I love TED, and the way it makes a wild and wooly intellectual free-for-all a form of entertainment. TEDs figured out how to make thinking and creating “cool” and that’s a wonderful thing. And now it’s begun bringing TED down out of the corporate cloud to make it accessible to more people in more places, with TEDx regional events happening all over the country – 1500 of them in the past two years. When I attended my first TEDxTampaBay event last year, I was enthralled. What a way to spend a day – listening to people share ideas and insights in the company of a whole bunch of other people who like hearing them!
TED is supposed to be more than just a listening venue; ideally we should be moved to action. I was moved to apply for a TEDxYouth event license, and last November led the organization of TEDxYouth@TampaBay, Florida’s first ever TEDx event for young people. It was a rousing success, because it turns out young people have a lot of great ideas to share, too. Our second event is scheduled for November 19, at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus. As we begin curating for this year’s event, remarkable young people have begun to appear – passionate and compassionate youth, with ideas about everything from immigration to art.
TED suggests the world as it could be, a place where ideas of all kinds are entertained and explored – a sort of Renaissance Festival for the mind! And in the simple process of listening, it becomes possible not only to truly hear, but to begin to see and sense new possibilities. And once we can see the possibilities, we have cleared a major hurdle to making things happen.
I can’t wait to hear what tomorrow’s TEDxTampaBay 2011 presenters have to share, and what new directions the ideas they plant will take us!