On a drizzly morning in early November, over 300 people gathered at Anthology, a live music venue near downtown San Diego. With some 27,000 more watching via Ustream, ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro struck the chords that brought San Diego’s first TEDx to life. Nearly 10 hours later, Shimabukuro would close the event with another powerful performance, earning a standing ovation -- symbolic of the enthusiasm and energy that marked the day-long experience.
Prior to the event, attendees had been asked to invoke their TED-like spirit. Rather than passively watch, they were encouraged to actively engage and connect. And so they did! Over the course of the day, this diverse group coalesced into a vibrant, unified community. Behind the scenes, more than 100 volunteers and 23 presenters picked up the collaborative vibe.
An eclectic line-up of thought-provoking talks and inspiring performances focused on technology, design, the arts, sustainability and philosophy, interpreting the event’s Next Wave theme. Topics ranged from pollution to the multiverse…from cities of electric cars to the resurgence of the village via social networks…from the need to educate girls in developing country to the eradication of child soldiers in Uganda to veterans giving aid in times of global crisis. We were challenged to rethink our concept of beauty, to re-examine the role humans play in conservation, to rediscover trust and to redefine our universe.
Together, participants and presenters explored the power of the individual, the importance of a connected community and our collective humanity. As the event concluded, we came to realize that the next wave is like the butterfly effect where even the smallest of personal actions can bring about dramatic global change.
Talk highlights below...talks will be posted asap.
A life of intense pursuits and achievements taught Christine Comaford powerful lessons about the importance of the internal journey. During her time volunteering for hospice care, she discovered that we all hold a single great Question that directs our lives. She urges us to discover our Question, and shares three significant ways to find the answer that brings the peace and joy each of us yearns for.
From his combat experiences as a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jake Wood discovered that he and other vets have developed the perfect skills for service in crisis situations outside of war. Through Team Rubicon, Jake provides a role for our 1.8 million veterans to respond to natural disasters throughout the world, and thus engages a great untapped national resource.
Kurt Gray Ph.D.
Professor Gray shares how his research at The Maryland Mind Perception and Morality Lab showed him that doing good deeds has the power to make us physically stronger. Gray explains that instead of thinking we must be strong before we can do good, performing acts of goodness actually strengthens us.
By highlighting the importance of educating girls, journalist and executive producer of The Documentary Group Tom Yellin and his team set out to help end global poverty. In his project 10x10, Tom illustrates the next wave of journalism and advocacy that breaks down the walls of exclusivity through active partnerships, sharing and great storytelling.
Inventor and researcher Shannon Spanhake talks about the beauty of potholes and the tensions of urban infrastructure. Convinced that one person can be part of the solution, Shannon invented Squirrel, a mobile device that easily measures air pollution levels. This cost-effective invention changes the way cities like San Diego measure air quality. It also demonstrates how individuals can make a difference in the world.
“People are inherently mobile…no one is where they want to be.” Marty Cooper’s insightful perspective on technology and human nature led him to invent the cell phone, a device that has truly changed the way we communicate. Cooper has his finger on the pulse of future breakthroughs such as digitally monitored vital signs that will make physical examinations a thing of the past.
Pankaj Kedia brings the global technology revolution down to the local level. He discusses the impact the Internet and mobile phones have on communities worldwide. He shows how innovative technology can transform those communities and enable people to care for themselves.
Dr. Eric Topol
Dr. Topol envisions the future of individualized medicine in the age of homo digitus. As technology evolves, the average person will have access to an array of health monitoring devices once available only to the medical community. In addition to thermometers and aspirin, our home medicine cabinets will soon include hand-held devices that monitor sleep patterns and heart rates.
Dr. Robert Bilder
Our brains are complex information powerhouses. Dr. Robert Bilder explains how new technologies will tap that power, helping us to remember what we need to do and reminding us when we forget to do it. Bilder says software that links our lifetime goals to our daily action items should and will be available in the near future.
Dr. Tony Haymet
Dr. Tony Haymet urges us to cherish our oceans as the source of our future quality of life. He reveals how oceanic molecules and microbiotic cells will provide the foundation for the next wave of medicine, and how algae bio-fuel will provide a valuable carbon-neutral energy resource.
Nick Pudar discusses the future of automotive connectivity. OnStar is developing a car that uses embedded technology to tweet its location. As the technology progresses, software that recognizes a car’s location will eventually learn and anticipate the driver’s behavior, forever changing how we relate to our vehicles.
TEDxSanDiego began and ended with Jake Shimabukuro’s virtuoso ukulele performances before a transfixed audience. No one would argue that his performance of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was a highlight of the day. In addition to those magical moments, the talented musician shares words of wisdom learned from his work with children: “Kids need to be inspired and passionate about something.”
Industrial designer Gad Shaanan will be forever influenced by a quote from his father, “We are too poor to buy something cheap.” Shaanan makes us rethink being green today by finding ways to leave our planet green for generations to come. Instead of merely considering how recyclable the contents are, he suggests we buy products that bring value and longevity to the world. He proposes we build homes that last centuries and questions why we build multi-ton cars just to move a 170-pound person around instead of developing more efficient transportation.
The new director of the San Diego Museum of Art talks about the “art of ugliness.” She explains that when we understand both the context and intent of the artist we get a much deeper interpretation of the art. Ballet dancers in Edgar Degas’ time were desperately underpaid, so most of them worked as prostitutes. Velásquez asks if knowing that the woman in the tutu is a prostitute changes our view of his beautiful canvases. She asserts that analyzing ugliness helps us connect with other citizens. When museums are spaces that encourage this critical dialog they can change the world.
Lawrence Burns compares today’s China to the United States of the 1950s, when progress was spelled with a capital “P” and anything was possible. There was a sense of optimism that we have lost, but China is now experiencing. Expo 2010 Shanghai had over 73 million visitors in 184 days. For many Chinese, it was their first trip outside their village or city. At the Expo, they saw the brightest and best inventions including General Motors’ new ENV technology. To achieve something completely new, Burns encourages us to use generational learning, to rethink the DNA and think like a designer
Garcia asks what San Diego’s next big idea could be. He suggests making it a place that uses the business of design as the driver for a new industry cluster. San Diego has been rich in technology, but light in design; today it is the combination of both technology and design that creates opportunities for growth and innovation. To catch the next wave and remain competitive, the answer for San Diego is to stretch beyond our comfort zone and tackle something big.
Jean Isaacs/San Diego Dance Theater
Dance is one more way to express innovation. But is this a mysterious process that non-dancers cannot imagine executing, or is it something the human body innately understands? Jean Isaacs says we can all tap into this art form. She shows us how the human body can explore space – on cue and through quickly learned memory.
Bill Toone shares his personal and moving story of how the concept of conservation changed for him. Initially, he thought it was enough to save a species. But as Bill has learned from experience, effective conservation efforts must address the people who live in the habitat. If we don’t solve the human issues first, animals like the monarch butterfly can’t be saved.
James Fowler has been studying the power that real and virtual social networks have to influence our behavior. For thousands of years, human beings were conditioned to living in villages with a social sphere of about 150 other people. It’s only recently that we have become isolated and anonymous. Online social networks are a return to the village where our actions have consequences on others around us. Fowler’s work shows that our life actions, positive and negative, affect the people we know personally, their friends, and even their friends’ friends.
Jason Russell can tell you how to get away with murder. He and his colleagues at Invisible Children know too well the terrible reality of thousands of children abducted and forced to fight in Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army. Invisible Children led a five-year quest to have the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act signed and enacted. Their journey took them to Chicago, where a determined young woman led a tireless campaign to get Invisible Children featured on Oprah and call attention to the child soldiers. Jason shares his inspiring story of how one person with little experience but much determination can make a huge difference.
The greatest challenge any organization faces is success says Simon Sinek. As organizations grow, inevitably they reach “The Split,” a point when what the organization does gets separated from why it does it. When this happens the emphasis on making money increases along with the stress level. At the same time, passion and trust decrease. Simon calls on us to make “handshake friends,” engage in “handshake dialogues,” and build “handshake businesses.” In this way, we can return to valuing human relationships and get back to a place where trust becomes the standard, not the exception.
Joe Pine seeks to do nothing less than redefine our known universe – a bold goal which manifested itself in The Multiverse, a 3D framework he created. By examining the fields created at the intersection of three axes (space/no space, time/no time, and matter/no matter), Joe introduces us to eight realms for creating value by innovating experiences. Physical virtuality, for example, involves designing things virtually and then making them a reality, such as the way 3D bio-printers manufacture human tissue and organs. Through Joe’s eyes, we see the future and it is mind blowing!
San Diego, California
Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.
Chris PreussNick Pudar, OnStar Vice President of Strategy and Business Development had to take Chris; place due to a family emergency.Chris Preuss took on the role of President of OnStar in March 2010. Since he has lead the company’s targeted initiative into infotainment and responsible connectivity. With an extensive background in Communications and Public Relations, Chris has held multiple leadership positions for both General Motors and Chrysler. Chris is also an avid cyclist, racing in events throughout Michigan as a Masters road racer. He is a Michigan native and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science from Michigan State University.
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