November 6, 2009. New York City. City Winery, Tribeca. TedXEast, (x=independently organized TED event). Forward thinking New Yorkers gathered this afternoon at the City Winery, another center for innovation that leverages state of the art technology to pour premium hand-crafted wines. Technology, great minds and wines. What could go wrong?
TED events have 50 million viewers all over the world, aligned with their mission – “ideas worth spreading”. The concept is to have key speakers surface important life changing ideas through presentations, and then networking ensues for the attendees to discuss how to implment . TedX provides the opportunity for local communities to take the mission of TED into their personal, professional and family networks.
Former editor of Harvard Business Review and author, Suzy Welch’s most recent book, 10-10-10 uncovers decision making for life changing. She opens the TedX conference by first she asking you for introspection with some questions she calls “scary”:
- Fast forward to our 70th birthday party – what would make you cry with regret? (living deliberately)
- What do you want people to say about you if they knew that you were living your truth? (refining character)
- What do you love about your upbringing and what do you hate? (defining value system)
“Live is pretty empty unless you live it with your values and you develop those values by asking yourself these questions”. This is when you start making “value driven decisions” and you start living a more authentic life.
Rachel Stern speaks about the evolution of news and the risk defragmentation brings to democracy. The new “news” comes from social media organizations like Wikipedia and Huffington Post. Although this empowers regular citizens to contribute with opinion and events; “transparency trumps neutrality” in the sense that the channels respect individuals that are transparent, versus neutral. Consider the handful of citizens empowered as Wikipedia delegates and Huffington Post’s pre-approved comments– Rachel quotes Esther Dyson and indicates “we are all fact checkers now”. What are the implications of these new news systems in altering public opinion?
Dr. William Duggan
Dr. William Duggan, author of speaks of creative spark. “For creative thought you do not imagine something new. You take in things from the outside and you make a new combination. It’s a new combination of previous elements. The elements are not new. The combination of those elements is new.” He speaks of Google’s 2 founders – Larry Page and Sergey Brinand says that what they created was innovative. [ed: Meh]
He then flashes a picture of a Stanford Computer Science professor – Larry and Sergey were his students. “The topic he taught wasn’t search, it was a discussion of portals, like Yahoo, the goal of a portal being that you stay on that page as long as possible. Google took the .13 seconds you get your results and you are on to something else. It’s the opposite of a portal. Data mining for eCommerce was the original concept that the Google founders worked on.
“They took data mining and eCommerce and came up with a concept called Page Rank, with altavista which allowed you to see ranking. They renamed it Google and everyone on campus used it, and raised tons of capital and used it. But then decided to give it up.
“The problem was, how were they going to monetize this concept? If they can’t make money –how would last. The problem was that ads were too heavy and would slow down the site. What to do?
“Then they ran into a company called overture which display ads in a list based format using search. This is what they combined into Google and they made money.
“Nothing here was invented. It was a new combination of previous elements. The elements were not new the combination was new."
“Now you know how Microsoft started. Now you know how Apple started. But that’s not my topic. My topic about you. Now you know the process for creativity. ” Talk to one another about elements that are not new and combine them into creativity.