TED Conversations

Michel Desjardins

Risk Manager, Enterprise Resilience & Security, Telstra

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TED Ideas Worth Funding

For many years now, we are learning ideas worth spreading on TED.

I then asked myself:
- What's happening to TED ideas after broadcasting?
- How could we ensure that great ideas come to life?
- How could we help an idea to come to life?

Which lead me to:
- How could we bring TED to its next evolutionary stage?

My ideas:
- Let's embed a crowd funding model into TED. Let's ensure that great ideas have the financial support required to come to life and to impact our society.
(if you need to learn about it, here is a link to wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowd_funding )

- Let's even consider embedding crowd sourcing into TED. So, we could all work collaboratively at making the world a better place.
(wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing)

That's one thing to have an idea; that's another to make it happen. Let's make it easier for everyone and for us.

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    Jan 18 2013: While TED and TEDx speakers are not permitted, I think fortunately, to use the stage to make pitches for funding for their projects, every talk you hear gives you links to the speaker's bio and organization.

    I know when a speaker has caught my interest, I have followed up often by reading his further work or by exploring her organization's website.

    So I think it's really easy for anyone here to make contributions to what the speakers are doing by following the links to their websites. Not all speakers are people of action, some being scholars who leave it for others to use their ideas, but many are active through organizations they found or work in that any of us could assist if we choose.

    I agree with Edward that the nature of the TED site would change for the worse if it became a venue for marketing and fundraising, as so many venues are.
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      Jan 19 2013: Thanks Fritzie for your comment. It's much appreciated.

      I agree with your angle especially regarding the speakers.

      But what about this "Ideas" channel where my question is located?
      A what, in my department, we created an "idea register". We collate them and a department committee assess the benefits and viability of each idea. By exception we submit it to voting by our colleagues. Great ideas will have an action owner (usually a Manager or up) and staff will be allocated based on priority of the new project, our currently portfolio and availability of staff and resources.

      We have ideas, and we make our ideas come to life. We don't sit and just watch it pass and fade away.
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        Jan 19 2013: I feel very much the same way about TED Conversations, that if it were a free marketing channel, that aspect would quickly come to dominate the setting. Those who are attracted to the site to learn and wrestle with ideas in community very likely would seek another forum where they could do that without being distracted by a barrage of pitches for funding.

        There are other online venues, like Kickstarter or Kiva, that are focused on the display of proposals for crowd-sourced funding. Not every venue needs to become that.
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      Jan 19 2013: In addition, what is your point of view on the crowd sourcing of an idea, abstracting the funding part? More like an international collaborative project.
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        Jan 19 2013: I love the idea of international collaborations, whether of a crowd-sourced kind or not. Open Ideo is an example of a forum that does this in an organized way. Clay Shirky in one of his TED talks about Ushahidi, another great example. He and others talk about Wikipedia along these lines, a crowd-sourced effort with tremendous public benefit. Mochai Benkler's TED talk about open source economics mentions SETI - maybe also Linux?- but also puts forward a theoretical framework for why this works so well and why people are willing to contribute for free. The Northwest Folklife festival, the largest free folk festival in the US, uses thousands of volunteers, both on stages and in operations to make it happen and almost no paid staff.
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    Jan 18 2013: I think there is a certain cleanness about TED that would be lost if funding became a goal. TED is the coffee shop, or corner pub, where ideas are discussed. After leaving the pub, if we have been energized and inspired by all the crisp, candid conversation, collaboration and debate, we move elsewhere to pursue the rigorous, mundane entrepreneurial functions. Do not turn the coffee shop into a bunch of bean-counters in cubicles. I do think it would be very interesting to know about ideas that are incubated at TED and go beyond the talking stage. As Mr. Lockwood says, "Just enjoy the talks."
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    Jan 25 2013: I agree with most comments so far. I love TED broadcasts and I don't want it to because a capitalist thing and annoy its users.

    I have my own ideas (private business ideas) and I am working hard to make it come to life. It's not an easy task. It requires the assembling of a skilled international team. It requires time, personal and financial investment. I have a full understanding of the full life cycle of an ideas (or business) from its generation, implementation to retirement.

    To have TED ideas and to share it is one thing (and an excellent one). But it's another thing to make ideas happen. The essence of my idea is "how could we help ideas coming into life?"

    Potential help such as:
    - design
    - execution
    - manufacturing
    - funding
    - business management
    - risk management
    - project management
    - marketing
    - legal
    - programming
    - etc.

    Don't just focus on the funding part (most people dislike the concept, but they like the money when it flows in). If an idea would be supported by crowd sourcing the need for funding could be minimal if not nil. But without crowd sourcing, the need for funding is significantly higher as a project would need to hire specialists and consultants to do the work.

    How can we help TED ideas?
  • Jan 25 2013: I would not enjoy Ted as much as I do now, if I was asked to make contributions or click on tabs. It's not because I am selfish, but more that I would not really be able to believe the real reason why the speakers are speaking. When I strongly believe in the speaker, I would go to their website and make my own arrangements thereon.
  • Jan 19 2013: During the Vietnam War, while serving as an Army Medic (USAR) on an amputee ward at Walson Army Hospital, there was a moment when I realized the discomfort for so many of the patients who were unable to brush their own teeth.

    Finally, four years ago, an earnest effort began and now the means by which to accomplish the task of brushing one’s teeth unaided and without a brush, paste, or water has been prototyped and patented. It is Clean Bite™ and hopefully, it will bring oral hygiene to not only those first intended, but as well, at risk children, the poor, and populations most in need globally.

    Healthful Innovation: the toothbrush made of food … that you ingest!

    • Shaped like a double mouthpiece, the Clean Bite™ contains almost 800 bristles and is a single use toothbrush
    • Provides 60-90 seconds of utility, and thereafter dissolves and can be ingested or disposed
    • Dentifrice is contained in four separate reservoirs located on the horizontal plane between the bites and upon first compression small ports rupture providing equal distribution
    • Bristles are set at 45° to the gum line to better brush the teeth and gums
    • Bristles brush the teeth, gingival margin, and tongue
    • Frontal port enables breathing in the event that the user is congested
    • Comprised of Gelatin and other GRAS materials
    • The Clean Bite™ when consumed maybe employed as a delivery system for vitamins, nutrients, medications, and possibly microencapsulated vaccines in developing countries
    • Water soluble and biodegradable
    • Comes in different flavors and sizes for both adults and children
    • 24 times the surface contact area in comparison to the traditional brushes
    • Contains Xylitol
    • Both design and material formulation are U.S. Patented
    • Primary US market is “at risk children” receiving free or reduced cost meals at school and are 3x’s more likely to have untreated caries than their peers, (31M “ARC” out of a US K-12 student population of 52.5M)
    • disaster relief, travelers, etc.
  • Jan 18 2013: I just enjoy the talks Of course, the implemation of new ideas in our lives do not always generate recognition.