2009 TED Palm Springs

TED feels like going to camp for your mind! I’d recommend it to anyone that has thought about going. I attended TED Palm Springs, so it’s a satellite conference, but it didn’t feel like a disconnect from Long Beach. There were 400 people attending the Palm Springs event. All walks of life…professors, tv show hosts, industrial designers, economists, artists, and the list goes on. People attending were approachable, professional and relaxed.

The event was top notch! Great venue. Some of those highlights… Google sponsored a coffee shop with free lattes anytime, Odwalla juices and all the naughty munchies you can imagine. Dinners were poolside with heat lamps, great food and wine (to help with creative thinking). Inside the main room was built by Steelcase, so great chairs, couches, bean bags, big plasma screens, little screens, table tops, etc. It was nice to mix it all up since you’re there for 4+ days.

And finally, not to forget the main reason for being there… all the inspiring speakers. Most of the people in the line up I had not heard of before, but had truly innovative things to share. The theme this year was ‘The Great Unveiling’, so talks somewhat centered around that.

They will post the talks on Ted.com, I think some from this year are already posted. Some of my favs:

Dan Ariely, Behavioral Economist, Author of Predictably Irrational, I was amazed in his talk how you could even track and measure behavior in human actions, and things that don’t seem trackable. http://predictablyirrational.com/

Bonnie Bassler, Molecular Biologist, Taught me that our bodies are made up of 10 trillions cells. And that our bodies in addition include another 100 trillion bacteria cells…EEW! But these are good bacteria. http://www.molbio.princeton.edu/

Ray Anderson, Founder, Interface Global, An Atlanta based carpet manufacturer that turned his company around to where it is roughly 80% sustainable, with a goal of 100% in the future. His message, corporations need to get on board with environmentally friendly production. The good news, going green actually raised profits in his company. http://www.interfaceglobal.com/

Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love. Gave a great talk on what to do next after her ‘freakishly successful’ book. Her presentation style was disarming and she addressed what i think any creative has to face at some point… when you produce something you’re proud of, or that has a big success, how do you approach creating the next thing. http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/

Nina Jablonski, Anthropologist, Talked about the color of our skin, it’s origin… the talk was much more interesting then the way I just put it. http://www.anthro.psu.edu/faculty_staff/Jablonski.shtml

Daniel Libeskind, Architect, Challenging approaches to architecture such as expressive vs. neutral, inexplicable vs. understood, unexpected vs. habitual and optimistic vs. pessimistic. I like how this applies to all creations in life. http://daniel-libeskind.com/

Pattie Maes, Interface Inventor, She just had cool new gadgets… http://ambient.media.mit.edu/projects.php

Jacek Utko, Newspaper designer, He visually transformed some European publications and it reflected positively on their bottom line. He did really nice design work… but when it comes down to it, hire me not him! 🙂  http://utko.com/

Margaret Wertheim, Science weaver: An artist and scientist with a great cause: http://theiff.org/

And of course a few talks about sex: http://maryroach.net/

Some great music! Regina Spektor, Jamie Cullum, Deepak Ram

Some great dance troupes and performers: Capacitor from San francisco, Natasha Tsakos

I left TED feeling inspired and with a sense of more objectivity around the work I do in design, painting and outreach. Here are a few photos that really won’t do it justice. But I did get a kick out of the ‘bling’ covered pool table in the entry.

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