|Image TED.com screenshot|
I had the opportunity to attend a live streaming of the TED conference on February 29. The line-up of speakers was exciting. I learned about liquid metal battery technology from Donald Sadoway that will enable wind and solar energy to be stored, making their use more convenient and realistic. I learned about new autonomous flying robots that will be able to act as first responders and do search and rescue in emergencies from Vijay Kumar. Climatologist James Hansen offered a “feed and dividend” solution to our climate change challenges, while Reid Hoffman and Lior Zoref demonstrated the power of networks and crowdsourcing for collaboration and innovation.
What I love about TED is the opportunity to learn so much so quickly. Obviously, in 18 minutes, the maximum length of a TED talk, I don’t learn anything deeply or thoroughly; but each of the speakers is easy to find on the web for follow up should I wish to dive into a particular topic or idea.
In the midst of looming catastrophes (global warming, extinction of species, the continuing growth of the human population and all that such growth requires, resource depletion, etc.), there is a simultaneous emergence of the ability to learn from and collaborate with people across all borders and to innovate and create systemic change more quickly and efficiently. While atrocities persist, so does the exponential growth of people embracing human rights (women’s, children’s, gay, disability, etc.), animal protection, openness to and acceptance of new ideas, and more. TED is one example of this, with people coming together to learn, share, and exchange ideas for a better world. It’s an exciting time to be alive and to contribute.
For a humane world,
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