How hard is it to get into TED? Even at a cost of $7,500, the Technology, Entertainment, Design idea-fest, which begins Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., is always oversubscribed. Organizers carefully vet applications to choose the 1,350 who get in.
Kate Brodock applied to TED conferences for eight years straight before being accepted in 2010 to TEDWomen, one of the occasional thematic offshoots of the main TED gathering. Brodock, who is chief marketing officer for the nonprofit Girls In Tech and social-media director at Syracuse University, says she didn’t pick her pursuits to get into TED, but recognizes that her profile has become closer to that of the typical attendee. “If I am doing the types of things that these really inspiring speakers are up on stage talking about, then I’m on the right track,” she says.
The application has six, short college-essay-style questions: How would a friend describe your accomplishments? What are you passionate about? Share a story from your life that shows what makes you tick. Applicants are also asked to provide websites that will help conference organizers get a better sense of who they are, such as their blogs, academic research, or company websites.
Who you know counts too. TED requests at least two references, and asks if those vouching for applicants have attended the conference in the past. While it notes that “it isn’t necessary that they have,” Brodock says that a referral from a TED attendee, speaker, or high-profile name “significantly helps your cause.” Above all, she says, “you can’t fake it on a TED application.” Organizers look for people who are leaders in their fields and will sniff out padded, pandering resumes.
Strange Random Difficulty Quote:
“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, 1803-1882)
- A Novice’s Guide to TED (blogs.wsj.com)
- ‘Prometheus’ TED Clip: Guy Pearce Proclaims “We Are the Gods Now” (hollywood.com)
- Ads Worth Spreading: TED Announces Winners of 2012 Marketing Challenge (mashable.com)
- TED 2012: New Browser Add-On Visualizes Who Is Tracking You Online (wired.com)
- TED 2012: Will Technology Save Us All, or Will It Tear Us Apart? (wired.com)
- Steelcase Introduces Dialogue to Unlock Human Promise at TED (appablog.wordpress.com)
- Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2012 Day 1 (mytedblog.wordpress.com)
- From TED: Is the Future Better or Worse Than We Think? (blogs.wsj.com)
- Counting down to TED2012: A roundup of guides, schedules and links (ted.com)
- TED Tech Preview: Robots, Crowdsourcing and Bill Nye (allthingsd.com)
It takes an entire civilization to build a toaster. Designer Thomas Thwaites found out the hard way, by attempting to build one from scratch: mining ore for steel, deriving plastic from oil … it’s frankly amazing he got as far as he got. A parable of our interconnected society, for designers and consumers alike.
Strange Random Design Quote:
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by.— Douglas Adams
- How to build a toaster (from scratch) – TED Talks (exitlanguages.wordpress.com)
- Preview: Paris Design Week 2011 (mocoloco.com)
- SPECIAL FEATURE: ADAPT: An interview with Tim Harford and an excerpt from his new book (boingboing.net)
- Great Characters: Toaster (“The Brave Little Toaster”) (gointothestory.com)
- Design Lit: Arch Paper: “Book on Dieter Rams should not be almost 400 pages” (curbed.com)
- Geek Toys : Dead Ted Zombie Plush (thinkgeek.com)
About this talk
At the onstage introduction of Twirlr, a new social-sharing platform, someone forgets to silence their cell phone. And then … this happens. (Song by Scott Brown and Anthony King; edit by Nathan Russell.)
About Improv Everywhere
Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places
Strange Random Sharing Quote:
“Whenever I found out anything remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof.” – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (Dutch Biologist, 1632-1723)
- Improv Everywhere Spontaneous Musical: Gotta Share (laughingsquid.com)
- Gotta Share The Musical (improveverywhere.com)
- Gotta Share, The Musical (buzzfeed.com)
- Open auditions for TED coming to NYC (holykaw.alltop.com)
- TED Goes “American Idol,” Holding First-Ever Open Auditions In NYC (fastcompany.com)
- Aaron Koblin: Artfully visualizing our humanity | TED.com (artofscience.wordpress.com)
- Improv Everywhere Stages Spontaneous Musical at GEL Conference (shoppingblog.com)
- Announcing the results of TED’s Full Spectrum auditions (via TED Blog) (techweev.com)
What was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution? Hans Rosling makes the case for the washing machine. With newly designed graphics from Gapminder, Rosling shows us the magic that pops up when economic growth and electricity turn a boring wash day into an intellectual day of reading.
Strange Random Washing Machine Quote:
“Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine” – Whoopi Goldberg
- Today: Ask Hans Rosling anything (ted.com)
- Hans Rosling: The man with a mission and some data (kundanbhaduri.com)
- Hans Rosling’s Washing Machine and World’s Energy Consumption (krisnadhi.wordpress.com)
- Hans Rosling: How The Washing Machine Sparked the Reading Revolution (brainpickings.org)
- Washing machines fight poverty? (pakamisa.org)
- Why washing machines are important [Hans Rosling TED Talk] (olliebray.typepad.com)
- Must See TED Talks (thecraftydaoist.wordpress.com)