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<title>TED Conferences </title>
<p>
I went to the <a href="http://conferences.ted.com/TEDGlobal2009/program/guide.php">TED Conference in Oxford</a> this week. Click that link and browse a bit to get an idea of who/what it is.
</p><p>
Fully engaged, I was front row at every talk, talking with as many strangers as I could, in between the talks. In four days, I....
</p>
<ul>
<li>Talked with <a href="http://www.thomasdolby.com/">Thomas Dolby</a>. (<a href="http://blog.thomasdolby.com/2009/07/tedglobal-09-music/">read his TED music overview, here</a>)
</li><li>Immediately bonded with kindred <a href="http://www.brainpickings.org/">Maria Popova</a> from Bulgaria (“a curious mind at large with a passion for behavioral psychology, innovation, design and good conversation”)</li>
<li>Met <a href="http://www.willard-wigan.com/">Willard Wigan</a> in the lobby, who makes entire sculptures inside the eye of a needle</li>
<li>Hung with <a href="http://www.tedx.nl/profile/MarianneSpier">Marian Spier</a> from <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suriname">Suriname</a>, who is putting on a TEDx Conference in Amsterdam</li>
<li>Heard then hung with <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/youngmusician/sites/contestants/pages/matthew_white.shtml">18-year-old euphonium player Matthew White</a></li>
<li>Got a Mandarin lesson from <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/heidihsueh">Heidi Hsueh</a>, then found out we've been on surprisingly parallel paths</li>
<li>Talked with <a href="http://imogenheap.com/">Imogen Heap</a> about creative motivation (she can't work without deadlines)</li>
<li>Shook the hand of <a href="http://www.lewispugh.com/">the man who swam across the North Pole</a></li>
<li>Loved the metaphors and aphorisms of <a href="http://www.jamesgeary.com/blog/">James Geary</a></li>
<li>Got teary-eyed over the amazing performance by <a href="http://www.emmanueljal.org/">Emmanuel Jal</a></li>
<li>Had a great talk with <a href="http://juliantreasure.blogspot.com/">Julian Treasure</a>, a business sound expert, who did an amazing 5-minute talk about the influence of sound on our surroundings</li>
<li>Met amazing musician <a href="http://www.meklithadero.com/">Meklit Hadero</a>, who recognized me and came up to me! She was the only person to do so at the whole conference. I was the initiator of every other social interaction for the whole week.</li>
</ul>
<p>
All-in-all, my favorite thing about coming to TED are the other audience members I meet, who I have more in common with than any other random group of people I've met.
</p><p>
For example, I plan to live in a dozen different countries around the world, for 1-3 years each. Most of my friends think I'm weird for this, but at TED I met four separate people who have done this or are doing it now.
</p><p>
I'm hooked. They're ridiculously expensive, but I'm already registered for <a href="http://conferences.ted.com/">TED India in November, TED 2010 in California, and TED Global in Oxford 2010</a>. My buddy <a href="http://www.amberrubarth.com/">Amber Rubarth</a> is coming with me to TED India, which is “only” $2400, one-third the cost of the others, so if you're thinking of going, <a href="http://conferences.ted.com/TEDIndia/">here's more info</a>.
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/ted_logo.gif" width="280" height="53" alt="TED" />
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