TED Session 3 – Reconnect

Another session where we were challenged, exhorted and faced with the growing reality of our affect on the planet. In all – it’s time to take action, people.

Be and do something!

Seth Godin

  • Balloon animals
  • We try to change everything
  • What is that process like?
  • SF become the first no kill city in the US (ASPCA)
  • Then NY, N Carolina, others
  • Any idea has a lot behind it
  • We are living through a period where we are changing the way ideas are made
  • Factories
    • efficiency advantage
    • cheaper labor and faster machines
  • Ads
    • push
    • we have a better mousetrap
    • mass marketing means your product has to be average in ideas and needs plenty of ads
    • hypnotise the consumer
  • Tribes
    • connect people and ideas
    • tribes are everywhere (Ukranian dancers)
    • tribes can change things because they want to
    • go out and make a movement
    • you don’t need everyone (Kevin Kelly)
    • heretics are our leaders – they work against the status quo
    • don’t be a “sheepwalker”
    • you just need a few
  • Tell a story —> Connect a tribe —> Lead a movement —> Make change —> (loop back)
  • Leaders mnemonic of C’s
    • Challenge
    • Culture
    • Curiosity
    • Connect
    • Charisma (given by the tribe)
    • Commit
  • So go create a movement today
  • We need you to lead us

Saul Griffith

  • 1000 years of history for kites
  • Wright Bros > kites become toys again
  • Miles Lloyd > more sky=more power
  • Maui testing kite powered energy generation
  • Working toward megawatt scale kites
  • 6Mw from 747-sized kite
  • All US electricity in 10 years if commitment

Jake Eberts (and Jaques Perrin)

  • Are we so overwhelmed that we can’t act?
  • Jaques Perrin is thinking about the creatures of the ocean
  • Making a film, “Oceans” about life beyond land – 2 years pre-production, 4 years shooting
  • All latitudes
  • New techniques of filming to stay with the animals during movement
  • Amazing footage* – we got a 9 minute sneak peek
  • Jaques on stage
  • “This is not about words”
  • All of us have the same salt percentage in our blood as the ocean – help us return to our origin

Sandy Leong

  • Her adoptive parents moved to the US for work – lived in Anchorage (doctor)
  • Sandy adopted
  • Brother adopted too, 18 months later
  • Remembers thinking of hospital “this is where babies come from”
  • When records opened, brother sought information on birth parents
  • Sandy sought smae info at later date
  • She and brother received same information about nature of birth parents
  • Thinking was “Bullshit!” This must be the same information they give to every Chinese extracted adoptee
  • Really did share the same parents
  • “If I ever need a kidney…”

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

  • Showed us the TED Commandments
  • Commandment 10 – “Show the impact”
  • “My work is to show our impact on the planet”
  • Amazing, evocative photos of man’s impact – pollution, reduction in food, land degradation, deforestation
  • We use 3x more oil than we find each year
  • “We don’t want to believe what we know”
  • Northern sea ice melt now means new Atlantic-Pacific crossing during Summer
  • 40% reduction in permanent Arctic sea ice over 50 years ago’
  • Kilimanjaro has lost 80% of its ice
  • 77% of global wild fish stocks now overfished
  • 1B people do not have enough to eat
  • 50K square miles of deforestation a year
  • 20M refugees in the world
  • 5K interviews in the 6 Billion Others project – www.6billionothers.org
  • www.goodplanet.org
  • Also filming Home for the last 3 years
  • We’re moving faster than the planet can sustain
  • On June 5, Home will be downloadable and  have no copyright
  • “Use it as you want”
  • “It’s too late to be pessimistic. We are all a part of the solution. Be bold. Act now.”

Matt Harding

  • Dancing Matt is in Palm Springs!
  • “100 bajillion views”
  • Dancing should be fun, natural, easy
  • New idea – each culture doing their own national dance
  • Too “It’s a Small World” – cynical
  • Melissa (Matt’s girlfriend) found the twist in the tale – teach them someone else’s dance
  • Make connections criss-crossing the globe
  • Find new solutions to old problems
  • Want to dance?
  • Crowd rushes the stage!

Regina Spektor

  • Insane voice – lyrical, sweet, touching, clever
  • Working with Ben Folds
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TED Session 2 – Reframe

The second TED session was possibly more mind-blowing than the first. Great speakers and arts. Huge ideas. Calls for action.

Gamelan X and ArcheDream

  • Weird beautiful chromatic dancers
  • Very like Cirque du Soleil
  • Online collaboration to bring together

Tom Reilly

  • Goes through the TED gift bag
  • Bags made from Coke bottles
  • Lots of very cool stuff, much of which has a sustainability or green or empowerment focus

Tim Berners-Lee

  • 20 years since inventing the WWW
  • Was a side project 18 months after he proposed it
  • “Vague but exciting” – memo note from TB-L’s boss
  • Hypertext documents cool but not enough
  • Now put your data there
  • Hyperlinked and manipulated data much more exciting, e.g. Hans Roslin’s TED talk
  • Linked data – data has relationships
  • dbpedia links data from Wikipedia to other related data sources!!!
  • Don’t hug your database, give us the unadulterated data (especially governments)
  • “Raw data now!”
  • Your social networks are about linked data – relationships
  • OpenStreetMap – add your own data
  • Make it and demand it

Cindy Gallop

  • Has sex with younger men (in 20s)
  • Encounters behaviors that exhibit the growth of pervasiveness of hardcore porn
  • Sexual behavior changing affected by accessibility to porn
  • Porn is defacto sex education thanks to prudish attitudes in society
  • makelovenotporn.com
  • Explodes the behavioral myths of hardcore porn
  • Use site to change behaviors and have a realistic conversation

Yair Landau

  • Left Sony after 17 years after TED last year
  • Began looking at collaboration for CGI film
  • Mass collaboration – 50K people, 440 shots

Nandan Nilekani

  • Growth of ideas(In India) we now think of people as human capital not a societal burden
  • Demographic dividend – India will be only young country in an aging world
  • Language an asset
  • From man vs machine to man and machine – technology now empowering
  • Indians very comfortable with globalisation – no longer viewed as a form of Imperialism
  • Deepening of democracy
  • Universal access to K-6
  • Infrastructure growth
  • Cities=growth engines
  • Single market
  • Policy making gridlock thanks to castes, etc.
  • Job protection hampering job creation
  • Energy drives growth

Pattie Maes

  • We use our senses to understand situations
  • We don’t have access to all the info we need
  • Can we have a 6th sense for metadata?
  • We don’t have the luxury of meta info as we need it and can’t make optimal decisions
  • MIT working on tools to give access to meta info
  • Current kit is US$350 – webcam, projector, cell phone
  • The camera software tracks gestures
  • Use any surface to interact with projected info
  • Totally mobile
  • Mass production for about the cost of a cell phone
  • Access to any required data based on personal preference
  • Harry Potter newspapers!
  • Tagged reality
  • Work in progress
  • 10 years to being biologically wired in

Al Gore

  • methane content in atmosphere growing thanks to bioactivity related to increased ice melt
  • entire Antarctic now has negative ice balance
  • Himalayas now has new lakes that used to be glaciers – reduced river flow availability from melt available to 2B people!
  • Andes – drinking water volume down
  • dramatic global increase in forest fire
  • 4x increase last 30 years over previous 75 years in climate-related disaster events
  • 70M tons of CO2 each day into atmosphere from human
  • fossil fuel burn now a significant percentage of total emissions
  • clean coal is an OXYMORON
  • a new clean energy movement = jobs growth and financial recovery (at least in part)

Ray Anderson

  • Husband, father, grandfather and industrialist
  • As competitive as anyone else in business
  • Reinvent the industrial system
  • “Whole problem is the decline of the biosphere”
  • Potentially 1000 years for the atmosphere to recover
  • Read Ecology of Commerce in 1994
  • “Take nothing and do no harm”
  • “Unless somebody leads, nobody will”
  • “I am a recovering plunderer”
  • There must be a clear, demonstrable alternative
  • Modified Erlich equation
  • Down 82% in absolute tonnage of CO2 with 2x profit
  • 75% reduction in H2O use in carpet tile manufacturing
  • 50% reduction in H2O use in broadloom manufacturing
  • 74K tons of used carpet completely recycled
  • 85M sq yds of no net waste carpet sold since 2002Only halfway to Zero Footprint. 2020 target for Mission Zero.
  • Incredibly good for business
  • Protect Tomorrow’s Child (poem)
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Green my Apple redux

Six months ago, I posted about the campaign from Greenpeace to put pressure on Apple to adopt more eco-friendly practices in their manufacturing. Today, it looks like that campaign has taken full effect, with Apple’s public announcement that they are adopting processes to significantly reduce their environmental footprint across their manufacturing. The announcement comes straight from the top – Steve Jobs himself.

While the announcement notes that Apple was already well ahead of the game in many respects, there were others in which it lagged:

Apple has been criticized by some environmental organizations for not being a leader in removing toxic chemicals from its new products, and for not aggressively or properly recycling its old products. Upon investigating Apple’s current practices and progress towards these goals, I was surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors in these areas. Whatever other improvements we need to make, it is certainly clear that we have failed to communicate the things that we are doing well.

To Apple, I say a big “well done and continue the good work”. To Greenpeace, I say the same, plus n equally big “congratulations on the 2007 Webby Award for Best Activism Site”. Cool.


Canberra hail at the ANU

Canberra has been in severe drought for several years now, on top of already being the dryest major city in Australia. The drought was a significant contributory factor in the 2003 bushfires and means we’re on water restrictions severe enough that watering of lawns is prohibited. So, it bears mentioning that since New Years’ Eve, the weather here has been very weird with frequent heavy thunderstorms and major hail, including another major storm last night.

The aftermath was so bad, colleagues of mine were unable to get to work this morning – this is the middle of Summer here, BTW!

In fact, another storm has just started here and it’s absolutely pissing down!

If you didn’t already believe what Al Gore had to say in An Inconvenient Truth, you’d be well on your way to being convinced.