The TEDxRochester experience

There's so much to think about when attending a TED conference. TEDxRochester 2009 has come and gone. It was a huge honor to be invited to be a presenter.  I've been downloading TED Talk podcasts for a while now. I frequently find myself excitedly sharing some random bit of information I learned from the latest talk I had on my iPod. Now, I was given a chance to present.  I've shared a stage with many different people, but this was the first time I was on a stage with presenters as varied as a chemist and museum curators.

With each talk, my mind wandered into ways I may be able to collaborate on projects with each speaker. After all, TED is about sharing, learning, crossing disciplines, and developing new directions for advancement. I couldn't help but wonder how I could combine the dance and movement taught by Thomas Warfield with balloon puppetry, or how my form of play fits with that of Scott Eberle's at the Strong National Museum of Play. I thought about how the community building stuff I've done with my balloons would fit with the work of life coach Luis Martinez. And I couldn't help but wonder if Todd Krauss's work with nanotechnology held the answer to the question of how to keep a balloon inflated indefinitely. (I also wondered for a bit if I'd actually want to see a balloon last forever.)

Thanks to Tony Karakashian, Amanda Doherty, and Gary Jacobs for putting on the event. I couldn't help but notice the way they each answered the question of, "will you do this again?" Each gave a very definite "yes." But they had that look in their eyes that said they knew they must be crazy for wanting to do it, but that they felt a definite need to keep this going.  It's a lot of work, and they directed the focus to their presenters, so they got little attention for their effort. I hope everyone attending took the time to learn something about the people behind the event.