Keeping this brief because there is nothing I can say that you haven’t heard or read before.
As one of the six industry nominators for TED Ads Worth Spreading 2012 Initiative, I was honored to represent both my industry and JWT at TEDActive in Palm Springs this March. The kind folks at TED also made a dream come true for me by whisking me off to the main TED conference in Long Beach for a few days. Raghava and I started our first day by interviewing briefly for a short video about our experience as nominators for TED Ads Worth Spreading. The one thing I learned from this experience is that fantastic work transcends boundaries, categories and even context. Both Raghava and I are from different worlds and while we had our share of debate over which ads to nominate, we seemed to both unanimously agree when we found an incredible one. You can see the top ten ads that won here. (Congratulations to my fellow nominators and the winners – what an amazing experience to be a part of!)
About TED, there is not much else to say other than what you already know. I was lucky to have attended both TED and TEDActive. As with every conference, these attracted a bunch of people that were mostly only interested in selling themselves or something they made. And what a turn off that is! But for the most part, I met people that were interested in ideas and debate and had a genuine interest and desire to belong to the community. TEDActive, in particular, seemed to attract a beautiful like-minded community of thinkers, doers and game-changers.
Among the TED Talks, the ones that spoke most to be where Susan Cain’s “The power of Introverts,” Dr. Brown’s talk on “Vulnerability,” Chip Kidd’s talk on “Creating visual haiku’s for stories“, Sherry Turkle’s 18 mins on our culture of sharing and Billy Collin’s beautiful beautiful talk on poetry.
What was more important to me than listening to and absorbing all this knowledge was finding time to process and understand it. Think about what I was learning and how I could apply it. I tried to pay attention and be fully present at the conference so I wasn’t tweeting or blogging much. TED can be an inspiration overload and most of the attendees had figured out a schedule that worked for them. So between watching the talks and talking to each other to develop the ideas further, I’d say it was a week full of intense intellectual masturbation.