Archive for March, 2011

TEDx Goldstar and TED 2011: Day 2

DISCLOSURE: This post was originally published March 8th. See the original + follow up comments on the Casanova Pendrill blog.

If you could spend a week with the most interesting people in the world, who would you choose?

That’s basically the premise behind the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference held annually in Long Beach. I was fortunate to attend a live simulcast of Day 2 of this year’s conference through TEDxGoldstar on March 2nd at the Downtown Independent Center, a day filled with musical performances and engaging presenters from the worlds of science, film and even graffiti.

Instead of recapping the entire day I’m going to focus on three of this year’s presenters:

Salman Khan is the founder of Khan Academy, a non-profit that provides students in teachers with online videos covering an array of topics from algebra to venture capital. One of the most fascinating parts of Khan’s story is how Khan Academy was born.

Khan had created and uploaded videos to YouTube as a way to help his cousin in school, never imagining that other people would find these videos interesting. But they did. People posted tons of comments, offering positive feedback and questions, which led Khan to realize that his idea could be something much bigger. For a more thorough examination of Khan Academy’s impact on education I highly recommend this GOOD article: “Big Ideas from TED 2011: Letting Students Drive Their Education.”

Indra Nooyi is the current CEO of Pepsi. In 2010 she was named #1 on Fortune’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women” and #6 on Forbes list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”. Every marketer in the world has heard of the successful Pepsi Refresh project, but what really got my attention was Nooyi’s announcement of the Refresh University, which will help provide 1,000 Pepsi Refresh grantees with the tools necessary for succession planning. It would have been very easy for Pepsi to discontinue the Refresh project, so I was impressed by Nooyi’s commitment to continue building on the project’s success.

Last, but not least, was French street artist JR, undoubtedly the day’s crowd favorite and this year’s TED Prize winner. The TED Prize is “…awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.” Designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources, the Prize leads to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.”

It was during his presentation that JR announced his TED wish, a large-scale participatory art project. Check out for all the details.


This is the 2nd TEDx event I’ve attended. Going to an event vs. watching TED videos on your computer are like night and day. What makes TED really special is the vibrant community of people – everyone from presenters, to organizers to guests.

Thanks to @ktischhy at talkTECH Communications for inviting me to join the exclusive group of 150 attendees at this year’s event produced by Goldstar.


Gift bags for all attendees


Watching the live simulcast in Long Beach!


TEDxGoldstar agenda and featured beverages


Bill Gates introducing the next presenter


Complimentary ice cream sandwiches provided by @Coolhaus


Above photo credit: Daniella De Varney Photography.

Lunch on rooftop of Downtown Independent Center


Banner for OUR "Ideas Worth Spreading"


Also thanks to Rosie Nguyen for sharing the last two pics.


For a more comprehensive look at TED Day 2, check out TED 2011 The Rediscovery of Wonder, Day Two on the Brain Pickings blog.

Also, there are lots of great links, pics and articles being shared on Twitter through the #TEDxGoldstar hashtag.

LA Weekly – JR’s Wish and Four Other TED Talks We Loved

Ambitious Technology Charts How Babytalk Evolves Into Language – PSFK. This is an article about one of the day’s TED presenters, Deb Roy.

Learn more about Michigan-based company Boxed Water Is Better

Here’s a Flickr Photoset I created for the event: TEDxGoldstar 2011

Categories: EVENTS
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