Get involved in a TEDActive Project: explore, collaborate and -- most importantly -- act on the vital issues raised at TED. This year we’re exploring the topics of Education, Mobility, Sustainability, Public Art, Social Networks and Travel with the goal of delivering a set of micro-actions that anyone can do to move a project forward.
Projects news from the TEDActive Blog:
17 May 2013
After an exciting night of design-themed talks at TED@250 the Lincoln Motor Company unveiled three new videos (created in collaboration with TED) to profile the incredible artists they brought to the TEDActive 2013 conference – Aurora Robson, Andy Cavatorta, and Gilberto Esparza.
Launched today, the Lincoln Reimagine Project will lend support to these visionaries in the arts, design and innovation — artists who are equal parts fearless and creative. At TEDActive this year, Aurora, Andy and Esparza showcased original pieces that disrupt the traditional ways we imagine music, sculpture, and even recycling. The videos highlight their artistic philosophies and their unique approaches to the pieces they produced for TEDActive.
Over the past year, the Lincoln Motor Company has embarked on a journey to reimagine the world around with. In this spirit, they collaborated with TED to identify three artists who are equal parts fearless and creative. Aurora, Andy and Esparza each produced pieces that shifted cultural and environmental paradigms. In their hands, the traditional ways we imagine music, sculpture, and even recycling have been turned upside down. These videos highlight their artistic philosophies and their unique approaches to the pieces they produced for TEDActive.
At this year’s TEDActive in Palm Springs, Gilberto debuted his Auto-Photosynthetic Plants and created a futuristic symphony made from plastic tubes, an iPad, and bacteria.
Aurora asked TED attendees to give her the plastic packaging from their gift bags, which she used as a medium to create an ethereal, floating sculpture.
Melodic, chant-like music is not the obvious byproduct of swinging, robotic tubes of steel, but MIT Media Lab graduate and former punk rocker, Andy Cavatorta, has made gigantic, aural structures that are meditative and comforting.
15 May 2013
During this year’s TEDActive, Nassim Assefi gave a rousing TEDYou talk on ululation, a high-pitched fusion of howl and trill used traditionally in her Middle Eastern culture as an expression of both great joy and sorrow. She is a TED Fellow, co-organizer of TEDxRainier and a co-host and co-curator for the session “World on Its Head” at this year’s upcoming TEDGlobal in Edinburgh, Scotland (June 10-14). She is also a novelist, a global women’s health advocate, a doctor and program advisor to TEDMED.
Given her expertise in weaving stories –whether it be through curating or writing — we asked her to come up with a playlist on her favorite TEDTalks on a subject of her choice. “In my 3 minute TEDFellows talk in 2009, I suggested new diagnostic criteria for courage, a playful melding of my medical and writing worlds. In it, I illustrated courage by sharing the stories of 3 women from Afghanistan all named Malalai (I could add a fourth now, since Malala Yousafzai, who is from the Pakistani border of Afghanistan in Swat). So I thought it would be fun to curate a TED Playlist on courageous women.” Stay tuned for her complete Q&A on her TEDActive experience and on tips on how to cultivate passion and curate a great speaker program.
10 May 2013
A handful of the TED team, including TEDActive’s incredible co-host Kelly Stoetzel, just returned from an energizing and thrilling site visit to our new home in breathtakingly beautiful Whistler, Canada. The team spent a week touring around Whistler imagining and dreaming up possibilities for every nook and cranny of the site and thinking of how to create a unique experience true to the TEDActive spirit. Things on their mind included understanding ski culture, programming for cold weather, testing out new fire pit locations and visiting all of the local hotspots.
Throughout the year we’ll be keeping you posted on all of the goodies the TEDActive team is cooking up for next year’s TEDActive. Stay tuned for more sneak peeks and previews!
(All of these beautiful photos were taken by TED Partnerships’ Special Projects Manager Stephanie Kent)
07 May 2013
Coffee plays an important role in the lives of many TEDActivators, whether it keeps you awake for the TED sessions, kickstarts your brainstorms or helps you meet new friends while waiting in line. We found this awesome graphic and thought of all of you who are hard at work churning out mind-boggling ideas, breaking out of boxes and silos and saving the world.
So, what kind of coffee are you?
01 May 2013
Measuring impact, fostering communication, eliminating silos, harnessing innovation – good ideas lie behind these phrases, but their unspecific overuse often reduces them to meaningless buzz words.
It should come as no surprise that TEDActive’s student interns breathe new life into the phrase “reducing siloed communication.” Maybe it was because they were referring to free pizza. Or maybe it is because – among the students I spoke to – their TEDActive projects are living on post-conference, improving the daily lives of their fellow students.
A little background for those unfamiliar with TEDActive Campus Takeovers:
This year, TEDActive sent a toolkit to students at seven different TEDx participating universities across the country — UCLA Anderson School of Management, University of Washington’s Comparative History of Ideas School, Virginia Tech, Southern Methodist University, The Ohio State University, Rhode Island School of Design and New York University. Students opened the kit to reveal four prompts that mirrored the prompts for the TEDActive Projects – Impact, Local, Lifehack, and Mobile. One representative from each university served as the school’s TEDActive Intern. The interns came to TEDActive in Palm Springs and presented their schools’ work to the community.
Students’ responses ranged from a microsite with an interactive visualization depicting the diverse backgrounds of Southern Methodist University students to an internal, standardized assessment among NYU student organization leaders, designed to measure the impact of their own projects and find areas of overlap or openings for collaboration.
Griffin Dooling, who is also a TEDxNYU organizer, described how it allowed “all of these different groups to coalesce around TED, which helped galvanize support for their own projects.” He added that this was the “first event at this scale with so many organizations” on board participating.
Julia Columbro felt similarly excited by how TED acted as a catalyst for Ohio State’s student groups to work together. Her time at TEDActive in Palm Springs “was really inspiring, and reaffirmed to me that social change is possible and something that I want to pursue.” Back at Ohio State’s campus, she helped set up an RSS feed that allows students to promote their on campus events and meetings – especially meetings that served free pizza. This live feed helped promote the event “A Taste of OSU,” a food fair thrown by another student organization and associated with the Local Project. Due to its promotion, over 4,000 students attended the fair.
As Brandon Lazarus from SMU said, “Among our student organizations, we share a lot of commonalities, and can share resources and ideas. It’s not a competition when your goal is impact and social good.” At SMU, TEDActive challenged students to a hackathon – they had to prototype a mobile app in six hours to solve an on-campus problem. The winner was an app that helped students avoid construction sites in order to make it to class on time.
Or maybe the winner was the Harlem Shake video that they made during a break:
Inspired by their prompts and TEDActive, student interns were able to lasso the creative energy of their many campus organizations, and demonstrate how they could map out efficient ways to work together.
24 April 2013
HOW’S SHE BOOTIN’ER?
This is Canadian slang for “How are you doing?” After a few visits to Whistler, we realized we needed to brush up on our Canadian before we hit the slopes next February for TEDActive 2014. So, we compiled this handy guide of the most useful slang words you need to know to pass yourself off as one of the locals. And as a bonus, we’ve added a sample sentence you’ll most likely be overheard saying.
1. Eh?: Add at the end of your sentence as a friendly short-cut for “don’t you agree?”
Session 5 of TEDActive was mind-blowing, awesome, crazy cool, phenomenal, eh?
2. Double-double: Coffee with two creams and two sugars. A triple-triple is cream and sugar times three. Made popular by famous Canadian staple, Tim Hortons.
I stayed up till 3am at the Welcome Home Party; I desperately need a double-double.
3. Pop: If you’re craving a Coke, don’t say “soda” or you’ll find yourself with a glass of carbonated water. “Pop” refers to the bubbly soft drinks you love.
I could use a cool refreshing pop right now — Sprite, Diet Coke or Pepsi — anything that will rev me up during the breaks.
4. Loonie (Toonie):
A loon on the Canadian dollar coin led to it being nicknamed the “loonie.” The toonie or twoonie is the tongue-in-cheek nickname for the two dollar coin.
Do you happen to have a toonie on you? I forgot my wallet and I want to buy a postcard.
5. Queue: A line of people.
The queue for coffee goes out the door! Good thing I’m surrounded by cool TEDActivators to talk to.
6. Poutine: THIS.
An amazing Canadian dish of fries + gravy + curd cheese.
That Translator’s workshop made me so hungry. I need to eat a big plate of poutine to recharge and get ready for more brainstorms.
7. Washroom: bathroom, loo, potty
Is there a washroom on the first floor of the Fairmont?
8. Housecoat: bathrobe
Don’t forget to wear your housecoats for PJ Morning for tomorrow’s 8:30 session.
9. Zed: the last letter of the alphabet (Z)
The program is organized in alphabetical order of speaker last names, it goes from A to Zed.
10. Serviette: napkin
Do you have any serviettes? I spilled a coffee as I jumped to my feet to give a standing ovation.
Or “peameal bacon” is cured bacon rolled in cornmeal. Yummy.
Good thing I woke up early for breakfast. This back-bacon is life-changing.
13. Van: Short for “Vancouver.” Locals use it to refer to different areas: East Van, West Van, North Van.
Are you hanging out in Van after the conference is over?
14. Chinook: an warm wind that blows from west to east during late winter to early spring.
A chinook blew through and melted all of the snow.
15. Hydro: electricity
Watch out for the hydro pole when you’re on your scooter.
16. Whale’s Tail: Fried dough pastry. Also known as elephant ears or beaver tails.
Snacks at TEDActive are healthy and delicious … but I’m craving a whale’s tail.
17. Giv’n her: an act carried out to it’s fullest potential. Short for “Given her hell.”
We’re gonna giv’n her at TEDActive this year!
18. Kerfuffle: awkward or stressful situation, commotion.
If you’re ever in a kerfuffle, go talk to Rives or Kelly. They’ll be sure to help you out!
19. Knapsack: Backpack or bookbag.
Did you check out the TED Gift Bag? It’s a knapsack that glows in the dark and has a hundred pockets.
20. Decal: Is pronounced “deck-ul.”
I love the deck-uls (not dee-kals) adorning the walls of the Theater.
+ a bonus word
21. Canuck: A nickname for Canadian
The writer of this blog post is not a Canuck. But she loved learning these new words
23 April 2013
Hold the banana.
Close Your eyes.
No, friends. These are not the beginning poses of Yoga for Primates. They were, rather, the first series of instructions for participation in The Banana Hotline, a collaborative art project aiming to create a “living monument of sound” to honor that silly yellow fruit with the slippery peel.
Fallen Fruit artists David Burns and Austin Young created The Banana Hotline for TEDActive this year. Fallen Fruit, which includes third member and co-founder Matias Viegener, is a long term LA-based art collaboration that has been paying homage to apples, oranges and every fruit in between for nine years now. Ongoing projects include the wildly popular Public Fruit Jams, in which communities come together equipped with homegrown or street picked fruit to create custom jams sans recipes.
At TEDActive 2013, they focused their artistic efforts on the world’s most popular fruit: the banana. In addition to the Hotline, David and Austin also hosted a banana eating contest, gave a TEDYou talk and created the (world’s first?) Banana Sound Circle, in which attendees gathered with kazoos to squawk tribute to the bananas of the North, South, East and West.
We caught up with our favorite fruit aficionados to talk California art, community and the endangered Cavendish.
You both have a strong background in photography. How did you transition from a more static form to doing work that is so interactive?
David: Well, my background in photography is a foundational background really. Austin is still a photographer – photography is part of what he does now. I went to school at CalArts and I got a degree in the photo program, but just as long ago, I quickly became known more for making event-based stuff happen, and less for making camera based stuff happen. The foundational idea of how cameras work – not mechanically, but socially – is what’s interesting to me, and that still carries forward.
Austin: When we were looking and thinking about Fallen Fruit as an idea, we also became really interested in California art, and what California art is versus art from other places. We decided that California art, and maybe LA art in particular, was really fun and unpretentious, and when we were starting off, we really had that in our minds – we wanted to keep that tone for our project. As far as being interactive, I think that all of a sudden there were a lot of projects that happened all at once (kind of how the collective conscious works) that were engaging audiences and it was a really exciting time to be making art in Los Angeles, and it still is.
What was the big moment when you decided it was about fruit?
David: Well, that was the beginning. The project’s origin was a response to a call for ideas from a publication called the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. Basically, the original impulse was: Is it possible to create a project that inspires people to have an agreement, or to be likeminded, in a way that’s not against something? Is it possible to do what protest does, but not have an opposition? So we got together and we looked at what was around us, and what was common to the three of us, and we made the original manifest for Fallen Fruit, which is “Who is the public, how do you define the public, and what do you do with public resources? Is it possible to explore a place that’s familiar in a way that is more meaningful or magical?” So we mapped and took photos, and that was the foundation of Fallen Fruit.
And that project was about mapping all of the different fruit trees in LA, correct?
David: Yes. But it was also about walking. It was about not being on cell phones.
Austin: Right. We took a look around our neighborhood and it’s interesting, because if you ever hang out in LA, it is like a ghost town on the street. Nobody was walking the streets in Silver Lake Beach. People get in their cars even to drive three blocks to go to the corner store or to the cafe. We thought it would be great to have the project be about getting people out of their cars, off of their cell phones – have them maybe meet their neighbors, and at the same time discover the hidden treasure of fruit trees that were growing in public space.
David: I think what’s important is that we realized that fruit was a connector. It’s non-polarizing. Nobody gets upset about an apple, or a banana, you know? But its also something that moves through class boundaries, and through geography and generational knowledge – it’s this funny thing that can be the subject of something and yet an object at the same time. So we learned from the project that we are working with an idea that’s also a material, and that gives us incredible permission socially, but also as far as art making goes. One of the first things we did that was really participatory and immersive were the Public Fruit Jams, and those have been an incredible success around the world. One of the key components to a Public Fruit Jam is that we don’t use recipes at all, and there is no real instruction – it is completely immersive, and everything is done by ratios, but it’s really done by negotiating with strangers - meaning if you brought peaches, and I brought lavender, and Austin brought figs, then maybe we would make peach, fig, and lavender jam, but we would just figure it out.
Austin: One thing that I think is true about Fallen Fruit is that it’s a project that exists in the moment. It’s a living project – its not something that you’re just going to see on a wall – it’s existing in the moment, and through doing it so long, it keeps on growing and expanding in different ways. The more we did the Fruit Jam, the more we learned how really passionate and emotional people feel about fruit and their memories about fruit and the connection to their families through fruit. One thing that became clear is that getting people together around an activity creates the space for connection and conversation about fruit and about family and the ways the world is going, and the ways that it was. We love to create a space for people to have those experiences.
How did you guys get involved with TEDActive?
David: We were invited to come up with a proposal for TEDActive for how Fallen Fruit might imagine a series of projects that would create progressive engagement that also had meaningful, critical content.
Austin: Our main project was The Banana Hotline, which came from thinking about how the Cavendish banana may be endangered. We were encouraged to come up with a project that might live well beyond TED, that could kind of use TED as a place to experiment, or start a new process, but that could grow, exponentially perhaps. So we came up with the Banana Hotline – it was this plush-y banana and we put an iPad inside with a recorder in it and you could tell the banana how you felt about it or say what the banana tastes like, or maybe a memory about the banana in life, or just anything. Our intention is to keep collecting those stories.
David: One of the things that we’ve done in the recent past (meaning up until the past year) is we’ve worked on some projects that were more serialized and more encyclopedic – they were also more a response to place. So, one project might be more specific about the jungles of Columbia and the origins of banana plantations, and one might be about the wild berries in the tundra of the Arctic Circle in Norway. Then, we made a shift toward thinking about fruit in a more universal way. So, instead of focusing on location or geography or a particular context or locational history, we are interested in this other possibility of really focusing on the subject matter, and maintaining its sense of being an object at the same time. So, we focused only on bananas to be really playful and to make TEDActive “bananas” – to really celebrate something that’s common to everybody. It was an experiment in a way, and for us it was an incredible success. I had an incredibly great time.
Austin: It was a fantastic experience. I think I was high for a few days after; it was so incredible to be there. And really inspiring in personal ways as well.
Did you have a favorite moment?
Austin: Doing the TEDYou talk was really exciting. It really felt like we were being thrown into a whirlwind – it was fantastic.
David: I enjoyed TEDYou because we don’t normally do talks like that and it was actually very challenging for me to rescript. However, that wasn’t my favorite moment. My favorite moment was the banana sound circle. It was such an experiment, and for me personally, the amount of anxiety I felt – that I gave myself about it being good – was ridiculous. I mean, I was almost crying! Because it was important for it to be fun, and to just be joyful and not be dogmatic. It was supposed to be a celebration of something kind of insipid, right? I didn’t understand how to approach a group of people I don’t know in a way that was okay, to be honest. It seemed very stressful to me. And somehow we did it, and I feel like it was a big success. It was this really lovely calling to something absurd and great and familiar.
Austin: Oh yeah – that was a huge thing for me too – that banana sound circle felt like a perfect expression of California art. It was completely just goofy and fun. I can’t wait to do that again. I don’t know how it read from your point of view, but one of the things that’s really important to us when it comes to the work we make, and the projects we support, is that we really believe in collaboration. It’s about inviting an opportunity that takes a group of people who don’t exactly know each other to have a bond for a short amount of time and then break away again. And the part that you get to keep is the memory – your personal experience is the art part.
18 April 2013
The campfire is still lit! We are profiling the extraordinary activators and thinkers who attend the TEDActive conference and highlighting their personal experiences, passions and most meaningful conversations.
Will Lucas is the ultimate doer. He’s started two internet companies from the ground up: In 2007, he founded Creadio a brand marketing technology firm and last year, he created Classana, a discovery engine that connects you to what you want to learn. In September of 2012, he organized the first TEDxToledo event optimistically themed “You Will Do Better.” But, that’s not all! Recently, he was named one of the 25 most influential African-Americans in Technology. This year was Will’s first TEDActive and so we caught up with him to hear about his experience and to pick his brain on what drives and motivates him.
How did your TEDActive 2013 experience begin?
I’ve been a big proponent of TED for a few years. I got introduced to TED several years ago when I saw Steve Jobs Stanford commencement speech. That kind of started it all — you know when you watch one video, then it shows you another video. You get engulfed in the whole environment.
I live in Toledo, Ohio and we have a rich artistic community and a budding technology community. I was thinking about how we could connect the nodes of our growing economies because everybody worked in their own silos. If I could bring TED to Toledo that would really cultivate the environment that I was interested in. I found the TEDx license page, applied and two weeks later I got an email approval. We had our first event in September of last year. I went to Active with the intent to have a bigger audience at our event [TEDx events are limited to 100 audience members unless the organizer has attended an official TED conference]. But after the first day I got there, it wasn’t even about that anymore. It was so much more than that. I think somebody said there were 72 countries represented. You get this sense that you’re a part of something much bigger than yourself. You’re surrounded by people who are really passionate about what it is they’re doing and share one common vision of making the world a better place. TEDActive was a life-changing experience.
Was there any one moment that stood out for you?
I wouldn’t say a moment. If there was a moment, it happened several times. TED, this year, kind of had a bent towards education. Every talk had a slant towards the shifting view of how we educate our young people and lifelong learners. There were several moments when I realized we’re on the cusp of something great — if we make it great. My thought was that the talks were fantastic, but we can watch the talks anytime. It’s really about the people that you get a chance to meet and engage with and share with. TEDActive is a place where people come with strong ideas, strong opinions and strong beliefs, but are willing to be wrong. For me, this is the essence of what TED is about: sharing these ideas and being open to learning something new that might fly at the face of what you know.
What did you take away from the experience?
The experience solidified some things that I had been thinking about and dreaming about. Post-event, I had a conversation with [TEDActivator] Mauricio Bejarano on Facebook. In response to my post, he said that we all should write down our thoughts and ideas because as time goes on you start to forget things. There’s also this Chinese proverb — “A short pencil is better than a long memory.” I’ve always been the Tumblr type. It’s difficult for me to sit and write longform. I didn’t have the patience to sit and write. After reading Mauricio’s comment, I decided it was time to grow up and be patient and sit and write because I have a lot to share on education. I know one of the editors at one of our large papers in Toledo and I sent him one of my articles just to see what he thought about it. I didn’t have any intent. But he loved it and asked me to be a regular paid contributor.
It was encouraging that someone thought my thoughts were something the community should know about. We all have something to offer the world and I think TEDActive allows you space to be around, people who can feed that inertia. People who are interested in TED are usually people who contribute to their communities. But, you can only pour yourself out for so long before you need to be poured into. A car can run only so long. You’ve got to put gas in it. It’s important to think of TEDActive not just as a vacation but somewhere you can go and be refueled by being around people who can teach you something new or encourage you or confirm what you’re doing. Somebody said in the first Google Hangout, we’re nodes in a global network. Being at TEDActive I now have friends in Sweden and Switzerland, Nairobi – I didn’t know anybody in Africa before. Now I have three friends in Africa. If I ever go to Sweden, I have someone to talk to. Knowing that you can change the world and that we’re all hoping to change our communities– at some point you need to be around people who can pour into you.
A view from Will’s camera:
How did you get into what you’re doing now? What fuels your passion?
The thing I’m most passionate about is the future of education. I love the internet and tech, but I think what I’m doing with Classana is the most important thing I’ve ever done.
I didn’t graduate from college. I did 3 years in college. People were telling me that it’s fantastic that I have my own business but that others will respect me more if I had a degree. About a year and a half ago, I was running my own business Creadio and I decide to take 16 credit hours. I want to finish what I started. I had a conversation with one of my mentors – and I have several mentors and I encourage everybody to have mentors—and he asked why I was going to school: “So, you work for yourself. When you graduate, what are you going to do? Promote yourself?” He said, “I’m not telling you not to go to school. But if you’re going to go, take classes that specifically speak to you and what you’re doing and to get better at that. Not just for a piece of paper.” That reframed how I thought about pursuing my education. I went back to the drawing board for planning the spring semester. But college is not really set up for you to pick and choose classes. It’s set up for you to go along a pre-requisite course towards a degree.
To make a long story short, I thought there’s got to be a better way for people to find educational resources. It’s the early infancy of the MOOCs (massive open online course), the Courseras of the world, the Khan Academys of the world. We believe education will be a more entrepreneurial endeavor. It’s in our natural state to seek out things that make us better. That Stanford commencement speech by Steve Jobs encompasses and solidifies the whole future of education. He said, “The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes, and drop in on the ones that looked interesting.” I think he was more prophetic in that than he even knew. Our goal [with Classana] is to re-imagine the way we distribute education. If we can get people to what they’re passionate about, I think we’ve done our job.
When did Classana launch?
Classana launched publically 3 weeks before TEDActive. I have people on my advisory board from TEDActive! Michael Karnjanaprakorn, [TED Fellow] and CEO of Skillshare, and Ben Jones from Google joined. I met Ben Jones while standing outside of the auditorium waiting for one of the sessions to start. Everyone asks what you’re interested in. I’m into education so we ended up talking about that. That happened to be the session when Sugata [TEDPrize winner] presented. As soon as he got up on stage and started talking Ben turns around and looks at me like “Dude, you’re onto something. This is perfect for you.” We had a couple conversations since TEDActive. I met Michael from Skillshare the night of Jill Sobule’s fireside performance. He gave me advice on how to really grow and scale the business.
What is your advice for someone attending TEDActive for the first time?
I think you should go not knowing what to take out of it. You should go as open[-minded] as possibile. If you go looking for something, you walk with tunnel vision. You won’t see all of the other things that are possible. I think the best thing about TEDActive is that it’s easy to meet new people. There’s a guy I met in Bangladesh who in 45 seconds of meeting him, wanted to help bring Classana to Bangladesh because there’s such a need for resources like Classana in developing countries. I’d never thought about that. They’re just getting online and they want information, but they don’t know where to go. That’s the problem Classana solves. We just met 45 seconds ago. We never would have gotten into that conversation had I been talking to him with an ulterior motive. I would say go totally ready to be fed. Not looking for anything specific. Go and be genuine.
17 April 2013
The Boston Marathon race clock read 4:09 when the bombs went off. On Monday, April 15, three people were killed and over 100 were injured from the explosions on Boylston Street, near the marathon’s finish line. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on this tragedy and send our most heartfelt thoughts to all who were affected.
TEDActivator Aaron Tang witnessed the event from his office window and was able to capture the first explosion in photographs. As he posted the images on Flickr on Tuesday, he wrote, “This is sad day for such a great event. I was amazed how fast the medics and nearby citizens took action to run into the smoke, rip off their shirts to help the wounded.” His photos can be found on his Flickr page and as a gallery on CNN. [Warning: photos are graphic]
What he witnessed:
In times of unspeakable violence, it is human nature to feel the need to reach out and lend a hand, like those individuals Aaron witnessed. Strangers helping strangers. Communities aiding communities. And this is core to the TEDActive spirit. Comedian Patton Oswalt’s poignant Facebook reaction to the bombings truly resonated with us:
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So, TEDActivators, here’s to standing against the darkness. Here’s to diluting the evil that exists in our world. Here are five actions we can take in the aftermath:
1. Donate to The One Fund Boston.
“At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. He and Boston Mayor Tom Menino announced The One Fund Boston to raise money to help the families affected by the bombings. John Hancock Financial Services, the lead sponsor of the Boston Marathon, has already made a $1 million donation.
2. Remember: We are all human.
Documentary filmmaker Beth Murphy — a former Boston marathon runner now living in Kabul, Afghanistan — and Kabul citizens took these photos:
3. Give blood.
The American Red Cross is taking blood donations for the future. Although there is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet patient needs, there’s always a need for more. Having blood ready to use on the shelves helps to save lives when another tragedy happens.
4. Don’t donate money … to a fake charity.
Dozens of fake websites and charities were created moments after the bombing. A fake Twitter handle @_BostonMarathon was recently taken down. They tweeted: “For every retweet we will donate $1.00 for the #BostonMarathon victims #PrayforBoston.” Do your research before you donate. Reputable organizations like The Salvation Army and The American Red Cross are accepting donations.
And above all …
5. Keep running.
Michael Wardian, a Boston Marathon runner told the Washington Post, “Running is something that for me has been life-altering. It’s something that allows me to clear my head — a safe place for me to go. And somebody tried to rob that. I don’t want that to be possible. I don’t want them to have that type of power over me.”
12 April 2013
TEDActivators are always doing cool things — whether it’s starting a new business, collaborating with artists, realizing wild and crazy dreams or even jumping off a building for fun. We spotted brave TEDActivator Doug Abrams and TED2012 speaker Lior Zoref ”sky-jumping” at the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. The experience, called Sky Jump, holds the Guinness World Record for the highest commercial decelerator descent which is like a giant bungee jump without the bungee. You’re instead connected to a high speed “descender” machine that slows you down as you approach the ground. We love what Doug says about true friends right before he jumps: “You can’t drink alone and you can’t die alone.” We second that, Doug!
Here’s Lior’s Sky Jump: