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Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.

For discussion: http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/01/a-note-to-the-ted-community-on-the-withdrawal-of-the-tedxwesthollywood-license

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    Apr 2 2013: What strikes me as somewhere between painfully ironic and a bit funny about much of this conversation is that we're only having this conversation because TED has built a strong media brand around making highly selective choices of speakers and for their events -- and now this is suddenly the trigger for complaints. Kindly remember, those often difficult curatorial choices are what has driven TED talks into the kind of well-known media that some of us are now squabbling over. If TED and TEDx were known as having the standards of the revoked TEDx event for speakers, it would never have achieved the widespread audience that it now has. Does everyone agree with TED and TEDx's choices? No. Should they stop making tough curatorial decisions and stop being highly selective? No. Will TEDx and TED learn lessons from this so they can more clearly identify and work through curatorial problems better going forward? I do expect so.

    As Lara Stein's letter put it "we made the curatorial judgment that the program was not appropriate for TEDx." She went on to offer well-wishes to the team with their event. I add my well wishes to hers.
    • Apr 2 2013: Well how do you imagine the curatorial decision to have gone? And there was concern over speakers. I would love to know what they were. Did you know it is TEDxers who want the westhollywood event to go ahead. 130,000 youtube views (in what? less than two weeks?)for the Rupert Sheldrake talk before it was taken down (and now over 200,000 apparently). Those 130,000 are TEDxer's mate, who would have LOVED to have seen Russell Targ at a tedxwesthollywood, TEDxers, so what does THAT say about what TEDx's media brand is or should be?
    • Apr 2 2013: TED can't maintain it's prestige by maintaining the same curatorial parameters it always has. Times change, people become interested in different things, and different areas of knowledge progress at different rates.
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        Apr 3 2013: Lewis, I agree with your point that curatorial parameters both need to evolve, and in my experience they do. The change in theme from year to year is one obvious example of this.
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      Apr 2 2013: Cancelling an event at the eleventh hour, after a year of planning, is not a curatorial choice that fits a standard of appropriate procedure, or even, as we are advised, is within TED's legal rights as a public corporation. What concern TED expressed over our program never went along with a threat of withdrawal, with the potential consequence only being that talks TED didn't like wouldn't go up on its YouTube channel. Silly us, just sailing along, sure TED would like all our talks. Look at our outstanding speakers: http://www.tedxwesthollywood.com/speakers-3/speakers/. And watch our Live Stream on April 14: https://new.livestream.com/extedwesthollywood
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        Apr 3 2013: Suzanne, I believe TEDx Director Lara Stein's letter indicated you had been corresponding since December, and you might have had more flexibility earlier on, though I can see your change in plans has seemed very abrupt and I sympathize. There are countless events that are very successful without any support from TED, and I know of cases where people have simply chosen to move on to a new format than TEDx out of a desire for more freedom to include questions and answers, or longer interpretive sessions that run an our or more, or to have the host provide extended and improvised interviews, or to meld their TEDx into an unconference, all of which hold fascinating potential but are not possible within the TEDx guidelines.
        • Apr 3 2013: Phil - As this has unfolded, it seems clear to me that the withdrawal of West Hollywood was a falling domino coming after the Sheldrake/Hancock video debacle. After banning Sheldrake and Hancock, TED could hardly allow West Hollywood to go forward. If Ted had taken Coyne and Meyer's criticism from whence it came, none of the subsequent ill-considered actions would have followed.
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          Apr 3 2013: Agreed about ability to be out from TED;s restrictive yoke, but TED gets us sponsorship and eyeballs. We have two weeks with nothing to cover costs and no donated venue.

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