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? This post is two of a two part series on the event.
“Obsessions Make My Life Worse and My Work Better”
(Stefan Sagmeister, TED conference)
Scott Heiferman is CEO and a co-founder of Meetup. He opens up with speaking about the story behind the “I have a dream speech” from Martin Luther King. Apparently, the speech was completely unscripted where Dr. King was being asked by a colleague what he is passionate about and Dr. King starts getting worked up and passionate and the guy tells him “ Tell him about your dream!” And this is when Dr. King goes on stage to speak the speech that you know now.
But how do we do this when we are surrounded with a “I have a nightmare speech” – he shows the poster ad for 2012. Then he shows the ad for “Trauma” which launches on TV soon. And then the Cloverfield ad where the Statue of Liberty is chopped in two. Then he shows a recent NYTimes article that shows a gripping horrible headline about the war in Iraq and at the top banner ads read “There Will Be Blood”.
How do you form a vision of a future with this kind of prophesy?
Then he shows a photo from his apartment of the twin towers on fire during 9/11.
What happens when apocalypse becomes reality? Local communities sprung up immediately afterwards. “There’s a lot more small going on. A lot more local communities going on. It wasn’t happening so much a few years ago and now it’s happening more and more. Meetup has turned in thousands of local community groups that are brand new that are being held every week or so. Cherokee Count Asberger’s Symptoms Parents Support Group, for example.“
Will 2012 be like the movie 2012? Or will be living your dream?
Paul Steely White
Paul is the Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives in Manhattan. He speaks about the Livable Streets Movement: Why we battle to reclaim the urban commons from the car. He highlights how much traffic congestion limits idea growth in the city. “The definition of a city is density. Lots of buildings. And the space between the buildings are limited. Then why do we choose the lowest density mode of transportation?’ How can we reduce the role of the car in the city?
If you have heavy traffic in the city, you reduce the quality of life and social opportunity between people that live in the neighborhoods with high traffic.
He shows a picture of Einstein riding a bike with the quote “E=mc2. I thought of that while riding my bike”.
“Take ownership of your streets. Think of it as you do your living room. Live in it, embrace it”