It's that magical time of year. The balloon is up. Literally. There's a big TED balloon floating over the Long Beach Performing Arts Centre. The lamp posts are festooned with TED banners. The exhibits are open. The first talks have been delivered. I'm excited.
Today I joined the eclectic group of people who've put on TEDx conferences around the world. Most of them are at TED Active, the sister conference in Palm Springs that gets a live feed from Long Beach, and purportedly has a lot more fun than we do! We had a tour of the many exhibits around the venue. That was a real treat, because I find there's just never enough time to absorb all the great ideas sprinkled around these exhibits. It was a tough choice between that and a two-hour master class in Improv, but I think I made the right decision.
TEDx is a fantastic story of innovation, of people starting out with modest ambitions to allow people to host their own TEDx conferences around the world. They sought the right balance between protecting the brand with rules and guidance, and freedom to let the idea flourish. Well, it worked beyond their wildest imagination. In three years:
- 3,500 TEDx conferences - quantity
- 1,000 cities in 128 countries - diversity
- more TEDx talks than from any one TED conference, 10% of TED.com and growing - quality
There's a little green dog tag on our name badges for TEDx organizers, and I must say I'm proud to wear it.