Share your TEDx experience

I shared the below passage with the TEDx, organizer network on 11/14/2010.  Now I spread my appreciation to the global community of TEDx-ers and invite you to share your thoughts about attending a TEDx.  What surprised you?  What ideas meant the most?  What was your favorite part?   Did you meet other interesting TEDx attendees?  If you had to describe your TEDx experience in one word, what would it be?

(mine is marvelous)

***

Few things compare to hosting your first TEDx..

TEDxHuntsville was a week ago and I’m still beaming.  To the extent
that I am compelled to share this extraordinary excitement with you,
fellow TEDx-ers.  Isn’t it marvelous?!!

The feeling you get when you walk on stage and see a room full of
people waiting in anticipation of “TEDx”, not knowing what to expect..
(I was probably as nervous as they were).

Queuing the welcome video made it sink in for me.  The entire
experience was surreal.  I watched the crowd watching the video and
involuntarily smiled ear to ear.  TEDx was in my city!

What a rewarding, compelling, humbling opportunity, bringing together
hundreds of humans to explore thought through ideas worth spreading.

I am inspired.  Delighted is an understatement.  TEDx is an
extraordinary catalyst for passion.

Wow..what did I think after hosting my first TEDx?  To answer my own
question,

I thought:  humanity is a beautiful thing when reminded to thrive.

Thank you, TED, for extending TEDx to the world.  And thank you, TEDx
hosts, for inspiring me and setting the bar high.

Please share your first TEDx experience.  I am
excited to hear about it.

Cheers, to ideas worth spreading!

Amy Robinson

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www.tedxhuntsville.com

FYI – event summary:  our first TEDxHuntsville hosted a sold out crowd
of 275 people who traveled from 6 different states to experience four
hours of “Perspectives on Innovation.”  Presenters ranged from a
debut performance chronicling the evolution of jazz to next generation
space travel.  We explored what’s next in genomics, the transformation
of atmospheric physics, acrobatic dance, the mathematics of war, and
then took a break to conclude the first session.  I was amazed.

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What is TEDx?

TED – Technology, Entertainment, Design – is a pro bono organization that shares intriguing, intellectual, inspiring multimedia presentations from the pinnacles of human achievement.  To me, they demonstrate that the categories of accomplishment continually expand in the presence of persistent discovery.  This is what I think TED promotes through its “ideas worth spreading.”

TEDtalks, as these multimedia presentations are called, run from three to eighteen minutes in length (my personal favorite lasts but six).  Collectively, TEDtalks have been viewed near a billion times worldwide. ~700 talks. ~700,000,000 views.

If TED is new for you, you are in for a treat.   Enjoy.

The curators of ideas worth spreading fittingly shared their concept and created the “independently organized TED event.”  TED becomes TEDx.  Thousands of individuals then curate action by sharing TEDlike ideas.  This catalyzes an entire new level of collaboration and even, as Chris Anderson proposes, crowd sourced innovation.   It’s almost a new societal infrastructure.

This is amazing.   Not only is this one of the most beautiful evolutions of our human race, but the longer term outcome – say, what becomes of TEDx in five, ten years – is wonderfully beyond my imagination.

In my opinion, TEDx is a concept derived from TED.  Its purpose is to procure the finest attribute of humanity:  our capacity for thought.

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Airfare Hack: One-Way v Round-Trip

Today I booked my flight to London for TEDGlobal 2010. After tedious searching I am pressed to share thoughts on plane tickets.

Fine Print

As of June 14th, flights from Hsv to London cost $1,499.00. Peak travel season..robbery is to be expected. What struck me almost as gently as the lightness of my pocketbook is that an economy one-way flight costs more than its round-trip counterpart ($1,538.00, Delta.com). I usually only bother searching round-trip fares, but I have a Delta standby ticket expiring soon that I intended to use to promote frugality. Ha ha.

Delta has two exquisite options for Business Class as well. The first flight entices you with not one but two 3.5 hr layovers, only to be outdone by the second choice that offers a grand 8.5 hr layover in Atlanta. $3,747 and $6,500, respectively. One-way. Bloody awful.

Upgrade to round-trip Business and release from your bank account an additional $800. At $4,500, this fare is effectively two thousand dollars less than the more expensive one-way flight. What gives?

Perhaps travelers in need of custom itineraries purchase more one-way tickets and such irregularities disrupt airline schedules. “One-way fliers might need specific times and flights in a way that makes their demand more inelastic,” says an economist of the Austrian School. Professor Horowitz of St. Lawrence University adds “My own thought is that it’s a matter of not wanting an empty seat coming back the other way given the low probability of a ‘double coincidence of one-way tickets.'” Well put.

“Tomatoes are .50 each or 3 for 1.00.” With one-way airfare, you pay a premium for 1. buying less than the standard share and 2. increasing the risk that some of the product will remain shelved.

I’d like to thank those dwellers in the land of the volcano-which-cannot-be-pronounced, because I found an outlying one-way ticket to London from NYC with Iceland Express for $360. I booked a cheap round-trip flight to NY and asked Delta what happens when I fly home standby and don’t use the second leg of my flight.

“We will credit you with a voucher for the portion of the fare you are unable to use.” Really..? I see a loophole.

Example. Given airfare costs $500 one-way or $600 round-trip, even if you don’t need the return, book round. Call the airline before your extra flight departs. You receive a $250 airline credit (after, say, $50 fee), which quintessentially knocks your fare down to $350.

Jay-Z might as well have been speaking about one-way airfare when he said “I kept feedin’ her money till her shit started to make sense.” Indeed.

If you are a traveler who frequently books one-way flights, especially in Business Class, give this a go. And let me know what you think. Half credit from a $600 ticket is convenient; that from a $4,500 ticket is the next order of magnitude. Do this twice and you net a first class round-trip flight across the Atlantic. Now that is something to write home about. Or at least accounting.

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