Today marked the start of the TED2011 conference, and this year GroundFloor Media generously signed up for the live webcast of the entire conference to allow team members to audit sessions throughout the week. I am lucky number one – and just watched the opening session: Monumental, which featured a wide range of speakers from a physicist to a media executive to a composer. Their expertise was diverse, but the overarching message was the same – connectivity.
- Janna Levin, physicist: together in this tiny microcosm of time, scientists are working together to understand more about where our planet came from and where we’re going. Did you know that black holes make noise when they collide?
- Sarah Marquis, explorer: Sarah is rediscovering the connection between humans and nature by walking the world. She starts each trek with questions in her left pocket, and hopes to answer them by the end of her journey. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarah_marquis.
- David Brooks, New York Times columnist: maybe it’s because I’m a new mom, but I loved David’s message about the power of the unconscious mind, the importance of emotions and the importance of connecting with other humans. I’m interested to read David’s latest book, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement.
- Eric Whitacre, composter/conductor: I was blown away by Eric’s Virtual Choir project. The connections he’s made among people across the globe are extraordinary and brought tears to my eyes. Follow Eric on Twitter @ericwhitacre
- Wadah Khanfar, media executive: Wadah is the Director General of Al Jazeera and the timing of his presentation was remarkable, given current events in the Middle East. Wadah inspired me to think differently about what’s going on in that part of the world and his message of hope, tolerance, security and friendship inspired me. Amazing stuff.
GFM team members will be posting blogs related to the sessions throughout the week – but in the meantime, see below for the opening comments recorded by Cady Coleman who is currently on the International Space Station. I actually found myself clapping at the end of the opening session even though I was sitting alone in GFM’s playroom! Remarkable the connections that can be made thanks to technology!