A few people told me about TED, but being overwhelmed by the wealth of information that passes my radar on a daily basis, I’d never taken the time to check it out. I’ve since learned that TED is a non-profit organization established as a conference in 1984, and that thousands of independently organized TEDx events are held around the world every year.
Earlier this year, I became aware that a TEDx event was being held in Waterloo, Ontario, which isn’t too far from where I live. Although I was initially taken aback by the fact that you had to apply to attend, I decided to put my name in, and was pleasantly surprised to be chosen. That event took place yesterday.
What distinguishes TEDx from other conferences I’ve attended is the diversity of the audience, the speakers, and the topics they spoke about. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and each of the 15 or so talks focused on one of those areas, with some addressing the surprising overlaps between them.
In addition, each talk is only about 10-15 minutes long, which keeps the day moving along quickly, especially when musical performances are mixed in.
Overall, I found TEDx Waterloo (which was actually held in Kitchener) quite impressive in terms of the venue, the use of technology, and the organization, and in the spirit of TED’s tagline “Ideas Worth Spreading,” I’ve decided to dedicate my next few blog posts to some of the remarkable people I learned about and from over the course of the day.