Mon, March 17th / TED2014 / Day One
I always feel a bit intimidated and excited as TED begins. Intimidated by the scale & scope of the thinking; and excited by the exact same thing. TEDsters genuinely believe their ideas and efforts can change the world for the better. Heady stuff to be sure. But consider a few examples related only to the sharing of its own platform and content. TEDx events — which are entirely controlled by local community leaders and deliver zero revenue to TED — have exploded globally w/ more than 9,000 events in 150+ countries taking place last year. And TED's new education platform TEDEd — where real life teachers apply to have their best lessons animated and distributed digitally — is signing up participants at a rate of more than 300 teachers & 700 students weekly. Or the fact that since releasing its content for free on its own website, TED Talks have now been viewed more than a billion (w/ a B) times. That's a lot of reach for a non-profit organization which has literally never spent a dime for advertising or placement of its materials.
In fact, I believe TED deserves praise for not limiting its reach to the admittedly expensive & exclusive namesake conference itself but instead actually using those attendees' funds (only about 1/3 of the $7500 conference fee goes to pay for the event) to democratize the very ideas being discussed here this week. So with that as preamble, TED 2014 launched with a single evening session entitled Lift-Off.