Just in case you wondered what I’ve been up to since I came back from Texas: I’ve spent the last 3 weeks in Istanbul -Turkey- organizing TEDxSilkRoad (web, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest), the brainchild of Ferhan Cook. TEDxSilkRoad will take place on Wednesday April 11th at the beautiful Feriye Auditorium by the Bosphorus and will deal with the theme of “Borderless Creativity & Commerce”.
We’ll have local and international speakers (artists, professors, entrepreneurs and designers from companies like IDEO, MIT, American Museum of Natural History, Turkcell, Endeavor, Orange and others), a live music performance and a wearable tech Fashion Show by CuteCircuit.
Check out the full program here. The event will be live-streamed so keep an eye on the website for details.
Back in March I wrote about TEDx in a Box, a smart idea which challenged the assumption that you need a conference room for holding a conference. The concept is simple: pack a box with a portable pico-projector, a source (like a netbook) containing TED Talks and you can host your event wherever you are (a remote village in the middle of the savannah, a tent, your backyard wall), as long as you have a surface to project on. Now a further iteration of the concept has also made the need for an electrical socket (and a wall) non essential by packing a portable battery that can feed both the projector and the computer.
Update: the “official” TEDx blogpost on the TEDx in a box is here
I met Tara Hunt (blog, twitter, wikipedia) a couple of years ago at a party or something like that in San Francisco. At the time she had just published The Whuffie Factor, an interesting, an interesting book on social networks and business. Now, in this talk from TEDxConcordia, she delivers a passionate… no, a PASSIONATE speech on being an entrepreneur… on giving your whole heart to that unclear path, selling all your stuff to make that dream in your mind possible (up to the point of not being able to pay the rent on time or more).
She identifies three main characteristics: being delusional, audacious and dreamers.
My friend, the power networker and tech entrepreneur, Kiruba Shankar (blog, twitter, linkedin) is currently attending TED Active in Palm Springs and posted a new interesting idea in action from the TED Team: TEDx in a Box.
In Kiruba’s own words:
TED has come up with a concept called ‘TEDx in a Box’. It’s a box that contains Nokia N8 phone, a pico projector and a speaker to show TED talks. This is predominantly meant to be used by folks in rural areas where access to PC, Projector and sound system is difficult.
The Nokia N8 phone comes pre-installed with all the TED Talks. The small projector is good enough to be viewed by 50 people. A great idea. About 100 such boxes are bein planned.
On November 6 2010 the second edition of TEDxLakeComo (web, twitter, facebook) will take place in the city of Como, Northern Italy. The event has been sold out for several weeks now and it promises to be much better than the previous edition.
Last year TEDxLakeComo was the first ever TEDx in Italy and I had mixed feelings about it (my review). At TED Global 2010 in Oxford I had the chance to talk with Gerolamo Saibene, CEO of Between SpA and one of the organizers of TEDxLakeComo. [It was a windy evening and that is evident in the video. I apologize for that].
Gerolamo attended TED Global to experience firsthand how the “big” TED is organized and apply that knowledge directly to the conference he’s organizing (a special workshop dedicated to TEDx organizers took place during the morning before the official TED started).
He organizes TEDxLakeComo because he finds the format very interesting and unconventional to unite curious people with new ideas and experiences, with the common goal of improving the world. The event comes together thanks to the effort of a group of friends and Gerolamo aims it to be an interesting meeting opportunity for the community he belongs to.
Apart from the experience gathered during the 2009, the 2010 edition will:
last a whole day (November 6, 2010), instead of just an evening
feature some intervals dedicated to entertainment so as to allow people to relax between intense moments of attention
I’ll be there, looking forward to a great conference! If you’re attending TEDxLakeComo too, drop me a line!
On September 30 2010, TEDxTransmedia (web, twitter, facebook) took place at the Radio Télévision Suisse building in Geneva, Switzerland. Organized by a team from the European Broadcasting Union led by Nicoletta Iacobacci (interview), the event was originally planned for April 2010 but had to be postponed due to the ash cloud generated by the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, that transformed the northern European skies in a no-fly zone. TEDxTransmedia attracted some of the most renowned players in the field and an international audience composed mostly by public service broadcasters and other professionals from the media world.
I took an early flight from Amsterdam to Geneva, and arrived while the second presentation was already taking place. My first hurried impression was that of a humble event with some untidy logistic details, but the impact of the program rapidly transformed my skeptical approach into an enthusiastic support. The conference, unlike many other TEDx events, was dedicated to explore ideas around one specific theme (transmedia) through different points of view. I came with little knowledge on the topic and left with the strong belief that the “transmedia approach” applied to traditional broadcasting could -or better, should- be applied to conferences to upgrade the live experience.
“In transmedia storytelling, content becomes invasive and fully permeates the audience’s lifestyle. A transmedia project develops storytelling across multiple forms of media in order to have different “entry points” in the story; entry-points with a unique and independent lifespan but with a definite role in the big narrative scheme” Source: Wikipedia
Why is transmedia important for conferences?
Currently, even if we are all super-connected digitally (think of facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc), there are also more physical events than ever taking place. Most of them are dull, just a mediocre re-purposing of and old formula that involves a bunch of speakers, a shoe-box like room, chairs and some slides. Content is no longer king, but the experience is (content is still very important and a necessary condition). The transmedia approach to content and experience offers a key to upgrade a once passive moment into one that is worth living in presence.
TEDxTransmedia proved very valuable as a whole, especially by watching all the sessions together and meeting the actors shaping this new way for telling stories, where the audience becomes an active part and the human factor -rather than technology- re-gain the scene. To quote Jeff Gomez, one of the speakers, “Transmedia will “listen” for what you want… Only humans can give you what you need…”.
On November 20th 2009 TEDxAmsterdam (official hashtag TEDxAms) took place at the Royal Tropical Institute. In a few words: it was successful and powerful, speakers & contents were first class and the overall experience was blasting (that’s a good thing eh!). Although it was not an official TED event but a TEDx (read here if you don’t know what a TEDx event is), the spirit of the day was comparable and the passion of the organizers was immense. Jim Stolze, Marian Spier, Monique van Dusseldorp and Paul Rispens (the organizers) definitively raised the bar for all the following TEDx events worldwide. To give you an idea of how carefully organized it was, at the end of the event Stolze announced that the date for TEDxAmsterdam in 2010 is already set to November 19th!
Being this a blog dedicated to the world of conferences and events, I’ll try to dissect some of the key success points from the organizational point of view and will briefly address the contents of some of speaker.
Yesterday evening I participated to the first TEDx event in Italy: TEDxLakeComo. It was organized by Gerolamo Saibene, Francois de Brabant (CEO and President respectively of Between Spa, sponsor of the event ) and Teresa Saibene. The event was supported by Between, the Como division of Politecnico di Milano and Universicomo, with catering provided by Birra Peroni and the collaboration of Peverelli Interior Design.
TEDx is a new program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events. (read more)
What to say? In a few words the event’s live sessions were generally interesting and informative but not at all at the level of a TED event. Why? The presentations were rather descriptive of a static situation (galaxies, Africa, animal DNA & human history, etc) but never discussed an inspiring work-in-progress project that is aiming to change (a part or the whole) world. That’s it! It was an event about information and not about inspiration.