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Ideas on the move at TEDx Vancouver

Josh Fox, creator of the Film Gasland. Photos by Kris Krug

TEDx Vancouver is positioned to become networking central for up and coming creatives. 2010 was the second year for the volunteer driven TEDx Vancouver. 500 interesting, passionate and on the move people met to engage with one another. The speakers focused on the theme of "The Fine Line." The goal of this year's gathering was to demonstrate how "diverse viewpoints are a catalyst for cutting edge technology, world class research, great works of art and social change."

TED, short for Technology Education Design, is one of the most successful idea sharing phenomena in the world. The 20 minute presentations draw from many different disciplines and engage some of the best and most creative minds on the planet. It has become a go-to place to weave powerful memes into the global awareness at a catalytic rate. TEDx is an offshoot that allows independent event producers to 'localize' the concept.



The speeches at TEDx Vancouver 2010 were powerful and inspirational. Given the speaker line-up and the application requirements, TEDx Vancouver 2010 should have been one of the most stimulating networking events of the year. Though it was very well organized, the event provided no coherent narrative to weave together speakers and their ideas. Nevertheless it has set a good baseline and with a few tweaks it should soon be raising the level of connectivity and collaboration in our bioregion.

Here are some highlights:

Greg Power, President of PR firm Weber Shandwick, spoke about how we can catalyze understanding and change by empathizing with the subject's point of view. We should develop stories that are based on the values of those who we want to affect. His basic thesis: emotional narratives rule and the unconscious mind drives decision-making. Greg asserted that to engage the mainstream public on important issues, one must engage the emotional narratives beneath the surface of our culture. I think he's right. Anybody who has been in a great relationship knows, it is not about logic but about the emotions beneath the surface that make a deep impression and a potentially long lasting connection.

Josh Fox, creator of the Film Gasland, received a standing ovation for his investigative work into the false promotion around "Greening" natural gas. As the film shows, it is really just another money grab that is destroying the health of communities. Josh narrated a compelling ballad while playing his banjo. Given the greenwashing and the precarious position that we are in as a species, we need to make good choices about energy consumption. Gasland re-affirms the need to be aware of the Marketing Monster that lives in the Big Green Closet and reminds us to be aware of corporations selling snake oil for personal and global health.

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