TED Conversations

Sartaj Anand

Founder, Egomonk , Melton Foundation


This conversation is closed.

What is the 1 Question you'd ask or Idea you'd share with the TED Team ?

Imagine you have complete access to some of the best speakers in the world, TED Fellows, the TED Team and a bunch of the most talented TEDx organizers on the planet. Now imagine all of this happening in Doha, Qatar on 16th April, 2012.

I'm fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the TEDxSummit in Doha and now I ask you to share with me a question or an idea which needs to be heard.

I'll try my very best to ask/share it with them :)

  • Apr 11 2012: Keeping it simple stupid. Nature has devised simple ways to solve its problems and it has done all of the trial and error work over hundreds of millions of years. So nature knows best what works well and what does not. We should sit back, open our minds, and observe how nature works and extrapolate what we see to formulate ideas that might reveal how nature might fix our own problems in a simple way. Use the concentrated magnified power of the sun to power desalinate sea water through a distillation process. We are then on our way to solving a huge terraculture problem.
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    Mar 19 2012: I would ask if they ever thought of involving people, and particularly the TED community, directly by giving real support so that this great ideas can really spread. What about a TED academy? Or a place where people can really get in touch with TED and start building this fantastic world of the future? TED is a fantastic place but it's in the internet for most of us, and it does not feel like the people involved are really approachable on a daily basis...
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      Mar 20 2012: I'm approachable! Now I get the sad face. =(

      Hehe, but good point. =P
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    Mar 28 2012: Make Live streaming a free service or at least make it a separate service you can purchase. I mean I'm a broke student, spending all my money on my projects trying to get on TED. :D
  • W T 100+

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    Mar 23 2012: Well, I think they need to hear, that we enjoy getting feedback from them when their talk gets posted.

    It's great when the presenter interacts with us when we post comments. You can thank them for us.

    It's also great when those who attend post pictures under the talks......I really enjoy the first hand look at the event.
    How exciting!!! I love conventions of all sorts.

    Also, I think that it would be interesting if somehow TED or those who attend or are presenters would somehow find a way to invite a commoner, from the online community, to attend....all expenses paid. Then that member can come back and start a conversation about what it was like first hand and I think this would be just phenomenal!!!!!.....We can even help choose the TEDster by nominating individuals on-line......I can dream can't I?

    Thank you Sartaj for the opportunity to contribute some whimsical thoughts.

    Be Well.
  • Mar 21 2012: Why sea water can not be used for drinking. The solution of fresh water scarcity in the world is to ask scientists to invent a better way to make sea water drinkable.
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    Mar 20 2012: Some of the posts on TED are serious requests for different thoughts on a issue. In education some principals ask how to reshape schools or what is ideal, etc .. Administrators often lose touch with the practioners as their focus is totally different. My question is: When a question expires could TED allow the originator to summerize the findings. I would be interested in their takes on the responses and how it has helped them if at all. It would be great if there was a "year later" section that would allow a follow--up on projects / question/ ideas. This would demonstrate the power of the TED community. Thanks for listening. Best. Bob
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    Mar 19 2012: I want to know how to make the next generation better, so I would ask: What was your biggest obstacle or frustration during your years of conventional education? (Man, as a teacher I would LOVE to see those survey results!)
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      Mar 19 2012: That is a great question Erik, did you start a conversation to involve the TED community? I would love to comment on it....
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        Mar 19 2012: Thanks, Roberta! The groups I really want to hear from on this, though, are the TED presenters and attendees.
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          Mar 20 2012: I am curious of TED presenters and attendees socio-economic situation. Are they 1%?
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          Mar 20 2012: fair enough, so, if you don't mind, I will steal your idea and ask the question myself to the TED community....
    • Mar 27 2012: Id say the biggest obstacle was not being taught how to think, only do. I had a class where the curriculum was thrown out the window, and the teacher made the class think about the material by asking questions relative to how we interacted with the material on a daily basis (the class was on the history of technology)

      I found classes where I had to think about solutions more interesting that the ones where solutions were simply a multiple choice answer on a test.
    • Apr 2 2012: I can tell you my biggest frustration was trying to find a girlfriend!
  • Apr 6 2012: The war on drugs has been raging all my life and drugs seem to be more available and popular than I can ever remember. Unscrupulous people are getting rich off it and not paying tax on their income. This is not new eg the gangsters during prohabition. In the west we conceded the war alcahol but yet we fill goals with drug users and low level suppliers. The idea of making alcohol illegal in the west because some people have a problem has very little support but this is used as a reason to keep other drugs illegal. The illegal nature of drugs has ment that users often don't know what they are taking making their use more unsafe. The hipocracy between alcohol and illegal mind altering drugs seems strange to me and I don't use either. My question is should alcohol be illegal or should other popular illegal drugs be made legal? Some countries have taken this choice what has been their experience what are the pros and cons in doing so? Do we need to rethink the war on drugs as a health issue or do we need to include alcohol in that war?
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      Apr 11 2012: I say definitely full legalization. We repealed alcohol prohibition because it created more problems than it solved - by an astonishing degree. Turf wars, cartels enriched, adulterated product, police corruption, high spending on "enforcement" - all the same issues We see with "drug" prohibition - and with the use of drugs (it was never illegal to DRINK alcohol - just manufacture, transport and sell) being illegal, common citizens become "criminals" by merely choosing to exercise Their Human right to ingest whatever They want.

      The answer seems pretty clear to Me.
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        Apr 12 2012: I agree, full legalisation is logical. A human bodily need to 'transcend the mind' dates back to early human civilisations. Just have to bypass the heavy moral roots that it now has in society - not to mention the ones that make the big bucks off it, whether its from those in the streets or in parliament.
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          Apr 12 2012: And there are so many making money off prohibition! Either directly or indirectly. The CIA, the "drug lords," the pharmaceutical companies, the prison industrial complex, the alcohol & spirits industry, the cotton industry (though here in the US hemp is now allowed to be imported...), the oil companies (hemp oil can run cars and make plastics...), the police departments (property seizure bolsters many departments' coffers - while 80% of People who lose property on mere accusation are never charged with a crime), and on and on.

          The solution is to get rid of the need for money, I would say. And it is possible. Add abundantly what money represents: meaningful energy expended, in the form of "free energy" (overunity) and robots to do all necessary work no One wants to do (or not enough People). And overunity has been around since Tesla, but because the power elite know Their power, which relies on money, would dissipate, They keep it hidden and suppressed. Electrogravitics, studied openly in all major aerospace companies in the 1950's, was pulled into black projects late in that decade. It offered overunity and gravity control and drew energy from the zero point field negentropically (negative entropy).

          If You are interested in finding out more, check out The End of Entropy in My blog linked in My profile here.
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    Mar 28 2012: What about increasing amount of international TED branches in different countries?
    And collaboration with universities.
    • Apr 2 2012: I think a good idea might be a special out-reach program to selected and recommended students of universities on a temporary basis at first?
  • Mar 25 2012: I believe that beings come to earth like we would go say to the desert or the ocean we don't tell every one that were going or coming so why would they.If you are different do you tell people so that they would treat you different,no so if a stranger says there a traveler and you have a beautiful planet .then what?
    • Apr 2 2012: Maybe these beings are from the same planet we're all from. Misunderstandings occur and sometimes what we intend to convey isn't easily understood (and some things are not easily said). No one is exactly the same as anyone else but the differences of people are probably not very confusing. Everyone hopes for the best in communicating with other people.

      So if someone says they love the planet, it's likely they are expressing a feeling of joy.
  • Mar 23 2012: I am not an engineer and I do not know any thing about electronics or sensors. Yet, I saw a handycam of Sony where when I want to shoot a picture, I saw an icon of Human flashing there. Then I moved it around for a long shot, I saw a tree icon replaced the human icon, when I projected towards sky, then I found clouds icon was there. I was astonished and thought whether these icons can have sounds - so to say - garden, people etc., and if we attach a ear plug can we hear that sound. If that is the case can we input more icons - like bus, troly, car, train, big wall, open drain, gathering, lamp post etc., and with sounds so that - a blind man can wear this handy cam and walk without stick and can hear what is opposite to him?? Is it possible? If it is possible, then we can even input the script of English language and give sound to that...???? Any one in TED convey this to Sony people??? It will help the blind people.
    This is my idea...
  • Mar 23 2012: In my profile I wrote the following which in my eyes is still a goal to realized on the short term but I don't hear people about it:

    Discriminating is good!
    The word however has such a 'bad rep' because of an awefull history of supression. Which actually lead to a special meaning of 'discrimination' (the prejudicial treatment of an individual based solely on their membership in a certain group or category. (Wikipedia)) which is obviously bad.
    But to discriminate is: "To perceive the distinguishing features of; recognize as distinct: discriminate right from wrong." (dictionairy).

    Why is this an idea worth spreading?
    These things get mixed up all to often.
    There just are things which women do better than men!

    The same mix up gets done in being equal.
    People are starting to think that women and men are equal. Which is false! We aren't even equally capable as the brain of men and women is different (women excell in other things than men do). But why have people stopped seeing this as a good thing? Because we are not equal does not mean one is superior!

    We are not equal. We need to re-start discriminating!

    because the profile only allows 1000 chars that's as far as I got... however please also add:
    We must also realize that everyone can be passionate about something else... we have to not see this as a problem but as an oppertunity. Encourage people to do what they love and let them love what they do. And don't train everyone to be the same.
  • Mar 20 2012: It wold seem as though almost everyone is concerned about the 'green' movement and reducing our environmental impact, however the most detrimental issue plaguing our planet is the rapid expansion of the human race. It would be a glorious day if we could save every life in every third world country or even domestically, however if such a thing were to occur the scarcity of resources would be ever more apparent. One could even speculate the explosive population boom is the equivalent of the housing market in 2008, just be prepared for it to collapse in a similar way.
    Realistically, how can we combat the catastrophic consequences of species over-saturation(human)?
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    Mar 20 2012: How can we make the World a secure place for our children? How can we protect our children, especially 'The Girl Child' in India?
    • Apr 2 2012: Also, how can we make the World a secure place for everyone?
  • Apr 10 2012: A life (personal) can radically change in one second.
    What could we learn from all the variable ways a life has changed in that one second?
    -Does it ultimately lead to a more humanistic outlook on life.
    -Does perception change.
    -Could the "change" be placed into a category.
    -Would this data base of knowledge help someone's life.
    -Radically - could we predict the possibility of when, where, etc. or the conditions that would cause a "change" to occur. Or the results of a specific type of "change".
    -(My thinking is more towards a personal individual "change" and not the obvious effects caused by a large scale change such as war, famine, recession, etc.- but certainly not totally disregarding such major "changes".)
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    Apr 5 2012: I'm not interested in arguing with a climate denial troll. I just want to point out that you completely missed my point.
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      Apr 5 2012: Thank You for that ad hom. [smile] Not arguing at all. Just making a point (which does not deny, BTW, but suggests that profit motive drives the push to blame it on Humankind). Anyway, yes... We need to have an action We each can personally take and I bring an opportunity to do that. If You are inclined, check out My blog linked in My profile for details. Specifically the piece called The End of Entropy.

      Or You can choose to remain ignorant of what I propose. [shrug]
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    Apr 5 2012: Easy. The specific idea that Humanity has no need for money because We can replace it with what it represents: meaningful energy expended. Add free energy - or as it is known in inventors' circles, overunity - and remove the cost of energy down the line and things at the end are free.

    Since I know We have had overunity for over 50 years, I can say We can add free energy. The technology of electrogravitics became highly classified in late 1959 or early 1960. (My father used to tell Me about His work making discs fly and obtaining overunity - until He came home and told Me, "They want it secret for now." And secret it's been ever since.)

    On top of that, We are at a unique point in Our development where We can build mechanical slaves to do all the necessary work no One want to do (or not enough People).

    This would free the abundance of this planet to flow to all of Us (right now it is hindered by money), and with the interweb, allow Us to affect governance stigmergically (see http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0605/03-elliott.php for a definition) and eliminate the need for government.

    I will suggest They (and You) check out My blog for details of all this. I have it linked in My profile. I recommend most the piece entitled, "The End of Entropy."
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    Apr 5 2012: TEDFail.

    Don't get me wrong. The diversity of ideas that get presented at TED are what makes it such an extraordinary phenomenon. But some of what TED is about is the nuts and bolts of building a better world. Like any entrepreneur, we can learn as much or more from the failure of some of those ideas as from the successes. We need to check back in a few years later to see how things are going. If we don't, we are just chasing after the next shiny object instead of building on experiment and experience.

    A few examples, just off the top of my head:

    One Laptop Per Child: The lesson is that hardware is not enough. You need content, and you can't assume that it will magically appear all by itself. A secondary lesson is that you cannot assume that everyone everywhere has reliable internet access. Most schools in the US don't have reliable internet access for their students. The idea of affordable computers for all remains an excellent idea, but it won't work if it's just a bunch of boxes.

    Al Gore's climate campaign: Al made a brave and brilliant attempt to convince people to engage with climate change, but gave people nothing that they could do outside of the usual list of self-sacrifice and symbolic participation in a dysfunctional political system. As a result, we are farther now from substantive action than we were five years ago. Playing the inside game is for suckers. We need a better game plan, quickly.

    Indra Nooyi's Pepsi challenge: Indra is committed to making Pepsi a sustainable corporation. Pepsi is not committed to becoming a sustainable corporation, and Nooyi is on her way out. I would *love* to see her talking at TED 2013 about where she thinks the sustainable transformation needs to come from within a large corporation. She's demonstrated that CEO commitment to doing the right thing may be necessary, but it's not sufficient. What should we try next?

    Getting it right when it didn't work the first time should be part of the TED conversation.
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    Apr 4 2012: Your question has nudged me to imagine. The most talented TEDx organizers on the planet will be gathering at Doha - Qatar (Arab country) and Sartaj is the fortunate few to attend. If you can ask on my behalf the question.
    Can TED forum give a thought to implement QARDAN HASANAH (GOOD LOAN WITHOUT INTEREST) ?
    This concept is being implemented by the Bohra Community.
  • Apr 4 2012: What is Self-Image? How to evolve a great Self-Image?

    How to evolve a global human family - Vasudev Kutumbhkam'? When I am saying Vasudev, I am not representing as a Hindu, mentioned just to connect.

    Name the first thing a child must be taught to develop as a human.

    With regards

    The Mindfood Chef
  • Apr 4 2012: Hi Mr. Lloyd. These problems have not been around a " million years " !! These problems are getting out of control.
    In this day and age! The only malfuction to evil deeds, in humans. IS other humans. The parents, the bullying, the up bringing. THE social food chain. It has nothing to do with a disease. I do admire your comment! Humans are are always, trying to blame it it on a disease. Respect to ya! :)
  • Apr 3 2012: Which will be the best and worse scenarios for BRIC´s for 2040? in 3 ways:
    - Economical
    - Cross Cultural
    - Political

    What about México, South Korea, Turkey, Pakistan?
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    Apr 3 2012: As humans we are aware we will die one day. All religious/ spiritual text indicate the founders of all religion did manage to crack the code of life and death. Today in 2012, why do we:
    1. As humans not pay any attention to the purpose of life, continue to be driven by greed anger &foolishness ? Do we really we believe that we are so stupid?
    2. What is the fundamental purpose of religion/spirituality/atheism? would be incorrect to say that the fundamental purpose of existence of animate or inanimate life or belief or religion is, more human joy than happiness [considering joy to be more sustainable as it creates beauty, and greater good as well vis-a-vi happiness which can[and is] still be transient?
    3. If, our focus is supreme human joy,which can also be termed as maximizing human potential & human security, how do get leaders political and religious to look ahead and create a new future, focusing efforts on finding similarities, rather than getting involved with discussing the differences..... http://enterprise185.biz/wordpress/ .
  • Apr 3 2012: The population of this world has been increasing continuously for a long time. That means at some moment there will be no planet resources to maintain our current life style, and later to maintain our life. It seems that a big part of the seven billion people is not aware - or not interested - about that.

    These conditions will probably be a big menace to our civilization and to our planet in the future. What can we do now ?
  • Apr 2 2012: My hypothetical idea is concerned with the melting of the polar icecaps. From what I have read and heard is that the world's oceans will rise by several inches on average. My thoughts are that the oceans near the poles will rise very little while the oceans near the equator will rise the most. This would be caused by the centrifugal force of the earth spinning. This mass of water gathering near the equator will almost certainly have an effect on the earth's rotation and the tectonic plates. It will also have much more effect on the coastlines of countries near the equator.

    The other point of my concern is the change of mass at the poles. I believe the north pole is mostly pack ice on/in water and the south pole is mostly glacial ice on land. Which if true, then the change in mass at the north pole would be relatively less than the change in mass at the south pole. The reason behind this is that ice in water displaces an equal mass of water. Where as, when the ice melts off the land at the south pole that mass is gone and will gather closer to the equator. What effect will this change in mass at the south pole relative to the north pole have on the tilt of the earth and also the rotation of the earth?
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    Apr 2 2012: What can the world learn from India?
  • Apr 2 2012: Why do people in society label each other?
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    Apr 2 2012: How do we better communicate to the average person, that we are all a part of the Global community of mankind? and as such are all equally responsible to insure peace here on our world. Most people I talk to have a difficult time relating their actions into the global community. For Example: each time they purchase a tank of gas, they are contributing to the loss of a natural resource, or choosing to shop at Walmart and the increase in using child labor and slave wages to keep costs in check.
  • Apr 2 2012: I am disturbed by the focus on high cost communication technologies that close out the impoverished from accessing any benefit from these technologies. Wouldn't it be wise to create internets for the poor, the homeless, the disadvantaged that uses high security at nexus-points between users but is made for access at user-end by low bandwidth and minimal computer resources? I'd suggest a text based internet optionally accentuated by 16-bit graphical interfaces.

    However I'd like the suggestion of learned men on this issue. Is this viable? Is it worth seeking? Would Facebook agree to such a thing? Would a common hardware structure be designed, assembled, and distributed by multiple companies to those humans who are in need, to help them reap the benefits of human achievement? Could it work?