Posts filed under ‘TED’

How to Start a Social Movement

eggers Dave Eggers was recently noted in Time magazine as one of the Time 100: “Many writers, having written a first best-seller, might see it as a nice way to start a career. Dave Eggers, 35, started a movement instead.”

He is successful writer, publisher, as well as philanthropist and teacher-at-large. Dave recently won a TED Prize and described his work in setting up a variety of tutoring labs across the country. His talk is now online. A very entertaining and uplifting talk.

Given the need to edit the talk to ~25 min, some other wonderful examples of how the tutoring labs have significantly changed students’ lives (e.g. improved grade levels, increased focus on school work, etc.) were omitted. Trust me, there were several more wonderful inspirational examples of how this work is effecting the lives of students and their families. Awesome work, and fantastic talk describing how “the movement” began.

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photo by Erik Charlton


March 18, 2008 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Best of TED2008

image Jill Bolte Taylor gave one of the best talks of TED2008. She is a neuroanatomist that suffered a stroke and describes what she when through. It is an incredibly compelling and touching talk that had many of us in tears. Have a look here.

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March 12, 2008 at 12:12 pm 2 comments

Microsoft’s Photosynth

Microsoft’s Photosynth was demoed at TED2007 (video below). One application of this software is to link a vast number of digital photos together. Linking together overlapping photos appropriately – the images are joined together to provide an accurate representation of space. With the Space Shuttle set to launch this week, I was reminded that there was a Photosynth demo with photos of the Shuttle. Very cool software app to play with. Enjoy.

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March 9, 2008 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

TED Reflections.4 Johnny Lee

image Johnny Chung Lee is a Ph.D. Graduate Student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Johnny stole the show for a while at TED by demonstrating some very cheap, but powerful projects that you can do with a Wii remote. These projects are described on his website, and in the videos below. First is a multi-point interactive Whiteboard using the Wii remote and a couple of easy to build infrared LED pens. The second project video is an example of using head tracking for desktop virtual reality displays. As Johnny mentioned at TED, he strives to produce an 80% solution for 10% (or less) of the cost (i.e. Perceptive Pixel vs. Wii remote Whiteboard). Electronic Art’s new game Boom Blox will ship with “hidden” capability for head tracking and the Wii remote. You can keep up to date with Johnny’s projects by following his blog.

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March 9, 2008 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

TED Reflections.3 World 2.0?

give_us It’s been a long day, and it’s not over yet. My flight was delayed by two hours leaving Aspen, causing me to miss my connection. I’m waiting in Chicago for the next flight home which will put me at home about 2 AM. One thought has been bouncing around in my mind over the last couple days… It seems that TED is rapidly becoming more than a conference (really, a series of conferences with TEDEurope, TEDAfrica, & TEDGlobal). Is TED now a movement to influence and effect change on world social issues? In watching the TED Talks over the last year, and now having attended my first TED Conference, it seems to me that TED is becoming a place where representatives from major (and not-so-major) companies with wealthy individuals discuss new breakthroughs, as well as issues within our society. Via the TED Prizes and other informal conversations, TEDsters are coming together to make significant progress on issues where governments and others have been slow to act or have made little progress. Is this World 2.0 – a catchy phrase for a web-enabled world? A consequence of the Internet Age? A new Age of Collaboration? Regardless, it is exciting times.

Yes, this is a bit philosophical. Maybe one shouldn’t blog when they’re tired… Now my connecting flight is also delayed. Ugh!

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photo by Mr. Kris

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March 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

Where’s TED?

With TED2008 having finished up, some may ask where and when can I participate in a TED conference? Here’s a list of the upcoming meetings….

TEDAfrica: Cape Town, South Africa, 29 September – 1 October 2008. Theme: “What If?” Information and registration here.

TED2009: Long Beach, California, 4-7 February 2009. Theme: “The Great Unveilling”. It’s already sold out.

TEDEurope: Oxford, UK, 22-24 July 2009. Theme: “The Substance Of Things Not Seen”. Registrations will open soon. The first TEDGlobal was held in Oxford in 2005.

TEDGlobal: Mumbai, India, November 2009. Details will follow.

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March 3, 2008 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

TED Reflections.2 Craig Venter

biofuels On Day 2 of TED Craig Venter talked about the current work his institute is undertaking. Since the sequencing of the human genome about eleven years ago, and the subsequent sequencing of a vast number of new genomes, work continues on a three step process to create a synthetic organism. Step one involved the methods and techniques to change one bacterial species into another. Step Two, recently completed, involved the very large scale chemical and biological synthesis of the 582,970 base pair genome of the bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium. This was an extraordinary feat involving the the large scale chemical synthesis of DNA fragments, and the use of existing and new biological techniques (e.g. using D. Radiodurans to assemble the largest DNA fragments) to “stitch” the fragments together. With this recent success, Venter’s team is now working on the last step of the process – to transplant a fully synthetic bacterial chromosome into a living organism and have it “boot up” the host cell.

Venter’s team has made great strides in understanding the various processes within cells and the genes that control those processes. His new company, Synthetic Genomics, will conduct combinatorial genomics using a collection of ~20 million genes to produce new organisms that will produce among aother things, new biofuels and new antibiotics. If you want to hear some recent talks by Venter, there are many available online. One can be found at PopTech here, as well as the TED Talk below.

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Biofuels photo by jurvetson

March 3, 2008 at 10:25 am 1 comment

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