Arriving to Long Beach feels nothing like the posh conferences you usually go to; there is a distinct difference. The TED Conference team does their best to keep your mind moving and entertained. The venue sucks you in by its design, people and experiences.
Touring the TED experience
The break activities are set up to suit your personality and profession. There is a global village for the travelers and entrepreneurs among us, a fancy collaborative space and a geeky science space. There’s even a space to read your brain ( literally). You can measure your brain waves to find out your type: foodie, creative, philanthropist, techie or explorer and there are treats for each group. TED masters showcase the latest gadgets you just want to try and buy.
To suit the life of busy business people they built a TED co-working space to let you catch up on your calls, meetings and make the occasional deal. Besides these cool places they opened a TED bookstore and a simulcast with a director’s view coming from nine cameras in the main theatre. Did I forget to mention the coffee spots with fresh high-end roasted beans and hot baristas?
And that is just outside the main theatre. Entering the TED inner sanctum felt like being introduced to the coolest of the cool. Unfortunately we swore on our lives not to talk about the stage design but you’ll see it soon enough. It just blew my mind. Siting there in the fifth row was a dream come true. After a brief talk with Chris Anderson, we’ve were met with delicious food and some intellectual treats. If you believe there is a geek heaven, this is it.
Fourth year of TED Fellows
Before we departed back to TED Active in Palm Springs we enjoyed the selection of this year’s TED Fellows. These brave and talented people took over the stage and in a few minutes made us think and sometimes even cry. My personal favourite was a comedian with Iranian heritage aiming to make white people laugh to prevent war. She’s edgy and challengingly funny. Another great visual presentation came from Kibwe Tavares with his incredible animation called Robots of Brixton (you can watch it on YouTube). Third favourite talk came from Taiwanese American who found his identity in trying to be like everyone else, but discovering being himself is the best. He is incredibly energetic and funny.
The whole atmosphere at the smaller theatre was more relaxed and less pressured. So when you get a chance go and watch some of their videos.
By Petra from Palm Springs