Today I attend TEDxOttawa, a regional event of the www.ted.com movement. Presenters at TED events have a maximum of 20 minutes to present an idea about Technology, Entertainment and/or Design. They are often very inspiring and creative. TEDxOttawa was a locally-arranged version that featured topics as diverse as fair-trade coffee, the 6-String Nation project, travel-writing, neuroscience and learning, environmental activism, a pirate-supply-shop/student mentoring program and hosting house concerts.
The mix of folks who attended was equally eclectic -- software engineers, graphic artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, activists --- but I was struck how many had a set of varied interests that they dabbled in various parts of their personal and professional lives. As someone who has never been an expert at any one thing, but an amateur who enjoys trying out many things, I felt right at home!
I really enjoy the short (20-minute) lecture format as it coincides with the average attention span of the average adult learner, and it forces the presenters to be concise. And as with most TED talks, the visuals included very concise, simple PowerPoint slides and compelling video.
But on the other hand, since there were no questions from the audience or small group discussions (apart from what happened during the breaks), there was no chance to process these great presentations (Add) in order to Apply the learning or consider its consequences for us (Away). I left wishing that they add these components to make the Ted format more of a dialogue learning opportunity.
But all the same, a great day. Do check out www.ted.com