09 Feb This is TED. Farewell TEDActive
For years, the world’s most intriguing and well-known gathering has been kicked off with these three words, “This is TED.” Founded by Richard Saul Wurman and now helmed by Chris Anderson, this week long conference brings together the biggest ideas worth spreading in Technology, Entertainment and Design making up the shortened, TED. Much like many great ideas, the first gathering in 1984 was transformative in content yet financially unviable. In fact it took six years before the second TED was even attempted. First in Monterrey, then down to Long Beach and finally way up the coast to Vancouver with its sister conference, TEDActive happening concurrently in Whistler.
Host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Whistler and the Olympic Village, are a perfect backdrop for an international gathering of thinkers and adventurers. From the impressive and diverse Whistler Village to the trails, hills, mountains and streams, Whistler has a year-round offering for just about everyone. The aptly named and vertigo inducing “Peak to Peak” gondola stretches the mountains and the imagination allowing the most beautiful and unobstructed views of not only Whistler, but also neighboring Blackcomb.
In 2015, Whistler hosted the very last TEDActive and I was honored to be a part of the farewell. The void is meant to be filled by TEDWomen, TEDGlobal, TEDMed or even one of the thousands of TEDx’s dotting the globe. But I just can’t help to feel disappointed to not be gathering with my tribe of “Activators” this year. When asked by a close friend why I would miss the gathering as all the content that we watched on the live stream as it happened would most certainly be available online for free and constant viewing, I simply replied with one question. “When was the last time you
went to the movies and what did you see?” I asked. He replied with an enthusiastic, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Saw it opening night!” When I asked why he didn’t just wait a few months to watch it at home, alone, when it was available for everyone to view, a sweet, knowing smile crossed his face.
We are a community of gatherers, sharers who long for connection. That is my tribe. That is what I will miss.