I’m not going to tell you every little detail of the event. Although maybe I should. I was one of the few people I saw taking any kind of notes, much less copious ones.
Here’s my non-randomized experience with TEDxSMU:
- Podium JFK used when he did his man on the moon speech was there to illustrate the power of the individual to change things
- Jill Soubule – singer with an incredibly wry sense of humor. (One selection? You Better Not Kill in Texas.)
- Seeing what the new Wyly theater is going to be like (The group I sing with – The Women’s Chorus of Dallas – is doing its spring concert there with Lesley Gore as our special guest.)
- Rives visual poem – Trespassing in New York City
- Great food options and snacks (Hansen and Blue Sky drinks! Not a Coke, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper in sight. Wow!)
- Polyphonic Spree – awesome!
Some people were just full of it. Completely. Talking about stuff that they really had no expertise in or providing very anecdotal evidence and guilt piles. And saying things they obviously thought were profound. Some were.
- Bobby Haas – The price you pay for your inheiritance is the responsibility that goes with it.
- Joshua Prince-Ramus – Lost art of productively losing control
- Amory Lovins – Carbon fiber for ultralighting cars
- William Abraham – Make an illuminating mistake
- Aaron Reedy – Teacher should be more than just a conduit of information, need to bring passion
- William Kamkwamba – We don’t need to wait for the government to do it for us (standing O from people who probably support the public option for health care)
- Tanya Pinto – You can make a small change, don’t be scared by the statistics.
- Turk Pipkin – If you are looking for a big opportunity, look for a big problem
- The theme for the day should have been “all wet”. There were a large percentage of presentations around water issues or that brought up water as a segment.
- To that same thing, in general, the mix of presentations could have been a little better. We didn’t see much from the soft sciences – marketing, psychology, sociology – and not really even biology. The event was organized by the engineering school at SMU and I wonder how much their interests slanted that. Arts were pretty much covered by performance, not by presentation. (OK – this is a real bitchy thing, I know. Having seen TED via satellite – so semi-live – you get a good sense of the way TED mixes things. I guess I would have liked more of that mix.)
- Improv dance/music group. Let me just say it for everyone I talked to about it – huh? (Perfect opportunity for a short talk after to explain what was going on up there.)
The theme for the day was “What Would Change Everything?” My answer is always “nothing”. When we spend a lot of time looking for The Big Change, we miss all the small opportunities to make change along the way. Small change that adds up to THE REALLY BIG CHANGE. I wonder how many of the people at TEDxSMU will actually leave and change in any way based on what they heard.
We shall see.