TED

Thread of openness weaves TedX talks together

TedX

TED is a nonprofit that seeks out "ideas worth spreading", showcasing them annually at a conference before a select audience. Thankfully, the best talks are recorded and released for the viewing pleasure of the rest of us, albeit one by one, over an extended period of time. Chris Grames, President and Partner at New Kind, describes waiting for them as, "like a painfully-slowly dripping faucet teases a man dying of thirst."

Now, the folks at TED offer another way for us to quench our desire to hear great business ideas from people who have made their dreams come true—locally organized TedX events. Already this year, 2,013 TedX events have been held around the world, and there are 746 to go. Clearly, what started out as a small group of people talking about technology, entertainment, and design, has grown to encompass a diverse range of topics and industries with millions listening. 

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Britta Riley: A garden in my apartment

Britta Riley: A garden in my apartment

"Interdependence is an extremely powerful social infrastructure that we can actually harness to heal some of our deepest civic issues, if we apply open source collaboration."  --Britta Riley in her May, 2011 TED talk

Britta is an artist and technologist from New York, and owns a company called Windowfarms.org. The company makes hydroponic platforms for growing food in city windows, designed with the help of more than 1,800 enthusiastic collaborators from all over the world. » Read more

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Open collaboration: A look at nine (very) different communities

Incredible work comes out of open source communities. But communities far removed from the world of software development often thrive following the same principles.  

Openness. Sharing. Collaboration. Transparency. Meritocracy. A common purpose.

Following are nine stories from nine very different kinds of communities. Yet all follow the open source way, in their own ways. » Read more

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Studio H: A real-world experiment in design-based education

As 2010 comes to a close, I thought I'd write my last post of the year about a project that has really moved and inspired me. The project is called Studio H, and is the brainchild of two brilliant designers, Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller, who have found a new calling as teachers in one of the poorest, most rural counties in my home state of North Carolina. » Read more

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Save the world: Answer the FEMA challenge

Yesterday, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate took the stage at the 2010 TEDMED Conference in San Diego, CA, to announce a new public challenge to come up with creative ideas on how we can prepare communities before disaster strikes.  » Read more

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A hole in the wall: How children learn without a teacher

Sugata Mitra began with a question: “What would happen if I cut a hole in the wall that separates my New Delhi office building from a neighboring slum... and embedded a computer for children to access?”

What he found led him into over a decade of research on how groups of children, when left with a computer, can teach themselves just about anything. » Read more

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TEDx branding: A legal point of view

My friend and former colleague Chris Grams recently wrote a great article on the topic of extending the TED brand by allowing anyone to organize their own TED conference under “TEDx” branding. Chris posits that trademark law may be standing in the way of successful branding in today's business environment, where brands and brand affinity are built through community engagement rather than through top-down, owner-driven brand strategy.

I couldn't agree more. » Read more

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Evaluating TEDx as a brand strategy

A big part of my day job is to help organizations with their brand positioning and strategy (I also write about brand strategy quite a bit over here).

So when I read the article in the New York Times this past Sunday about TEDx, the relatively new (and incredibly popular) offshoot of the legendary TED conference, I thought it might be a good opportunity to take a closer look. The issue? » Read more

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Teaching Open Source Practices, Version 4.0

In 2007, Sean O'Sullivan, one of the founders of MapInfo, graciously made a donation to his alma mater, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY with the specific goal of creating a center for the promotion of open source among undergraduates: » Read more

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Upgrading the motivational operating system: A conversation with Daniel Pink

The world of work has changed, but in many ways the model of motivation hasn’t. Are the traditional rewards of today’s organizations up to the challenge of motivating people to complete creative, complex tasks in creative ways? And can the open source way offer inspiration? » Read more

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