The TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) conference is all about disseminating “ideas worth spreading.” and so every year since about 1990, the once-only 1984 conference has been happening every year.
Ah, so its just another techi conference? Nope not at all, this is something truly special. The ticket price is $6,000 and even to attend you need to apply and provide a CV to justify being selected to attend. The speakers are the leading thinkers, movers and shakers on the planet, so what they have to say in well worth listening to.The list of past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners.
Their mission statement begins:
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other
Now forget about the $6,000 ticket price and toss any idea of applying to attend, because you don’t need to go anywhere at all. Since June 2006, TED Talks have been made available online on the TED website, YouTube, iTunes, and since late 2009, there has been a free iPhone app and Windows Phone 7 app (sorry, this last one is not currently not available in the U.S.). The key magic word here is FREE, you just need to be curious.
So anyway, some highlights from this year (extracted from Carole Cadwalladr’s Guardian Blog) …
Unlikeliest true sentence, ever.
“I”m just going to show you a kidney we printed earlier.” Yes, a human kidney. Printed.
Anthony Atala, a professor of regenerative medicine, gave what must be one of the most gobsmacking TED talks. A few years ago, he worked out how to engineer human tissue with a desktop inkjet printer using cells instead of ink and he is now using these machines to make actual human organs, which have been successfully implanted into people.
One of those people is Luke Massella, who came on stage to explain that he was born with spina bifida, and at the age of 10 suffered kidney and bladder failure. A decade on he’s a fit and healthy college student. And according to the session’s host, Juan Enriquez, Atala is also one of the nicest and most modest men you could ever hope to meet.
How a woman who was in a wheelchair for 19 years walked again
If you cross the gospel of Luke – in which Jesus makes a crippled man walk again – with Robert Downey Junior in Iron man, you get some idea Eythor Bender’s TED talk.
Bender, the CEO of Berkeley Bionics, and his team have created an electronic exoskeleton and to demonstrate it, a woman who was paralysed from the pelvis down, 19 years ago, rose up out of her wheelchair and walked.
You can read more of that here, the above is only a taste, there is lots more to read about.
Oh, and should you want to get a handle on all that content, well then, why not surf on over the the TED website and check a few of them out. To get you going here are some links …
- The main TED site
- The TED 2011 webpage
- As for some videos … well how about some of these (not all are TED 2011)
- Here is an Index to a lot more talks.
Be Curious … reach out now and start to embrace new ideas, and new concepts from the leading thinkers on the planet today.