TED Conversations

Sarah Shewey

CEO/Founder, Happily


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How do you move inspiration into action? *A TEDActive Social Networks Project*


At TEDActive2011 in Palm Springs, an amazing group of individuals came together as a team to come up with a simple micro-action solution for finding a way to move inspiration into action through social networks. After a quick 36 hour period of time, they told us this story:

When I woke this morning and checked my messages, I had a link to a video. The video was made by two Year 12 students, Nile and Hannah from Huntington School in York in the UK. And they made the video to explain why they’re excited to hear about the TEDED program. (education.ted.com)

They found TEDED through their teacher, who was sent the link by his head of school. The Head of School found out through Sir Ken Robinson who sent out a tweet asking people to support this initiative. Sir Ken sent the tweet because he was messaged by Marcus, a member of our group for whom Sir Ken is a mentor, a personal connection. In a single day, with 9 targeted messages, our group got the TEDED link into 6,017 schools across the US, the UK and Australia.

Rather than proposing a specific micro-action, we are proposing a new micro- philosophy. Know the power of the people in your network, know the way to reach them, and know to ask them to act in a way that matters. Whether it’s showing support for the middle east, participating in JR’s global art project, or spreading TEDED we’re asking you to be deliberate in your social networks.

When you share your ideas from this week, we’re asking you to be the signal, not the noise.

What are some other ways that you can move inspiration into action?

Please comment below or tag any new conversations with TEDActiveSOC so that we can join in!


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    Apr 27 2011: Sarah, you bring up an excellent point. We all have networks whether they are online or f2f and if we are thoughtful and organized with what we ask of that network, we'll be surprised of the response. Over the next week I will think of a way to push out an education based micro-philosophy. Thanks for the thought provoking post.
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      Apr 27 2011: Hi Dave! :)

      I love the idea of disseminating a philosophy, over Twitter or Facebook, in tiny, digestible bites. Is that what you were thinking of when you posted this or did you have another vision?
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        Apr 27 2011: Shanna!!!!

        That's essentially it. In building off of Sarah's idea, we all have a belief system or philosophy. Rather than asking our peers to immediately do something, I propose that we ask them to follow and perhaps contribute to a hashtag/stream on FB.

        We create the forum (hashtag/quora entry/FB post) that is dedicated to a certain idea or concept. Then we would begin to post our thoughts/ideas around that topic. This would culminate in an event where those contributing to the stream could meet up and plan how they can take those idea to action.

        The beauty is that those who just want to lurk can do so, those who want to contribute to the hashtag will simply add their thoughts, and then those who want to contribute and then take it to action/meet others have that option.

        It's a win, win, win situation. Now on to the planning stages....
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          May 2 2011: Dave, seriously, start tweeting with a hashtag of your choice and I'll reply. We can encourage other people who follow @TEDActive to do the same. Would love to see some of this come to life!

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