When is a name more than name?



Three simple letters – one simple name.   Or is it?

Well, the answer is, it depends.  If TED refers to the once annual live event from Long Beach, California that is rapidly developing a cult-like following, then the answer is an emphatic “no”!

Founded in 1984 as a non-profit geared toward bringing together people form the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, and Design, TED (www.ted.com) is anything but simple.  Simply amazing, yes; “simple”, no.

I still remember having been introduced to TED by a fellow employee in 2008, and since that time, I have returned to the website time and time again, listening to, and learning from, fascinating speakers.   Inevitably, I leave the site more energized than when I arrived.

Among my favourite talks:

  • Discovering quorum sensing bacteria – that is bacteria that communicate with one another through extracellular messengers once they reach a population quorum.
  • Watching Jill Bolte Taylor recount her stroke experience,  a story made all the more meaningful as Jill is a neuroscientist by profession.
  • Listening to Diane Nyad explain how she came to grips with reaching a birthday milestone, setting an extreme goal to commemorate it, and then failing thanks to jellyfish
  • Finding out that you can text Google with a query using your cell phone and, in turn, be texted a response back almost instantaneously.   If you haven’t tried it, may I suggest “Hawaii Weather”, to find out exactly how much nicer the weather in Hawaii is when compared to the place where you currently hang your hat.
  • Learning that Uganda’s success in reducing AIDS infections may have had less to do with awareness campaigns and government programs, and more to do with the amount of coffee exports the country realized.

And that’s the beauty of TED.   Even within the small sampling of talks listed above, you see topics drawn from science, technology, the human spirit, and real-world issues.    With such a cross section of topics, TED promises to offer something to everyone.

Being such a huge TED fan, I am ecstatic that Global will be tapping into the live stream feed from this year’s event.   For four days at the end of this month, staff will be invited to tune in and watch TED talks in real time, a first time for all Global employees.

What’s more is that we will also be joining the TED book club, giving us access to even more inspiring thoughts and ideas from authors specifically chosen around this year’s TED theme.

So, what does TED 2012 have in store for us?   Only time will tell!  Talk titles are veiled in secrecy so as to give presenters the utmost in topic flexibility.    We can, however, be sure that the talks will inspire, enlighten, and motivate!

So, at T-14 days, I am eagerly  looking forward to tuning in, and being reminded that a name certainly isn’t just a name when applies to TED.

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About vbtwocents

Rubber band manufacturer with a penchant for space travel and hyrdothermal vent exploration.

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  1. TED – Three Worlds Coming Together. « - April 20, 2012

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