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<title>TED Conferences </title>
I went to the <a href="">TED Conference in Oxford</a> this week. Click that link and browse a bit to get an idea of who/what it is.
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....
<li>Talked with <a href="">Thomas Dolby</a>. (<a href="">read his TED music overview, here</a>)
</li><li>Immediately bonded with kindred <a href="">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="">Willard Wigan</a> in the lobby, who makes entire sculptures inside the eye of a needle</li>
<li>Hung with <a href="">Marian Spier</a> from <a href="">Suriname</a>, who is putting on a TEDx Conference in Amsterdam</li>
<li>Heard then hung with <a href="">18-year-old euphonium player Matthew White</a></li>
<li>Got a Mandarin lesson from <a href="">Heidi Hsueh</a>, then found out we've been on surprisingly parallel paths</li>
<li>Talked with <a href="">Imogen Heap</a> about creative motivation (she can't work without deadlines)</li>
<li>Shook the hand of <a href="">the man who swam across the North Pole</a></li>
<li>Loved the metaphors and aphorisms of <a href="">James Geary</a></li>
<li>Got teary-eyed over the amazing performance by <a href="">Emmanuel Jal</a></li>
<li>Had a great talk with <a href="">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="">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>
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.
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.
I'm hooked. They're ridiculously expensive, but I'm already registered for <a href="">TED India in November, TED 2010 in California, and TED Global in Oxford 2010</a>. My buddy <a href="">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="">here's more info</a>.
<img src="" width="280" height="53" alt="TED" />