TEDxIBYork was a consuming project for me over many months. It was wonderful to have it all come off without a hitch. The speakers put intense energy and commitment into their talks and it showed up on the stage. The host, David Newland, did a superb job of holding the whole day together. The AV team and filming team were on their toes all day. The whole committee came together to tie up all the details that make something like this feel smooth and enjoyable to all the attendees.
There was a full house of 500 attendees in person. The students were coming off a magnificent Speak Out Day at the York School the day before and brought their energy into the room. The attendees often hooted and hollered in response to a speaker, led on by the enthusiastic teens – imagine, a bunch of jaded teens getting excited about ideas. It was wonderful to witness.
Despite being very quiet about the availability of the live web cast (we wanted to make sure that IB schools planning to watch online had a solid feed, with no overload problems), over 1,600 sites watched during the day, from over 40 countries. We had unexpectedly high participation from Argentina; then we remembered that the devoted mother of one of our speakers was there and apparently single-handedly raised awareness in the whole country! What a great lady.
We also discouraged the use of electronic devices during the day, instead exhorting people to talk to other attendees – the most valuable part of a TEDx experience. However, there was a steady stream of positive feedback on Twitter during the conference and blog postings about it afterwards.
I keep hearing about people who’ve made connections – during the break and the wonderful party afterwards. One teacher said that virtually all her students had managed to talk to all the speakers. Several people have asked for follow-up introductions with people they met. This is a huge value of a conference like this: get a lot of people in one room who are all interested in ideas, and the sparks fly.
I’ll be blogging soon about some of the great talks we heard.