Last Tuesday I was watching the live streaming of the first TED 2012 session when Chris Anderson introduced a TED Talk from 2023. The 3 minute movie is actually a well crafted promo of Ridley Scott’s upcoming movie Prometheus. The TED Talk is given by fictional character, Peter Weyland, and what was interesting about this video, apart of this being a clever and entertaining way to advertise a product, is that a presentation from 2023 looks just like 2012.
Listening to and meeting interesting speakers is still one of the 3 main reasons to attend an event (the other two being networking and the overall experience). Also, big names are one of the most important marketing levers organizers have to sell more tickets (though word-of-mouth amplified by social media is becoming more relevant).
With the multiplication of events of the recent years, curators of event programs have a continuous challenge to find good public speakers and bring fresh faces on stage to stay relevant to their audiences. So how do you find these new faces?
Putting together a program is no easy task, so I’ve compiled a few methods that I -and many other successful event organizers- use to find new names (at least new for a given audience). There is no “one best way” to do it, and I’ve met quite a few curators that have an inborn instinct to find excellent speakers.
TED is holding an open audition to discover new speakers for TED 2012, especially those that use new presentation techniques, engaging media or storytelling styles. To participate you just need to make a 1′ minute video showing a bit your -hopefully- innovative and interesting way of presenting and you might be picked for a full live audition in New York next May 24.
It looks both as an extension of their “radical openness” approach plus a way of tapping new talent to change what has become the “TED-style” talk.
We’re holding this audition to give a chance to the undiscovered talent we know is out there — and especially talent that can help us continue to reinvent the ancient art of the spoken word. At TED2012, our whole theme will be devoted to this. We’re calling it “Full Spectrum” — the rich use of technologies, formats and styles to make an impact on an audience. And that’s what we’ll be looking for in this audition.
We’d like to test some of these presentation formats and get exposed to any other innovations that may be lurking out there in how to impact an audience.
Full article and conditions to apply here.
The initiative consistis in “open sourcing TED’s CODE” through an API that will give developers around the world access to all the talks (currently about 900) and the associated meta-data in TED’s database so that they can make their own apps.
The goal is still creating new ways to spread ideas, and as June Cohen explained during her presentation, “We don’t have a monopoly on good ideas, there are so many platforms we cannot reach with our own resources”.
By reaching out to the developer community, TED expects that they will find new amazing ways to present information, find correlations between talks, make insightful data visualization tools and who know what else. “Every time we allow people to contribute to TED we’ve been awed and moved and delighted [by what came out and we hadn’t anticipated]”.
“We’re so intrigued to see what happens next, to be surprised by you”. June Cohen at SXSWi on the TED Open API project
Developers reach TED with ideas and proposals at email@example.com. The project will be launched towards mid-2011 and they are aslo hiring (firstname.lastname@example.org) developers and engineers to enable related projects.
The Arab World is in revolt… one full of hope that will surely define the start of a new era. Wadah Khanfar, Director General of Al Jazeera, makes a passionate description of what is happening right now and what the outcome could be. This was the first talk from TED 2011 published online. Enjoy and wish you a nice weekend.
Another week on the road has passed, including a visit to the World Business Forum in Milan, and the following items are the ones that captured my attention.
I clicked thinking it was an article on the dawn of the TED Conferences by the BBC with some kind of stupid argument on what might happen to it. Instead it was something very different from that but still made an article out of it 🙂
Happy Halloween! (to those who care about it, I surely don’t)
After a week on the road and pretty disconnected, I collected a series of news and interesting links from the usual suspects (TED, Lift…). Instead of a photo, today I’m including an extract from the Design Mind Salon with Bill Buxton (+ Tjeerd Hoek and Marcel Kampman) on “how design triggers transformation”.
- Lift Conference has opened the submissions for user proposed workshops for Lift11 (February 2011). In a very interesting move, they have also published the women speaker recommendations made by the community, some of which they have invited to speak at the conference
- The 99% Conference announced the Early-Bird Offer for the 2011 but they went sold out in a blink, so you should hurry up to secure one of the remaining regular tickets! 99% will take place in New York on May 5-6, 2011
- Pop!tech is taking place NOW and you can follow the live stream here. It’s rare for a major conference to do free live streaming these days, so enjoy it!
- The 2011 TED Prize winner has been announced and the winner is… an anonymous person that goes by the initials of JR: “JR is creates what might be called “pervasive art.” Working with a team of volunteers in various urban environments, he mounts enormous black-and-white photo canvases that spread on the buildings of the slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle East, on broken bridges in Africa, and across the favelas of Brazil. These images become part of the local landscape and capture people’s attention and imagination around the world”. TED Prize Director Amy Novogratz said that “JR’s mind-blowing creations have inspired people to see art where they wouldn’t expect it and create it when they didn’t know they could”
- O’Reilly Conferences has launched a new event: Strata 2011 (February 01 – 03, 2011). Strata will focus on the business and practice of data. From the official description: “Unprecedented computing power and connectivity are bringing new layers of experience to our lives: a change that brings both opportunity and the challenge of new technologies and skills. The future belongs to those who understand how to collect and use their data successfully“. (Via Pandemia)
- The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils on Design and Innovation has launched a challenge for “the world’s interactive designers to develop cutting-edge visualizations of some of the information we have gleaned from our Global Agenda Council members“. The prize will be USD 3,000 it will be showcased at the Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai at the end of November. Deadline for submissions is November 15, 2010
- TEDxTransmedia (my review) has published the Talks playlist: I especially recommend event organizers to watch those by Jeff Gomez, Dan Hon, Christopher Sandberg and Simon Harrop, and see them as resources for enhancing the experience of your conference
Cinekid – Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 27-28 October, 2010
At Cinekid’s two-day conference , top-notch speakers share best practices, the latest in technical opportunities, new narratives and alternative production paths. This special event is not only for producers of children’s media, but for anyone who needs to be up-to-date and in the know. Since families with young children are today’s early adopters, children’s media is constantly leading in innovation. This year’s first edition reveals the secrets to success in new production platforms, animation and scriptwriting for children.
ACM Multimedia 2010 Conference – Florence, Italy – 25-29 October, 2010
ACM Multimedia 2010 is the worldwide premier multimedia conference and a key event to display scientific achievements and innovative industrial products. The Conference offers to scientists and practitioners in the area of Multimedia plenary scientific and technical sessions, tutorials, panels and discussion meetings on relevant and challenging questions for the next years horizon of multimedia. The Interactive Art program ACM Multimedia 2010 will provide the opportunity of interaction between artists and computer scientists and investigation on the application of multimedia technologies to art and cultural heritage.
Thanks to Gianpaolo D’Amico for the reminder.
Inspired by frog design’s “remarketables” (weekly collection of remarkable marketing links) and by the amount of interesting stuff I come across (news, articles, tweets) but don’t have the time to publish as an individual blogpost, I’m starting a “Worth Noting This Week” series of articles, plus the selection of an interesting photo from a conference around the world.
- TED decided to move TED Global 2011 from Oxford to Edinburgh mainly due to the limits imposed by lack of infrastructure in Oxford which according to Chris Anderson and Bruno Giussani was “limiting our intentions to develop TEDGlobal in new, imaginative ways”. TED also launched a beautiful iPad app to discover and watch TED Talks on and offline
- If you, as I did too, desired to have the “big red button” that Russell Davies was using to skip slides during his presentation at Lift10 (see photo above), now you can buy one! IMHO it’s too pricey (am sure you can DIY for much less, but hey… you are also paying for someone elses time and expertise). And talking about Lift, the early bird offer for Lift11 is over but you can still get a 25% off by using the promocode “FriendTwentyfiveOff”
- Venture Capitalist Mark Suster warns CEO’s and startuppers to be careful not to become a conference whore by attending all possible conferences out there. “In the same way you wouldn’t spend all of your day in front of your computer at the expense of customer interaction, there has to be a limit to attending conference. Mark argues that “In the same way you wouldn’t spend all of your day in front of your computer at the expense of customer interaction, there has to be a limit to attending conference”. He identified leadership vaccuum and the lack of focus as the two main consequences deriving from this behavior: “Do you see Mark Zuckerberg at every conference? Do you see Ev or Mark Pincus at every conference? Do you see Larry or Sergey at every conference? Name one, professional conference attendee that has built a successful software business? If you’re in the services business, looking to sell books or work in sales I get why you might spend more time at conferences. If you’re a startup CEO – don’t kid yourself. Get back to work. There’s a team in the office in need of your guidance”
- South by Southwest announced the initial list of 200 confirmed sessions for the 2011 SXSW Interactive Festival
- Jonathan Fields pinpoints the The 10 Commandments of Suck-Free Speaking, including giving a damn, telling good stories, simplifying and being generous with your audience (“It’s about them, not you”)
- The people at Blog World suggest 5 reasons to live blog their event with Posterous for the iPhone (iTunes)
- John Maeda from RISD describes how offline [experience] tastes better than online and his transformation into “a “born-again” supporter of the face-to-face experience. It’s been an interesting transition for me as coming from the technology world to discover that much of what I thought mattered … matters less when the whole community is right there and not living somewhere out there online”. The same concept can be translated to conferences, not because online networks shouldn’t exist but because the event organizer should really concentrate in making the physical experiences more meaningful…
- Tickets are now available online for the next 99% Conference on May 5-6, 2011… be aware that they tend to go sold out fast!
- On Tuesday 13th I attended the Design Mind Salon with three wonderful speakers: Marcel Kampman, Tjeerd Hoek (frog design) and the amazing Bill Buxton (Microsoft Research Labs) The event was co-organized by frog design and Microsoft, moderated by Monique van Dusseldorp and it took place at Felix Meritis, a beautiful location in Amsterdam. My photos are here and a brief review should follow soon.
- The Twitter peeps announced that they’re working on a new feature to follow and share in real time what’s happening at a conference
- Last but not least, the most important news of all 😉 : Yesterday I announced the new Conference Basics Newsletter, a monthly selection of tutorials, talks, event reviews and ideas that will help you organize an outstanding conference and stay up to date with the most interesting upcoming events and industry news. Subscribe now to the Conference Basics Newsletter
The App focuses on just one thing and that is watching talks, but does offer plenty of resources to search and discover new ones. Apart from the “featured” talks, you can search by themes, tags and through the “Inspire Me” button than will allow you to choose between TED’s own keywords (courageous, funny, persuasive, ingenious, jaw-dropping, beautiful, fascinating, informative, inspiring) and how much available time you have.
“The iPad presents a thrilling new platform for delivering a TED experience,” said June Cohen, Executive Producer of TED Media. “We rethought the user experience to take advantage of the portability, the touchscreen and the focused media time people have when they travel or settle in for an evening. We think TED fans will particularly love the “Inspire me” button, which creates a custom playlist to fill the exact amount of time they have free.” Via the TED Blog
A feature that I suspect will be very popular amongst commuters and travelers alike is the “Saved Talks” which downloads to your iPad your own selection of talks for offline viewing.