Blue Sky Thinking: The TED Conferences….
Been thinking a long time about this post, which to be totally honest is about the whole TED movement which as I see it is truely a spectacular way to use “blue sky” thinking to make this world a better place for you and me. Or…is it?
First the background. TED stands for “technology, entertainment and design” and is the name of an annual set of conferences that are held globally but got their start in Californian. Yup, that California, the one where most of the “wing-nut” fads and weirdo movements are born. Except in this case, the TED talks are far from anything else but real live visions disseminated for global consumption. And I mean global.
Let me use an example first and that will be one of my own favourite Swedish professors, Hans Rosling whom I wrote about a year and a bit ago here, who can be seen in one of his latest TED talks on the “Magic Washing Machine.” Title seem mundane, doesn’t it…but please DO click that link and watch same…it’s a talk that Hans uses to show the viewer, exactly what is “up” with energy, the green movement, your Mom and Grandma….and yes, they’re all tied together and only Rosling can do such justice to his vision using a simple washing machine paradigm. Stunning point of view, from a man who is my own personal hero – this explains so so much in such a short span of time….which is really what the TED talks are all about.
Past contitbutors to same, and yes there’s been a ton of same, include names that we’re all familar with….from Bono of U2 to Bill Clinton, from Al Gore to Richard Dawkins to yes, even a Canadian (who won a TED prize in 2005) named Edward Burtynsky, a gloabally recognized photographer. All have had their 18 minutes to present an idea, a vision from which they believe notice of same could/would/should change the world. And from what I’ve seen looking at the various videos about their own passions, I’m solidly in their camp for sure.
Some of course, get better attention than others…look at Al Gore’s huge reputation not as a failed Presidential candidate, but as the herald of notice of global warming. That TED talk is one of the best I’ve ever seen….his charts/maps/statistics have me convinced that yes, we do face a major issue and our children will be faced with it even more….this in my mind is the real strength of the TED talks….their ability to gather global recognition of an issue that is truly “blue sky” thinking….but delivered in a manner that speaks to us all.
Jamie Oliver, a noted global chef celebrity, won the 2010 TED talk award as the best of that year, and his own TED talk can be found here….this too is well worth a look/see as Jamie attempts to teach us all about your diet and your health. This is truly a major piece by him and yes, it’s been a major piece of his own television series…and that too speaks to his own efforts to educate a global audience about food and health via his “food revolution!”
My point today? That a simple browse thru the various topics and areas in the youtube TED archives or over at the TED site itself, can be a great way to spend about 18 minutes or less, in learning more about some of our major “blue sky” thinkers and what they have to say….a better way to spend some time, than just about anything else, eh! Give it a click…you’ll be so pleasantly surprised – and maybe, just maybe…you’ll be galvanized into re-thinking your own life! I know…because my own was! Thanks Jamie…muchly appreciated, lad!