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American voter turnout sucks. Like near the bottom of all countries in the world sucks. So why in the world do we vote on Tuesday, smack in the middle of the work week? I explain in this TED talk, a part of the TED-Ed education initiative.

For more on my work to move Election Day from Tuesday to the weekend, check out WhyTuesday.org and sign our petition in support of The Weekend Voting Act.  

The French portrait photographer and guerilla artist JR, after accepting the TED Prize. Photo by NPR’s @acarvin. #TED #TEDactive (Taken with Instagram at TEDActive 2011)

Robin Hood is participating in this year’s TED conference by asking how others fight poverty and showcasing the system of metrics we’ve created over the years to measure our poverty interventions. 

From U2 front man, Bono’s overview of global poverty-fighting progress, to the warning signs of progress that Economist Robert Gordon illustrated, there many high level conversations about how we tackle this critical issue both nationally and internationally.

At the TEDActive event in Palm Springs, we are getting specific by outlining the exact steps that inform our grant-making that strives to improve the lives of low income New Yorkers.  By working with an Impact Project team of curious minds, we hope to sketch out a platform through which others can help improve our metrics, as well as create similar tools that help them measure their own impact; no matter what issue they might be working on.

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“We invent a computer, it alters our minds and emotions, and then we - the computer and us - head off in an entirely new direction. To where? That’s the question we recently asked some of the brightest people we know. It’s a question with more relevance than ever: We’re entering a new era, when digital technology must answer first and foremost to the consumer.”

This is the visual essay created by one of RISD’s ActiveMobile groups, consisting of Alec Babala, Kyle DeHovitz, Sam Jau, and Amrit Mazumder.

“By removing technology physically from our lives, technology brings us closer together.”

Look forward for the full presentation at TEDActive.

TED ache

TED参加者は,TEDが終わったあと決まってやってくる心の痛みを TED ache (テッドエイク)と呼ぶ.特に世界中のTEDxオーガナイザが一堂に会するTEDActiveカンファレンスは,自分たちが世界を変えられると本気で信じているクレイジーな奴らが集まっているのだから,その熱量は半端じゃない.それだけに,祭りの後の静かな心の痛みもまたTEDの一部なのである.

人は人の影響を受ける.

TEDの本当の価値は「広めるべきアイディア」(ideas worth spreading)にあるわけではない.それは,アイディアを作る「人」,具現化する「人」,洗練させる「人」たちにあり,彼ら彼女らの交流こそが価値なのだ.TEDは,ステージに立つ人たちだけでなく,観客席に座る人たちも巻き込んで作られている.

もし世界の現状を維持をさせようと思えば,コミュニケーションコストをうんと高くしてやればいい.関所を作り,郵便を妨げ,ネットを遮断すればいい.もちろんエンジニアはそんな壁を乗り越える方法を発明したが,20年ぐらい前まではこの方法でかなりうまくいっていた.局所的にはまだうまくいっているところもあるだろう.

もし世界を変えることを求めるのならば,コミュニケーションコストをうんと低くすることだ.そのためには,地球の一箇所に変えたいと思っている人たちを一時的に集めるのが良い.彼ら彼女らは生き方を変えるだろう.その変化は人から人へ伝染するだろう.

リチャード・ソウル・ワーマン,ニコラス・ネグロポンテ,そしてクリス・アンダーソンはその方法を発明したと言えるだろう.(もう一人のクリス・アンダーソンも違う方法ながら同じ方向を目指しているように見える.)

TEDxオーガナイザはいつも「きみはクリス・アンダーソンじゃない」と言われるだろう.日本のTEDxオーガナイザなら「またアメリカだけが得をするんでしょう?」と聞かれるだろう.リベラルな人からは「そんなことで世界は変わらないよ」と笑われ,コンサバティブな人からは警戒されるだろう.

でもここに少なくとも一人は,人生を変えてしまった人がいることは確かだ.

僕は痛いことを誇りに思うのだから.

Dispatches from TEDActive: Veteran TEDx organizers share advice on preparing speakers for the big day

TEDx'ers brainstorm at TEDActive. (Photo by Kris Krug)

This week, hundreds of new and veteran TEDx organizers have assembled at TEDActive for a week of collaboration, insight, and ideas worth spreading.

With all these TEDx'ers in one place, there’s an abundance of advice for new and prospective organizers being thrown around.

In an effort to share these insights with the world outside TEDActive, we’ve asked three experienced organizers one question: “What are the most important steps to preparing TEDx speakers for the stage?”

Below, key points from their advice:

From Mike Lungren of TEDxKC:

  • Tell your speakers from the get-go that they can’t give their usual, canned talk.
  • Never let them prepare like they’re giving a talk. Instead, make them think about it like they’re at a dinner party and telling the one story of the night that makes the whole table pause.
  • Tell them that when they step on stage they should feel comfortable to let a beat or two go by, take a breath, and anchor their feet before beginning.
  • Force your speakers to break from linear narratives. Just because their story starts in one place, doesn’t mean their talk should.

From Wardah Jamil of TEDxPhoenix:

  • Set key milestones for each speaker.
  • Ask for their full stories first, then push them to focus on the one or two most salient points.
  • Hold several rehearsals through video conference.
  • Get them on stage to rehearse at least once the day before the show.
  • Give every speaker a personal liaison dedicated to boosting their ego and calming their nerves.
  • Provide a green room with snacks, drinks, and access to their liaison. In other words, make them feel like real rock stars – confident and special.

From Ruth Milligan of TEDxColumbus:

  • Set a high standard for yourself. The event is ultimately your product and you should feel proud of the talks that you’re putting out.
  • From the beginning, establish that it’s going to be a fluid process – your speakers first draft will not be their last.
  • Use polite persistence. Stand for the quality that you expect from your speakers.
  • Get tough when you need to. Don’t be afraid of big egos. And be honest when you smell failure. If you feel that you need to cut a speaker, do it.
  • Record, transcribe, edit, repeat. Few people write like they speak and speakers that start by scripting will likely end up sounding unnatural on stage.
  • Go to where they are. In other words, guide speakers to their own deep insights. Don’t force them in a box of your design. Sometimes you’re a speaker coach and sometimes you’re a personal therapist.
  • When a speaker sounds too rehearsed, they’re not done rehearsing. Make them let go of their strict plan and rely on the fact that they understand their idea better than anyone else. And if they still don’t feel confident, make them fake it ‘til they make it.
  • Remember that no artist (or artist-type) will ever feel that their talk is done. You can only make them feel comfortable with an unfinished product.
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Ace co-sponsored the TEDActive 2010 conference in Palm Springs, and this music video – sparked when The John Lennon Bus drove up to the conference and invited attendees to share their ideas about what the world needs. A host of musicians worked together to create the song, and the TEDActive community turned their ideas into illustrations, with help from artist Jansen Yee.

The brainstorm for our #RHprize begins at #TEDactive with 30+ attendees from a variety of backgrounds thinking about tech tools to improve community college grad rates. Learn more: bit.ly/RHPrize (at TEDActive 2014 The Next Chapter)

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Tom Morello shreds at TEDActive

With Annie in the background…

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At the end of the TEDx Workshop at TEDActive, Organizers ended the day at Sunnylands Estates to relax, connect and lay in the grass. 

From baby to toddler -- the TEDx community matures, and continues to expand globally

When over 300 people gathered on Sunday, February 24th at the Merv Griffin estate for what is now the 4th TEDx Workshop at TEDActive, not only did TEDx Director Lara Stein take a look back at the program’s amazing 2012 milestones – the TEDxSummit gathering in Doha, over 5,000 TEDx events and over 200 TEDx Talks on TED.com – but forward with a global community that has quickly grown “from baby to toddler.”

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