Gary’s Newsletter #397 – TED TALK

NBA star Kobe Bryant recently described his desire to “break out of the sea of sameness.” His comments about basketball could apply equally to a growing approach to training, networking and education known as TED. Begun as a Technology, Entertainment and Design conference, TED has emerged into what Fast Company (September 2010) calls an annual gathering of “curious, engaged, enlightened,” super-intelligent, affluent people who are creating “the first new top-prestige education brand in more than 100 years.” It definitely is not  any sea of sameness. You can read the Fast Company article here.

You also can attend a TED conference if you can pay the $10,000 registration fee. Expect to mingle with creative people who engage in “networking extraordinaire” and hear carefully prepared lectures from leaders that have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Desmond Tutu, Tony Robbins and Billy Graham. TED talks are 18 minutes in length, engaging and often controversial. You can view over 700 TED talks without cost at

Why should TED be of interest to you? Most of us can’t attend the conference, give talks that are professionally recorded and distributed worldwide, or engage with TED participants. Critics claim the TED format can stimulate showmanship and simplicity. Brief speaker-to-audience talks do not allow for audience interaction, skill development or in-depth technical and theoretical education. Nevertheless,

  • TED shows the power of technology and open interaction to stimulate adult learning and bring change. We live in a world of shared information and open ideas that cannot be squelched.
  • TED combines “radical openness” with “leveraging the power of ideas to change the world.” How does that apply to training leaders, counselors, coaches, or seminarians? Fresh perspectives in education impact us all.
  • The free dissemination of ideas means the spread of concepts that are harmful and others that are good. How do we teach ourselves and others to tell the difference and to evaluate emerging trends?

Movements like TED can stimulate our thinking and creativity. How can we be better Christ-followers, disciplers and people-builders in a world overflowing with new ideas and learning possibilities? That’s an exciting question.

Please leave a comment with your reaction.


  1. Love TED 🙂 just saw Clifford Stoll’s video a few weeks ago and it was mind blowing, I’ve wanted to get his book for so long 😛

    I believe this is where the future of education is going, now with the internet all the information is out there, is up to you if you want to go get it, you can learn so much better things than in a school…and so much worse as well. I think its a matter of responsibility of the individual.

    Seems like we are going to have our first TED in Guatemala in November 13, hopefully it will be remarkable, I think its the kind of events we need to start happening in my country.


  2. Hey Mauro, I have not heard from you for a while. Like your new photo.

    My take on this is that we need to look at TED and learn how we can apply this to where we are right now. Here’s an example: I am scheduled to speak at a university on the west cost next month. For a couple of sessions the allotted time is short. So this gives me good practice in giving my best shot at preparing and delivering a TED type talk in 18-20 minutes. Hopefully it can be videotaped and critiqued so I can do it better next time and keep improving. I wish I could be with you in Guatemala in November. Keep thinking and leading creatively.


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