If there are a banker, an freediver, some business preachers, a hardware hacker and an artistic context hacker sharing one stage, it’s most likely a TED-event.
Yesterday, the premiere of tedxvienna took place – it was a good event with many interesting speakers and a curious audience. The event showed many things; some random highlights and comments from my as usual very subjective perspective:
- Big brands work. Call it TED, and everything gets a big advance bonus in respect, credibility, whatever you would like your speakers to have. Of course, after all, you have to deliver what you promised. Which the event did.
- There is a big difference if speakers talk about potential or about been there, done that. Maybe, you might think, potential is the more interesting, entertaining, mind moving stuff. But it isn’t. Many talks started well, describing ideas, thoughts, principles, visions – but that was it. Other went the other way round: Apnoe diver Herbert Nitsch had a somewhat dry start as he talked about the basics of his passion, but the whole audience was literally breathless as he started to describe all the details as he dived 214 meters deep under water with one single breath.
- Josef Prusa achieved the same effect while he was live-printing a 3d-object on stage during his talk.
- And Sean Bonner, recently travelling Europe as a technomad, actually simply talked about an extended family vacation. Ok, technomadism is not only about vacation, it’s about exchanging things for experiences, giving up to own stuff in exchange for experiencing stuff. There are many ways to do that; travelling is one.
Here is btw the original Technomad with his bicycle-powered computer.
- I don’t want to go into details about the speakers; check out the agenda if you care.
- The audience of tedxvienna was well mixed and very different from, let’s say, the audience of the World Blogging Forum: Highly affirmative, polite – and comfortable with surfaces and superficial answers. That’s of course a bit of an assumption, because there was no formal discussion at tedxviennna, but as an estimated guess the intended career of the majority of the audience was rather in management than in engineering. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it creates an environment that is prone to be satisfied with verbiage and flowers of speech. But that concerns rather the conversations during the breaks than the talks. And it’s of course a personal and random observation. And it raises the difficult question where visions end and verbiage starts (or should it be the other way round?
- The power of the individual was another big topic. That is a topic that is very hard to get down to earth. It’s actually one of these topics that forces you to produce vague or unconcice stuff – unless you start to go in a totally different direction. That was actually one of the main (re)discoveries for me during this evening: The power of the individual can not be demonstrated, when you force yourself in a too strict frame, in an efficiency driven operations mode. That limits the window of what you can show to something quite small – and the remains are neither funny nor impressive. So since that is one of my main topics, more radicalism is required.
- And, finally, speakers I would like to meet in a TED conference are, among others: Brad Warner, Hakim Bey, Jhonny Bernaschewice, Irvine Welsh or Gee Atherton. Just some examples.
Don’t get me wrong – I liked the event, I really liked it. It reminded me mainly of one thing: The main gap that needs to be bridged is the one between talking and doing. And it’s not as easy as doing what you say or getting things done. It also include to give what your doing a framework that creates meaning and allows to recognize effects.
Maybe. It’s some kind of mixed Ner-Zen-Writer-Dogowner-Attitude. I’m sure there can be many funny words found for it… – But does it matter?