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Simone Lackerbauer

Product Manager, M.A., Creator, ProSiebenSat.1 Games

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Should we meet to spread our ideas?

I was wondering whether you think that TED meet-ups would be a good idea to support the TED community. Personally, I was always curious to meet the people I had been discussing with online and I had the impression that after such a meeting, the conversations would become even more interesting, because you actually "knew" who was writing and you could understand their point of view a little better. Such an informal meet-up would be different than attending a TED(x) event: there would be no speakers to listen to, everyone would be a speaker and you would probably have to have one or two TED topics in mind you'd maybe want to talk about.

Does something like this already exist and if not, would you like to give it a try? I also think that such a meeting would lead to new conversations posted online -- at least for me, it would be a great opportunity to hear some opinions about things I want to discuss at TED to see what a related online discussion could be like.

The reason why I am coming up with this right now is that I will be in Stanford this summer (June 29-August 14) and I think there are quite a few TED community members in the Bay Area -- if I'm not mistaken. Who's in?

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    Jun 29 2011: I hate it when good conversations just die, I'll try to revive this one!

    So, who's up for a meet-up, where and when?
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      Jun 30 2011: I think the only way informal meetups are going to work is if we have a better organisational structure that people can use.
      At a minimum it would need a geographical plot of TED members regions of availability and some event planning.
      Maybe some combination of existing tools can acoomplish this. Google maps and facebook perhaps? It'll also need someone to take the reins and organise the basic system that people can get involved in from there.
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      Jun 30 2011: I am IN. But i am in India! Is it proper for me to just send an email message to those in Mumbai (atleast from the profile I can filter them)? Or probably i will do it first and apologise later ;-) TED discussions are very educative and opens up our mind to limitless possibilities!
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        Jun 30 2011: Sorry Mahadevan but the Email system is not functioning properly at the moment, don't know when it will be up again...
        But that is a great idea for when it does come up again, meanwhile let's hope that someone from Mumbai reads your post!
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    Jun 22 2011: I was also wondering if there might be people interested in doing a TED(x) Journey or something: going to as many TEDx events as possible (alone or in group) in one year, and couch surfing with the organizers or other TEDsters along the way...

    maybe such a project can get some funding...
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    Jun 20 2011: Maybe if we could get TED to put an an online interactive calendar we could all access and that individuals could use to "host" a meeting, etc.???

    I will be in Gothenburg and Stockholm Sweden in mid-September.
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      Jun 20 2011: I will be in Gothenburg as well Jim! Maybe we can arrange something?
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        Jun 21 2011: Sure - Lunch on me!
        I'll check in with you later in the summer. My wife is attending a medical conference in Gothenburg Sept. 15-18 and then we're going to travel a bit.
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        Jun 21 2011: we can arrange an onine-meeting so we can watch everyone and share something
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    Jun 26 2011: A local meetup is a great idea and TEDx events are good too. In addition to these events, I would like to propose another idea. We should plan meetings to discuss and brainstorm on specific issues and problems. This way, people with interest in solving them will have more motivation to travel and meet. This way we, the TED community, can create our little Medici effect. It will be so cool!
    I think of TED as a place to get inspiration from people stories but I see a great potential in using this intellectual horsepower in solving problems for the future.
    Here is a draft working model:
    - Meet every six months at different places. Venues can be selected by open bidding.
    - For every meeting, topics will be picked form TED conversations by inviting people to register for specific topics.
    - At the end of the meeting, proposed solution will be published for the TED community
    - A community run body can take the responsibility of organizing
    I would like to invite people to discuss this idea and convert it into a financially sustainable service for TED community.

    Are you interested?
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    Jun 20 2011: .
    As a single white male desperately seeking a female counterpart outside my lame Facebook community, I think I'm in. ;-)

    Seriously, though, sharing great ideas can lead to great sex.

    See: http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html

    P.S.: I'd subscribe to the meetup in Brussels. Maybe we should organise a TED community meetup calendar somewhere?
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      Jun 22 2011: Ok, Mister. This is the second post of yours that directly mentioned sex.... is there something you want to share? ;-)
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    Jun 20 2011: I think meet-ups would be an excellent idea. Not only would we be sharing ideas but we also be getting to know each other on different level. And to me, knowing and relating to my fellows around the world is very essential to us as a people moving forward.
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    Jun 20 2011: Definitely. When you meet you will also many times understand the personality behind the discussions/writings/thoughts. And who knows it might well give rise to a new form - miniTED! max 6-8 members per discussion, informal place. If it gets bigger, it will run into complications...it can grow progressively though! I am IN!
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    Jun 13 2011: Good idea!

    Connecting is essential if you want a movement or grow the TED community.
    I suggest going to TEDx Events is a good start,
    And organising meetups with TEDsters all over the world might indeed be cool. For dinners, brainstorms, chatting, sharing ideas,... Involving new people along with it...
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      Jun 13 2011: I really enjoyed the few TEDx events I was able to join, so you are definitely right: participating in a TED(x) event will make you understand what TED is about -- and local meet-ups could strengthen ties. How about a meet-up in Brussels in September!
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        Jun 15 2011: I'll try to come! ;D
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        Jun 15 2011: Well, TEDxFlanders will be in Antwerp, September 24th...
        If you wish to have a ticket: send me an email (through my profile), and I'll try and fix it.
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          Jun 17 2011: Thank you very much for your offer, Christophe, I'll definitely get back to you when I know my schedule for September. But it seems my general idea hasn't quite hit the spot -- at least it was worth a try :)
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          Jun 18 2011: Yeah, thanks for the offer Christophe, I'll do as Simone and get back to you in a bit.

          Simone, give it some time. Conversations have a way of surprising you. It hit the spot for me, I'm looking for members near me to connect with right now!

          Keep on trying, it makes a difference!
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          Jun 18 2011: Thank you for the kind words, Jimmy, you're absolutely right. Let's see if some TED magic will happen here ;)
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      Jun 20 2011: Thanks for giving me a new goal christophe(: I am going to work on some of those small gatherings for idea spreading.
  • Jun 25 2011: interesting, everybody else meets to move a topic forward, but what costs.. i usually travel on behalf of my company to discuss at many forums. I don't mind it as long as someone is paying the costs. I wouldn't mind if i had the extra money to travel to move a topic or an idea forward.
    http://www.reviiew.com/become-a-great-guitar-player
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    Jun 22 2011: That is a great idea! Especially for us frequent travelers - I'd honestly go anywhere (within my travel budget) to meet other TEDsters.
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    Jun 22 2011: Yup...
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    Jun 20 2011: This is a great is a great idea Simone. I am on the organizing committee for TEDxLamarUniversity and I think informal meet ups like you have suggested would be a great way to mobilize all of the non-university attending TEDsters from the surrounding local areas.
    I'm not sure if you know or not, but www.meetup.com is a very popular tool that a lot of Americans use. Just set up an event on this site and you should have a great turn out in a city like San Francisco. Good luck with your meet up at Stanford, I wish I could attend.
  • Jun 20 2011: Hope That It Could Ever Be Possible??? Well Meeting Persons Is A GR8 Way 2 Communicate Effectively!!!!
  • Jun 20 2011: The world is large and life is short and what we meet ,we talk we suffered is finite! So a man living in the world is not easy,definitely,we should share our ideas and that our life will be gorgeous .I hope my idea could help you...
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    Jun 13 2011: Love the idea!
    Although I don't know how far I'd have to travel...
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      Jun 21 2011: if i have enough money ,i think i will go further as i can doO(∩_∩)O~
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    Jun 13 2011: I love your idea!!!!!!! a meet-up would be wonderful.Still, there are so many barriers to overcome in order to have an event like this.In my opinion, there would be two major problems : language barrier and financial problems

    How would we transport every single TED community around world to a singular place where we could all gather?
    Some of us speak French,some Mandarin and some Spanish...How do we overcome that?

    Whatever it may be, these are my thoughts and I find myself still young and a little bit naive.What's your opinion?
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    Jun 13 2011: I quite like the idea of more informal meet ups. I think the biggest barrier to this would be organisation and the number of TED members in a certain area. A geographical plot of members could get the ball rolling perhaps. I'm pretty sure there won't be very many in my area but for others nearer larger cities this could help.
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      Jun 13 2011: Indeed, the problem is the number of possible participants. But whoever wants to come can bring their friends as well, so we'd maybe even be able to convert some more people into TEDsters. I'd love to set the ball rolling with a meet-up this summer. We'll see what happens :)