TEDxGrandRapids is happening today and Lisa, our Systems and Web Librarian, is attending. If you’re curious about TED, and what it stands for and what it does, look no further!
TED is not a conference about a future science fiction film. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design and are conferences held around the world to display, as the company motto claims, “ideas worth spreading.” TED started out as a conference in 1984 to continue the conversation of the intersections of technology, entertainment, and design. It has now become a massive stage to promote one’s ideas and theories in 18 minutes or less, bringing the best, brightest, and most intriguing individuals to the two annual conferences in California and Scotland as well as many other smaller talks around the world. As tickets to attend the larger events are incredibly expensive and hard to find, many of the “TEDtalks” are presented on the website for free public access. TEDx events, which are smaller independently organized events that are based on the same themes and ideas, are locally grown and funded. The Grand Rapids TEDx is being held today at the Civic Theater.
If you’re unable to attend the local TEDx events or get tickets to the larger conferences, the TED website is an amazing website to gain an introduction to new theories, studies, and concerns. It’s especially great when you need an extra bit of inspiration as the end of the semester approaches or perhaps a reminder what is driving you to get an education. Or perhaps you need an interesting topic for a final project? Check out TED website to gain access to audio and video from various TED conferences, past and present, that range such luminaries as J.J. Abrams (writer/director), Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), and James Randi (thinker/skeptic). Additional speakers have included David McCandless discussing visualization of data, Taylor Wilson on building a Nuclear Fusion reactor (sorta) in his basement, and Ron Gutman discussing the power of smiling.
Here are a select few about personal growth and education:
- Sir Ken Robinson talks about his view on creating personalized education rather than standardized
- Adam Savage talks about the complexities in a simple idea
- Matt Cutts, inspired by Morgan Spurlock wants you to try something new for 30 days
- Diana Laufenberg wants to know, Does “always have the right answer” allow for learning?
- Clifford Stoll looks at learning for the sake of learning AND making it fun
If this has whetted your appetite for TED, they also have audio and video podcasts available on iTunes.