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Tag: TEDFellows

TED 2011: Imagine what could happen…

I’m fortunate to be a Senior TED Fellow, which means that I go to five TED conferences over 3 years. To date, I’ve been to five TED conferences, ranging from Tanzania to Long Beach and Oxford, and each one has amazing speakers, jaw-dropping discoveries revealed and true ideas worth spreading.

I say fortunate because it puts me in the presence of others who ask, “Imagine what could happen...” That’s an important statement, because it means that the we’re looking for possibilities. We’re challenging the norms. We’re following what makes us curious.

A TED Moment

Everyone tends to have a moment at TED that you remember, that makes you realize this isn’t just another conference. I’ve had a number of interesting meetings/chats with big-name entertainers, politicians, actors, scientists and technology entrepreneurs. While interesting and fun, they didn’t shift my thinking.

That moment happened yesterday as I was listening to Sal Khan talking about his project, the Khan Academy. He’s made thousands of videos and activities that make it easy for kids to learn subjects like math and science in a non-judgmental and reapeatable environment.

Sal Khan was nearing the end of his talk when I shot an email off to my 8 year old daughter saying that she might be interested in looking at this website. An hour later I got an SMS from my wife stating, “You’re going to make your daughter into a math nerd like me, she’s been on this site since she got your email.”

It might be that I’m excited that I could link my time at TED and share it to my daughter in near real-time. It’s partly that, but it’s also knowing that the simplicity of a well executed online video tutorial site, something not technologically exciting, can have such a massive impact on millions of children learning. Most of all, my own.

The TED Talk

I was saving this blog post, which I wrote last week, until the video of Sal Khan’s talk was published. Here it is:

TED 2010 – Fellows Program

TED 2010 Fellows

I’m in Long Beach, California for the annual TED conference. This year I’m a Senior Fellow, which means that I get to see and spend time with old friends like Jon Gosier and Juliana Rotich, other Fellows from year’s past and enjoy some first class discussions and mentoring from groups like McKinsey and Duarte Design.

I’ve been taking pictures of the TED Fellows, you can find them on my Flickr set. The really great shots are by the TED photographers, and you can find those here and the TED Blog. More on the amazing and eclectic group that is this years TED Fellows.

Some TED Fellows Talks highlights:

I met Hugo Van Vuuren, a fellow white African, at PopTech last year. He’s doing some amazing work in Africa around creating energy with off-grid technologies. Figuring out how to use simple things like dirt to create power at Lebone. Hugo says that they’ll be ready to sell this type of product by summer 2010.

I was mesmerized by Angelo Vermeulen‘s talk on “Biomodd“, which is a riff off of the gaming communities case modding trend.

Nigerian Ndubuisi Ekekwe, an engineer, inventor, author and founder of the African Institution of Technology, an organization seeking to develop microelectronics in Africa.

TED 2010 Fellows - Talks

Kellee Santiago is a gamer and creates games based on emotions. She gave a great talk on what her company “That Game Company” does, with games like Flower.

Ben Gulak is a 20 year old inventor. He’s created the UNO, an electronic motorized unicycle and the DTV (Dual Tracked Vehicle), taking the best characteristics of a snow mobile, a skateboard and motorcross bike.

This new TED Fellows class is an eclectic group of polymaths. People who have expertise and interest in multiple areas. What sets them apart though is the fact that they actually “DO” things, not just talk about them. Seeing their work, talking to them about their projects and realizing just how special it is to be able to do that is what makes being a TED Fellow an amazing experience.

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