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December 10, 2010 / Sophie_Paterson

TED’s coming back to Cardiff

For those of you asking ‘Who’s Ted?’ it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and the initial TED conferences were designed to bring together people from these sectors and to share, ‘Ideas worth spreading.’ The small non-profit has evolved into a global cult of intelligence, as their website says;

“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearing house that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

The conferences feature talks from the world’s most fascinating thinkers who are challenged to share their ‘good idea’ in just 18 minutes. Previous speakers include Bill Clinton, Bono, Malcolm Gladwell and Bill Gates. The bi-annual conferences are festivals of not just ideas, but thought, learning and creativity. Leaders don’t just come to talk, they come to listen. Richard Dawkins, Al Gore and Rupert Murdoch are all quoted expressing their admiration for the conferences on TED Website. It may sound like a pretty exclusive crowd but TED is everything but elitist, talks are videoed and there are over 700 available on their website at the moment. They also run an Open Translations project to make their content available beyond the English speaking world.

Many thanks to Rob May for his image

Building a sense of global community is important to the TED ethos which is why they have

franchised their project into TEDx. TEDx gives licences to individuals to hold a TED style event on a local level.

Claire Scantlebury and Neil Cocker are the team who brought TED to Cardiff in    April 2010 and along with a host of volunteers will be doing so again in 2011.

Hosted at the Millennium Centre, the day kept the TED banner flying high with a  number of inspirational talks and performances. The day was agreed to have been a  resounding success by organisers, speakers and attendees alike, you can see The  Guardian coverage of the 2010 event here.

In 2011 TED will once again fill the Millennium centre, on Saturday the 9th of April, I asked Neil and Claire about their hopes for the next conference, Claire told me…

“For TEDxCardiff 2 we really want to get more people involved and extend our reach – we are talking to some incredible speakers so we want as many people to have exposure to what we’re doing as possible.  We’re also working on ways to allow more people to join in with the TEDxCardiff experience, including a live internet stream and “viewing parties”. We had people from as far away as the middle east and New Zealand tuning in live on the web to our last event, and we’re really keen to build on that”.

With a plethora of positive responses to the inaugural event the founders have found it hard to get an exact gauge of TEDxCardiff’s impact on the city, but Neil said,

“We’re really pleased to bring TEDx back to Cardiff – it’s a real thrill for us and we were bowled over by the incredible response to the first one. Its sometimes difficult to gauge the impact of these events, but we’ve been told by various people that the talks really did change the way they look at the world”.

Find out more, volunteer and get involved here.


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