Just back from my first TED. Have watched the videos over the past couple of years and have heard first hand accounts from past participants, so was looking forward to living it in real time.

We organised a workshop in parallel to the TED U(niversity) sessions. The new Drivers of Change cards were one of the gifts given to the 700 participants and the aim of the workshop was to introduce people to the cards and how they could be used to help people generate ideas worth spreading. The feedback on the day was excellent and we have several people to follow up with post event. The results of the TED group voting are on the DoC voting application with details of the voting and photos on flickr.

Thanks to the TED guys for showing the results of the Drivers of Change workshop votes on the main stage at TED Global. Bruno gave an excellent overview of the results and mentioned the pointer to the open voting set at vote.driversofchange.com/ted-global-2009/

I went native at TED and reverted to pen and moleskine so below are a few notes which act as reminders for things i want to chat to people about and talks that i want to come back to when they are online. They are listed time linear since that is how my moleskine works.

Stefan Sagmeister – two things stuck in my mind – the very cool Casa da Musica dynamic identity, take a look at Brand New’s explanation and his approach to the seven year (itch) sabbatical which he justifies by describing how he is pulling forward 5 years worth of retirement and interspersing it in yearly blocks (the sabbaticals) into his work life. Great idea – but how to reintegrate with clients upon our return?

Gordon Brown was surprise speaker and has generated much discussion in the media (and at the event). His talk was very polished, he made the woman next to me cry, and he got a standing ovation. He also got slated for insincerity and auditioning for his next job. Either way “the power to communicate across borders” enabled by the photograph and the increasingly convergent phenomena of the internet in making these stories told in real time was an interesting theme.

Evan Grant, seeing the sound of nature as patterns in the sand – excellent talk, well worth watching again when on-line. He introduced me to Cymatics and had my mind racing with applications I want to try.

Rory Sutherland – an ad man at Ogilvy, he usually speaks at “TED Evil”. A fun presentation to watch – he suggests that engineers should not have spent 6 billion to build CTRL to reduce journey times but should have invested in making the journey so enjoyable that people would not notice the time they spent on the train. His suggestions included using the 6 billion to pay for super models to serve free champagne to all! Great story about the new Diamond Shreddies.

Mathieu Lehanneur – showed a great piece of product design where a kids asthma device inflates over night so that the kid has to take his medicine in the morning to “look after” the inhaler.

Rebecca Saxe – fires a magnetic pulse into her brain to deactivate a group of neurons that controls her moral perspective of other peoples actions. The Pentagon are calling but she is not taking their calls…

Henry Markram – “the drugs developed today are largely emperical” he is building a model of the brain so that they can start to simualate how the brain works. Need to watch this one again to figure out how this “actually” works and am interested in the implications for the Artificial Intelligence community.

It was good to see Manual Lima presenting visualcomplexity and Candy Chan had an interesting talk on community information architecture experiments – unseen conversations in neighbourhoods – worth a look for those interested in urban information systems.

One of the really inspirational talks for me was 89 year old Elaine Morgan making a compelling case for questioning facts that we assume to be correct. She wants the academic world to reconsider the aquatic ape theory.

Another great Urban Info project was the Mannahatta Project presented by Eric Sanderson. They have geo referenced historical data of 17th century Manhattan to bring into focus the ecology today and “plan for the urban ecosystem of the future”. Great presentation, bought the book.

Architect to watch Bjarke Ingels showed two great projects which stuck in my mind – Danish pavillion for the Shanghai expo (they are flying out the mermaid) and a local housing development that creates a little mountain in the flat landscape – note to self, pick up a copy of YES IS MORE / AN ARCHICOMIC ON ARCHITECTURAL EVOLUTION (ISBN 8799298805).

Itay Talgam – what kind of leader are you? – an excellent presentation using clips of conductors showing different styles of leadership. It needs the visuals to explain – one to watch on video.

ones i need to watch again are:

Loretta Napoleoni

Misha Glenny

Parag Khanna