Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Student Ministry Global Catalyst's Guide to TED2008

Some of you have probably been following TED 2008 which just finished last week. I followed it too and, like with every TED conference, there is a lot of inspiration for those of you out to make a difference. Here are some of my favorite inspirations and a bit about why:

::: Idea: A car that drives itself.
The Chevy Tahoe named "Boss" can drive itself through a sixty mile urban course.
Think about - the engineering innovation and what it means for a future that is more and more urban. And us Americans, dang, we just love our cars don't we?

::: Idea: How do we give credible hope to the billion poorest people in the world?
We need compassion, because a billion people are living in societies that have not offered credible hope. But we need enlightened self interest because "if economic divergence continues, combined with global integration, it will build a nightmare for our children."
Related: The Bottom Billion. [I think I need to read this.]
Think about - how some of you will be intimately involved providing hope to the poor.

::: Idea: Leaders exude passion.
Ben Zander on music, passion and vision:
He tells the story of critiquing a performer - "You're on both buttocks. You need to play on one buttock." An entrepreneur watching the class told him later he'd re-tooled his entire business to "a one buttock venture"...
Throwing down a challenge, he tells us he's not leaving until we all love classical music. A leader can do this because he truly believes others will believe his vision.
Think about - how passion transcends disciplines, cultures and domains of expertise.

::: Idea: Deep sea exploration and going where no one has gone before. [Does this remind some of you of H2.08?]
Robert Ballard on deep sea exploration:
Ballard now has an amazing new ship, the Okeonos Explorer - it's explicitly chartered to "go where no one has gone before." It will explore the US seas, especially the "Western Territorial Trust", our Pacific territories. "We don't know what we'll find, so run it like a nuclear sub, or a hospital", with teams working 24/7 connected to the ship via the internet, running on Internet 2, connected by 10 gigabits of bandwidth.
Think about - building such a craft and the bravery, resolve and audacity it takes to go where no one has gone before.

::: Idea: More college and high schoolers are involved in anti-genocide movements now than there were for anti-apartheid.
Samantha Power on genocide:
In this century, we have an anti-genocide movement, a student movement that has appeared "almost out of nowhere." There are more people involved on high school and college campuses that is now "bigger than the anti-apartheid movement." The goal of this movement is to raise the political cost for not standing up against genocide.
Think about - how young people have a much more deep tie between belief and action.

::: Idea: A catalog of all human cultures
Bob Geldof to catalog significant human culture:
Now, he has another Africa-focused project, and he wants some help. He tells us of a trip to Niger, talking to an elder, who tell him "18 months ago, there were 300 languages here."
"Separate, complete cultures. They're gone. I never heard those languages, but I already miss them. It's in these ways that the lights of human genius wink out."
So Geldof is proposing "a great mapping to be undertaken. I'm going to log all of us. I'm going to take a snapshot of now." He proposes making 900 half-hour films of 900 different cultural groups.
Think about - wow.

All links from Ethan Zuckerman's crazy real time blogging of the conference. Thanks Ethan!

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