John Mardlin

Organic Vegetable Producer/Marketer, Saanich Organics


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If you've been to a TED conference, What suggestions do you have for making the most of the experience?

I'm attending TEDGlobal in July, but this conversation should be useful to anyone planning to attend TED, TEDActive, TEDGlobal or TED________...

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    May 8 2011: Offer experiences that appeal to everyone, of all demographics. Have discussions that are not as technical or complicated so that more people can understand them. It is important to not only educate younger minds, but also encourage them to think differently. To think outside the box.

    I have yet to go to a TED conference, but I highly wish I could. I have become very interested in it all. If I knew beforehand that there were discussions that would appeal to me and still be easy enough to understand (underneath all the scientific lingo), then it would only make me want to attend even more.

  • May 7 2011: .

    Soak it all up…

    Watch every talk
    Connect at every opportunity
    Seek out the unique and varied perspectives of others

    I attended TED at Aspen a few years ago and found it to be a sheer indulgence, in a positive sense. The quality of people was excellent - although I have to say that I found more passion in, and was more impressed by, those people who self-funded their attendance.

    Unlike many events, I found that at TED there was a lot less ego on display and that people were genuinely interested in, and appreciative of, the experience and perspectives of others.

    One thing that I wish I had done before attending was to spend more time on reading the profile of the attendees and setting up a specific intent to connect. The connections I made were more random and, although great, I think I may have missed the opportunity to have had some other very worthwhile discussions. Maintain a balance though and do not focus on seeking out people with the same interest or area of work. It will be the attributes and values of the person, rather than their activities, that will inspire you the most.
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    May 6 2011: Get enough sleep.

    The evening events are very nice and a good opportunity to meet people, and you'll surely want to stay until the last TEDster has left.

    But the program during the day is very extensive and interesting, you will need a lot of energy.
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      May 8 2011: Nafissa,
      do you agree with Mick about seeking out specific attendees? Should one plan out their event or let serendipity rule?

      I also have the sense that it may be a grueling affair! Watching a single day of TEDxLive or even just my recent 5 hour TEDx event was an exhausting experience. Though I love meeting people, and am very outgoing, at my heart I'm an introvert. Is there space at the venue for catching ones thoughts?