Since assuming the stewardship of TED - Technology Entertainment Design - Chris Anderson and his Sapling foundation have
accentuated the humanitarian opportunities to leverage design, entertainment and technology to profoundly improve the world and the human condition.
This year's convocation has become the most seemless integration of the four-day, $4,400, 1,000+ participant extravaganza with noble causes which could truly and literally save humanity.
Under the mantle "The Future We Will Create," TED2006 is taking Chris's vision to a new level while deepening the conference's associations with influential long-time TEDsters like the partners of venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Byers & Caufield and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and the founders of high tech blockbuster companies like Kleiner-backed Google and Amazon.
The main highlights of the first half of the conference were unquestionably Wednesday evening's 'Bonus Session' with former Vice President Al Gore on the coming global crisis from climate change, and the distribution Thursday evening of the three TEDprizes, whose winners each was allowed to make one 'wish' to be granted by the TED community:
- Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity to generate radically improved designs for cost-effective shelter, desires a community to embrace open source design for improving living standards for all,
- Jehane Nojaim, the documentary film-maker whose film "Control Room" explored the U.S. war in Iraq and coverage of the conflict by al-Jezeera television network, wishes to bring the world together on one day every year through the power of a simultaneous screening of film and
- Dr. Larry Brilliant, the public health maverick who played a leading role in eradicating Smallpox, wants help building a powerful new early warning system "to protect the world form some of its worst nightmares," including Avian flu.
Brilliant arrived at TED immediately after being named to head Google's charitable foundation, also played a key role recently in helping the venerable venture firm Kleiner Perkins establish a $200 million fund dedicated to preventing pandemics and reducing their potential impact.
Kudos to play-by-play session reports by our friend Bruno Giussani, who produced the more intimate TEDglobal event at Oxford, England, last July.
Session One - History's Arrow - Demographic Directions and glimpses at Future Scenarios [hint: we may want to wake up, strap on seatbelts, and consider avoiding catastrophe].
Session Two - [Don't Hold your] Sharp Intake of Breath - of which the troupe of delighting [HIV/AIDS-orphaned] Ugandan dancers totally rocked TED.
Day One Bonus Session - Al Gore.
Session 3 - Small Miracles.
Session 4 - Links within a Flattened World,
Session 5 on Pastor Rick and Skeptics,
and, of course,
At the end of Day Two, Anderson also announced TEDglobal 2007 will be held in Tanzania June 3-6 - presuming of course we're not strickent by a global pandemic, a surge in global warming, a conflagration of international strife, etc.