I’ve heard a lot about TED over the last 10 or so years. It’s always an event I’ve wanted to attend but have never been able to justify the cost. Lots of brilliant people I know rave about it, so I was happy to see the TEDx series of local events emerge. I missed TEDxSF San Francisco, as, like many other people, I only heard about it after it happened, but I was lucky enough to go to TEDxSV.
Or so I thought.
I couldn’t make the whole thing as it was an all day event and I had overlapping obligations. Instead, I did my best to catch bits and pieces of the stream and show up for the afternoon portion. Disappointing is an understatement. I’ve watched many great TED talks online, and only one of the TEDxSV talks came close to any of those (Sekou Andrews – watch it here starts at about 22min). Most of the talks seemed to be talking down to the audience, as in ‘you are lay people, let me preach to you’. Not inspiring, not like Itay Talgam describing how performances are about telling many stories, including the story of the audience (see Itay Talgam’s presentation at TED here). Most of the TEDxSV talks had only one story and it was about the presenter.
To bad, it could have been great, but perhaps this is what happens when you try to replicate something in multiple places.