Luci McKean



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How far would you travel for a TEDx event?

Applications are now open for our TEDxBloomington conference on "The Wisdom of Play." We're curating a primarily-local audience in the theater (hoping to have Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Bloomingtonian, attend!), but are interested, too, in meaningful additions from further away.

How far would you travel for a TEDx event with a theme that appeals to you?

Last year, the furthest I traveled was from Bloomington Indiana to Kansas City, Missouri, about 470 miles, but I've also attended two other TEDx events (so far) within that radius.

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    Feb 27 2011: I'd travel anywhere in North America for a TEDx that had a proven track record and a theme that resonated for me.

    I'd travel anywhere on the planet to speak at a TEDx.
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    Feb 24 2011: Thanks for the responses, folks, and your answers completely make sense: "it depends!"

    I suppose I have a corollary question that I should ask (probably in another "conversation"). I wonder how may TEDx organizers develop their lineup and topics considering primarily a local audience vs. ones that plan an event that would appeal to people from all parts of the world.

    We started planning with a mix of world-class speakers coming into Bloomington (obviously speaking about non-local topics), and then found cream-of-the-crop local speakers who'd fill out our "Wisdom of Play" theme, still being conscious of a worldwide audience via the Livestream.

    Among the amazing speakers we have on our roster for this year: Jeff Han, 2006 TED speaker and creator of the multi-touch computer screens that we now can't imagine living without ... Marc and Sara Schiller of The Wooster Collective, speaking about ephemeral public art including graffiti ... Shawn Achor of Harvard, speaking about the happiness advantage ... Charlie Todd, founder of Improv Everywhere ... Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void ... and many, many more. We're having a Serious Games Arcade and other Wisdom of Play events starting the week before the conference, and a "Playing with Your Wisdom" idea-incubation event the day after.

    In short, we're building an event constellation that encourages not only quite a lot of local activity, but also hoping to attract applications/invitees and Livestream viewers from quite far afield of our lovely south central Indiana city. I can easily envision TEDxBloomington as a worthy destination for multiple reasons, and am wondering how TEDx fans in general feel about those opportunities.

    In a way, having "drunk the Kool Aid" of TED and TEDx events, I personally am always hungering for more: for experiences beyond that which we're creating in our city, for connections to other TEDx communities beyond my geographic center, for perspectives different from my own that enrich my experience.
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    Feb 23 2011: Depends on the event. For a general one, I'd try to hit one as local as I could. But for one on a topic, for example TEDxOilSpill—which I was part of—I travelled across the United States from Portland to DC. For the right single topic event, I'd go anywhere in the world. But only because the topic itself was powerful enough to pull me.
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    Feb 23 2011: Depends who was speaking.