Thursday, February 28, 2008

Time for TED (and BIL)

TED2008 is on.

For those of you not hip to TED, it's an annual conference based in Monterey, California with satellite conferences in various places like Aspen, Oxford, and Tanzania. (later this year in Mumbai, Cape Town and again in Oxford.)

In their words:

"TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)."

Every year there is a theme and they also award the TED Prize to three worthy individuals who are each granted a wish. A wish to change the world. Many of these wishes come true.

It's a rather exclusive event, so if you have an extra $6,000 laying around you can still register for TED2009... or not. Get in early for TED2010, I guess.

For the rest of us, the signature events of the TED conference are the TEDTalks.

TEDTalks are short, punchy and frequently amazing presentations. They are free and available in both audio and video formats. (They release previous TEDTalks throughout the year, so you can subscribe via RSS or iTunes to keep track.)

You can scan the TEDBlog for conference updates.

If you're going to be in the Monterey area March 1st and 2nd and couldn't afford the $6,000, you can always go to BIL. It's free and open to the public and could be just as interesting.

The BIL conference was established this year in response, but not opposition to the exorbitant fee for TED. It aspires to be a viable alternative and complement. In fact, I suspect that many TEDsters will hang around for a while and crash BIL.

To quote from their website:

"BIL loves TED. TED is a great place to sit and listen to interesting ideas. Many of those ideas make it online, and millions get to experience them.

The catch for many of us is that TED is $6,000, which is too expensive for most people, including a great number with good ideas worth spreading. BIL has been created as a free space for people with ideas to come together and share them.

Our event is self-organizing, emergent, and anarchic. Nobody is in charge. If you want to come just show up. If you've got an idea to spread start talking. If someone is saying something good, stop and listen.

We hope BIL can be a perfect match to TED."

The BILsters also have a wiki set up for info and support.

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