Today we announced the theme / date / call for speakers & performers for this years TEDxWellington.
This will be my fourth as lead producer of a TEDx event (not counting TEDxWellingtonWomen which I’m the license holder for although only mentoring the team there). Each previous event has sold out and built on the success of the previous one in terms of quality, scale plus experiential design.
The TEDx event format has a great deal of rules governing it’s production. This, quite rightly, ensures continuity of brand quality and assures the ethos remains intact (that of, ‘ideas worth sharing’).
“When I have something to work against, it liberates my imagination”
This year, with TEDxWellington, we’re trying something which has never been done before (to our knowledge): we’re not sharing the most important parts of the event. That being the:
- speakers / performers
- exact number of tickets
- programme for the day
- breakout session details
It’s an experiment. A journey. An attempt to explore the ‘what if’ which was thrown out to the team who then made it better and gave it back. To bank in some of the trust from the previous years events and believe in the adventurous side of our community.
Here’s to trying something daring!
UPDATE (27.5.15): Here’s some stats from the first 24hours after our announcement:
The wonders / dangers of attending a TED conference.
A few hours ago TEDActive ended.
I’m currently sat in my Whistler hotel room even though the party goes on with groups of tremendous souls from all corners of the globe still hungry to connect.
Alas, I’m all talked out after six days of immense conversations, nearly 100 TED talks plus a variety of moments which truly remind you of the spectrum of experiences this world has to offer.
I feel stretched.
Full of compassion.
Ready to bounce!
For me, the themes taken away included these ideas of:
- stretching—reaching beyond your grasp and changing your mind / body / habitat as an attempt to find new solutions or better questions;
- compassion—embracing and empathising with suffering as a means of connection to discover new perspectives;
- rebounding—the act of trying again or even using the negative as a reframing exercise to grow or carve out new paths.
Events like these are dangerous if you’re not ready to change (or commit). No matter what your expectations are, in the giving of yourself to the experience you lose something: some light stuff (like sleep and the yearning of solitude) although also the dark (as the stories curated and the organic ones shared with your fellow participants fuel the yearning to be more).
The aim now is to digest, deconstruct plus apply the learning (especially from the other TEDx organisers in attendance—there were 350 of them) to the future TEDxWellington events, and selfishly, my journey.
Picture above is of the TEDActive spontaneous dance party whilst Aloe Blacc woke us up:
TEDActive is home to the curious souls and brave doers—a six day cacophony of delight and wonder.
A rich global citizenry of awesomeness and actioneers; gathered around a TED-orbit to collide magnificently in a blossom of conversations / intentions / hopes / purposes etc
Personally, hugs and listening were the currency of the week, and by the end, I felt ‘stretched’ by the experience in a way that I’ll never return to the original state.
Thank you TED and all the people who attended / shared / provoked / talked / listened / drank / sang / danced / signed / smiled / questioned / laughed / cried / hugged / high-fived / hid / exalted / winked / gave / took etc.
Here’s a sprinkling of some choice-quotes from the many talks which struck a chord for some reason or another:
The best vision to see the future is peripheral vision.
Don’t tap into your design expertise but your humanity.
Leadership is a choice not a rank.
The cost of innovation is nearly zero.
If you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes.
Want to know anything specific? Leave a question in the comments below.