A wondrous stroke of eg - entertainment gathering was having Richard Saul Wurman take the stage at the outset of the third and final day. Following what he described as the "Trash Talk" of Chris Jordan, who has turned monumental photographic compilations of post-consumer detritus into scale-evocative artwork, RSW began with praise for the speakers, volunteers and Michael Hawley's premier event in the role of producer.
As some participants have noted over the last two days, this year's eg really has lived up to what RSW had for years said was his objective with TED - to treat it as a huge dinner party to which he would like to invite people of great genius to share discovery and discussion. This has been, as he called it, "a celebration of conversation," without grandiosity or technical hindrance. "They have not made a computer that nods," he said, referring to the importance of face-to-face interaction.
Wurman concluded by introducing another phenomenal new project that grew from his interest in the growing mega-cities about which comparable data is not available or well understood, much less accessible in a usable and useful manner. The project, 19 cities in the world which will have 20 million people in the 21st century, can be seen here. As is classic with projects Wurman has developed, the graphics are clear, and I recommend bookmarking the website to watch its progress.
Perhaps the one most difficult task which has been a challenge on the second, and now the third, days of eg is clock management. To his credit, Hawley has been kind to speakers running overtime, though gourmet chefs serving Monday's dinner did force some readjustments. Only a small handful of occasions did he mount the stage and start taking slow, small, polite steps towards the speaker to urge a speedy conclusion. Ironically one of these 'offenders' was RSW himself, who beseeched Michael to ignore the talk-ending tactics Richard had suggested for a couple minutes so Richard could finish with a romp through his latest project.