Thursday, February 28, 2013

Joining the global conversation with TED

I spent the day at TEDxRockford Live today. Exciting, inspirational, and I met a few people I never would have met otherwise.

NIU-Rockford played host with their beautiful auditorium. We watched yesterday's TED event recorded in Long Beach, California, streamed directly from the TED website. The talks we saw today won't be available to the general public until mid-March.

What is TED? A series of talks on "Ideas Worth Spreading," interspersed with music, dance, and other entertainment acts from cutting-edge performers. I have watched many videos of TED talks over the years, and almost always find them fascinating and inspirational.

Today their special focus meant we heard from several teenage scientists. Taylor Wilson, the teen who built a nuclear reactor in his family's garage, came on shortly after entrepreneur Elon Musk, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were a nuclear fusion of minds backstage. Another teen has developed a test strip that costs a nickel and detects cancers of the pancreas, ovaries, and lungs EARLY—while there's an excellent chance of survival.

They saved the best for last, of course. The final talk was an absolute stunner, and turned certain conventional wisdom on its ear. You'd better believe I'll be blogging more about it when I can link to the video.

I also stayed for lunch—which the local chapter paid for!—and met several interesting locals, as well as sitting in on a committee meeting.

I'm so glad I spent a day on this!

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