BIL Conference Documentation
Most of you have heard of TED or watched the talks online, but do you know about BIL, the quirky, populist, unconference taking place nearby? Open to the public and fully participant powered, BIL features a wild mix of technologists, scientists, artists, hackers, and those with a passion for community awareness.
BIL emerged from a community of people who aspire to change the world for the better- everyone is on equal standing and we meet to share ideas, problems that need solving, and discoveries we are excited about with a quite diverse national and international crowd. Our attendees are our speakers and our speakers are our attendees and in true unconference style, attendees are responsible for shaping the conference itself through their participation.
What does BIL stand for?
BIL doesn’t necessarily stand for anything. BIL was born out of a play off of TED in an Excellent Adventure sort of way...
What’s your definition?
B______. I______. L________
Do you know where there are any personages of historical significance around here? - Bill S. Preston, Esq
In 2008 a group of friends got the crazy idea to crash a TED event in Monterrey, California. It was important to this group to be able to have discussions with the affluent members and change catalysts involved with the TED event. We realized that a better way for making an impact while still getting the interaction we desired from the members of TED was to throw our own event.
In two weeks time we had all bought plane tickets, booked a small venue, invited speakers from TED, gotten on NPR, and in the LA Times as well as other publications. BIL was born, and it provided a free, interactive, and entertaining experience for all those involved. And when we say all involved, we really mean every single person at the event. Every person took part in helping set up, run, and break down the event. People came from all over the west coast region to see just what it was that we were putting on. It was magic.
Since that first year, we have followed TED and been an auxillary event that provided the populist alternative to an expensive and seemingly uptight and smug TED event. BIL has been held at University of California Long Beach, Mexican Heritage Museum, The Queen Mary, and at Long Beach's oldest downtown building which happens to be an old Masonic Temple.
BIL and TED relationship
Our relationship with TED has a delicate balance. We run a very similar format, our name is a play on theirs, and one of our events happens very very close to the main TED event. This has caused a split reaction from our brothers across the street, which for us is exactly what we want. The curious always make their way over to our event from TED...
- [Hosting a BIL](/Hosting a BIL/)
- [BIL Support Foundation](/BIL Support Foundation/)