I can foresee the future. Specifically, your future.
In the next four days, you will ...
• experience emotions of excitement, hilarity, wonder, inspiration ... and extreme tiredness
• gain at least three insights that will significantly impact the way you see the world
• make a connection, either intellectual or personal, that will powerfully impact your work
• enjoy moments of intense aesthetic pleasure -- both visual and aural
• meet one, two or three people who will become close friends for life
The reason for my confidence is not tea-leaves or the conjunction of Jupiter and Mars. It's because (a) a careful analysis of past TEDs suggests a certain pattern, and (b) 100 people -- the TED team, and our extraordinary group of speakers and supporters -- have spent many months working to make it so.
Pull back the camera to a view of the whole world and the same notion applies. We can gather clues about our shared future by looking intelligently at past events and current trends. But what is exhilarating about you, the TED community, is that you are able to actually impact that future. You can model in your minds several different versions of it, choose the one you prefer, and use your brilliance, your inventiveness, your connections, your resources and your determination to budge it into existence.
That is why my heart is pounding at the prospect of TED2006, "The Future We Will Create..."
Thank you for coming. I wish you a spectacular TED ... and a vision of the future worth fighting for.