The TED conference certainly lived up to expectations. We returned full of inspiration and new ideas.
The format generates a remarkable amount of insight in a short time. Each day the program was packed with 20 to 30 brilliant speakers and performers, each of whom had only 3 to 18 minutes on stage. The pace and quality of ideas was amazing.
It's impossible to do justice to the experience in a few blog postings, but we should mention a few. The first two are already up on the TED website; we hope that the others are released in the future.
Bill Gates drew the most attention with his talk on malaria and education. For the malaria portion, he (in)famously released mosquitoes into the audience. His talk, rich in insights, is here.
Elizabeth Gilbert's talk on creativity and genius was the first big hit of the conference. Well worth 18 minutes, her talk is here.
Hans Rosling gave a talk on AIDS in Africa using his famous graphics. That talk isn't on-line yet, but his previous talk on world development nicely illustrates the power of his graphical approach.
Other stand-out talks were by Willie Smits (describing his remarkable reforestation efforts in Borneo), Bonnie Bassler (describing how bacteria communicate), and TED prize winner Jose Antonio Abreu (describing the dramatic success of his music education program in Venezuela).
Of course, there were many more great talks. Not to mention the performances by Herbie Hancock, Regine Spektor, Eric Lewis, and Jamie Cullum.
We are now packing for our trip overseas. If all goes well, our next post will be dateline Cairo.