Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, education, electronic imaging and displays

TED season

TED seems to be having several conferences each year now, BUT that doesn’t make them any less awesome. For those who have been lost on a desert island for several years, TED “is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED now includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year’s TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.”

TED2010 conference began last week in Long Beach, and if previous years are any indication these inspiring, science+art saturated talks will be slowly posted over the next few weeks.

CNN has caught on to TED and is writing about some of the cool people who presented last week.

For example: Jane McGonigal.

Jane McGonigal is one of the most interesting inventors you’ve never heard of.

The bubbly game designer — whose optimism seems to flow out of her wild blond hair — is trying to get the world to play a lot more online video games, and not just for the sake of fun.

The cooperative skills and hopefulness that people learn while pecking away at online games like World of Warcraft will help our society address real-world problems like climate change and nuclear arms proliferation, she says. To get people to use less oil and mentor entrepreneurs in Africa, she also is developing games that merge the digital and real worlds.

“My goal for the next decade is to try to make it as easy to save the world in real life as it is to save the world in online games,” she said.

McGonigal was only one of dozens of provocateurs, thinkers, scientists, math nerds and musicians to wow audiences with offbeat ideas and plans for the future at the brainy TED Conference last week in Long Beach, California.

See CNN’s full top-ten list of people you’ve never heard of (although their #9 is Temple Grandin, and considering she’s now got a made-for-T.V. film about her out, I think a lot of people have heard of her).



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.