strickland

Have you seen Bill Strickland's talk about the revitalization of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? He's so low key but draws you in with a captivating story. He attracted unlikely allies like Herbie Hancock who accompanies him on piano. His talk from 2002 runs 35 minutes. Maybe the 18 minute rule was not in place then. You probably won't mind.

Some Speakers

TED speakers include Bill Gates, Peter Gabriel, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Seth Godin, and Jane Goodall. Those are just some of the last names starting with G.
Bill GatesPeter GabrielMalcolm Gladwell
Al GoreSeth GodinJane Goodall
(Click on a photo to go to their profiles and their talks)

In 2007, TED Talks were put online for free. That's when I learned of TED.

I wanted to attend the TED conference in Monterey, California but this wasn't practical. Admission was restricted to 1,000 and there was a waiting list. Also, tickets cost $6,000 US, which helps this nonprofit fund its activities. Add the cost of transportation, accommodation and time off work. These days TED conferences take place in several cities around the world. You're still looking at a major commitment — if you get admitted.


The purpose of TED is to spread ideas. So content is licensed under Creative Commons, If only events could occur in more places and at lower prices …

With TEDx, they can. These events are organized locally by volunteers. Tickets are generally free thanks to sponsors but some charge to cover the costs. Admission rules vary. For example, TEDxToronto is free thanks to sponsors but applications are approved.

That's the background. If you're interested in TEDx, there's probably an event near you at some time during the year.

Near Toronto, you'll find TEDxBurlington, TEDxGTA, TEDxHartHouse (University of Toronto), TEDxOakville, TEDxIB@York, TEDxRyersonU, TEDxYouth@Toronto. That gives plenty of choice.


Podcast Episode 87 (3:37)

direct download | Internet Archive page

PS Other volunteer-run places to learn include BookCamp, PodCamp and FreelanceCamp. You may find one near you.

No comments: