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Chris Anderson

Curator, TED

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Has a TED Talk ever influenced you? How?

We get beautiful feedback on how much people appreciate watching TED Talks. But as well as learning, has a talk ever actually changed your (or someone else's) behavior? Or led to something intriguing? I'm curious to get some stories about how an idea can have impact... big or small, significant or just funny. I may share a couple of the best at TED2011 next week.

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Closing Statement from Chris Anderson

Many thanks to all who answered. I found a lot of these responses really moving. My take away is that perhaps the biggest single impact of TED Talks is in expanding peoples' sense of possibility and thereby motivating them to get up and realize their potential.

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    Feb 24 2011: In earlier comment I covered exactly 2000 characters ( allowance in this post ) to pass the first part, the inspiration. I realize this thread is searching for action. I wanted to point out the first actions from my side. I am creator of a not yet known project that is a display system that uses web technology -- it's meant to be for public and semi-public spaces such as a commuity. A lot of people say that this project is called Digital Signage. But I always felt that "Digital Signage" view was biased towards the world of panels being used for propaganda.

    I am using a lot of energy to point out that this is not digital signage. The use of panels in public and semi-public spaces, using a social function, should not be called digital signage, I feel. And it is a difficult endeavor -- it's important to press the same note again and again, but also I had great problems because of the communication, the cases, let's say in Benjamin Zander's words, the impulses. The notes ( or communication and cases of uses ) needs to show a story that sticks and people can digest. That is where the connection with TED is helping:

    TED is helping me to explain this project better. When I created the project before knowing TED I had a technological view -- I knew the general direction but failed to tell the story that relates to life. Now, after TED, I am able to explain to the world that we can insert social panels in walls everywhere to make the world a better place to live -- these are not to be ad/corporation/broadcast controlled. This is to be made by locals, to share art, to share love, to share inspiration. In a way, like TED does online, but to do that in physical locations.

    I also seen many projects displayed at TED talking about that. A lot more mature projects and things that scaled already -- like the hole in the wall, and also social robots made by MIT. Also the lovely robot from the lovely MarylinMonrobot can be used in social spaces to educate people.
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      Feb 24 2011: I empathise with your frustrations. For my project, what used to take me two hours to explain, including how it worked technically, I have broken down to seven different elevator pitches of 60 seconds and now contains nothing of how it works. I choose which elevator pitch I use depending on what angle I think the recipient of the pitch can appreciate the problem. Good luck and look forward to seeing your TED talk on your project in the future.

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