Saturday, August 21, 2021

TED 2021


I’m trying to process what I just experienced at #TEDMonterey. Some of the most brilliant minds from an array of disciplines conveyed in a beautiful seaside town to deliver TED Talks. And while you arrive thinking you’re the only one feeling utterly unprepared, you quickly realize that everyone is having that same human experience of anxiety. Suddenly, I found myself attending talks not to simply learn but to cheer on my fellow speakers. How quickly you go from strangers to having a vested interest in one another’s success on stage. Truly, the experience is like that I had working at summer camp—strangers thrust together into a bubble where time moves differently than it does in the outside world.

Now place on top of that the Covid of it all. Everybody was required to be vaccinated and there was constant on-site testing. That isn’t to say that I didn’t feel guarded, but it was a calculated risk I was willing to take. (Unlike the Green Day concert at Fenway I just forwent. My favorite band at my favorite venue…and I just didn’t feel it safe attending.) But with the world being what it has been—you have this small group of speakers connecting over how the pandemic affected them as professionals, as parents, as people… And while the attendee list is typically in the thousands, this event was significantly scaled back to be a more intimate affair. Attendees were there to support this organization that curates and then records presentations that are then shared freely with the world.

I have many stories to share and new friends to celebrate. I was going to do one big photo dump but instead will let these stories slowly roll out over the following weeks. One could develop a TED Talk just about giving a TED Talk…

(And while I have had two previous talks curated to, the TED Main Stage event just hits differently. It’ll be some time before this latest talk of mine publishes, but get ready for me to be pushing out the talks from my new friends as they are posted.)

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