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Live from TED2024: Day 1

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Live from TED2024: Day 1

Welcome to Day 1 of TED2024! Get ready to dive into the dynamic energy and deep wisdom shared by our conference attendees. In this series our community members share their insights, what made their day special, and the “only at TED” moments that can’t be experienced anywhere else.  

For those who are attending, this is a way to deepen your experience. And, if you’ve not yet been to TED – or missed it this year – this series will provide you with more than enough reasons to make sure you’re at the next TED event!

The day at a glance…

After checking in, attendees experienced a welcome performance from the Squamish Nation drum group followed by Discovery Sessions such as an ocean plunge, a hike in Lynn Canyon hike, a foodie tour and a scavenger hunt throughout Vancouver.

Session 1 in  the theater featured the “Dreamers.” The conference opened with an unmissable conversation between peacemakers Aziz Abu Sarah and Maoz Inon, a deep dive into the future of AI with Demis Hassabis, a look at the art of drag with Emmy-winner RuPaul Charles and more.

Check out TED Live to watch the full program from wherever you are. 

Chris Anderson, Monique Ruff-Bell and Helen Walters

Whether it’s your first time or your fifteenth time, everyone at TED has the jitters on the first day. 

We talked to a few attendees and gathered some great advice that can be applied to all aspects of life.

Have the Courage to Be Vulnerable 

Founder and CEO of GOQii, Vishal Gondal has been to TED many times – 10 times, to be exact. You would think that makes for a sense of bravado. But, like so many other TEDsters, Vishal arrived at TED2024 feeling the anticipation of discovery. He’s ready to be blown away by ideas he’s never considered.

“You never want to be the smartest person in the room. And here you are most likely not the smartest person in the room. So, suddenly, when you see other people taking moonshots, it doesn't scare you from taking a moonshot.” 

Vishal credits much of what he is and has accomplished, including the founding of his companies, to the learnings, connections and inspirations he’s experienced at TED. 

To Vishal, TED creates a space where people have the courage to be vulnerable and make lasting connections. TED isn’t just a conference, and the community isn’t transactional. Instead, it’s an investment in learning and contributing to the greater good.

“We tend to only look at the stories of people as successes. TED does not just talk about successes. It talks about the failures, struggles and challenges humanity is facing. It's the combination of the good and the bad and the hope which makes it really exciting.

Be Intentional About Making Connections

TED Fellow and President & CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, Antionette Carroll sees the TED community as a space and a commitment she’s intentionally carved out as a gift to herself. 

“We usually allow our jobs, our families, our expectations, our culture, to determine what we dedicate our time to,” she says. “We need to give ourselves space and time to determine the commitments that we want to make for ourselves. How powerful is it for you to decide that this is a commitment you want to make for yourself? One that will impact you today and tomorrow.”

Antionette’s work is deeply rooted in how systems are designed and can be redesigned. So she recognizes that TED is intentionally designed to create connection, whether you’re attending in person or from home. It’s a global community for growth, connection and self-reflection.

“We're always at different points where we question - Are we enough? I think no matter where you are in your career, whether this is your 50th year, or it's your fifth day, I believe every moment, every conversation leaves a ripple. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be exactly what you thought you would say yesterday because every day is new and every ripple effect is great.”

Antionette Carroll

Start With One Good Question

Before his first time at TED, Serial Entrepreneur, Community Builder, Writer and Speaker, Joah Spearman thought of it as a conference where he could see some talks and meet a few people. Today, after experiencing TED multiple times, he thinks of TED as a connection – a place where he can see a different version of himself through the content and the community.

“If I meet a scientist, or a musician or an artist…instead of comparing, I can see that these are all little pathways that different, ambitious, driven, intelligent people chose to go down. And I get to come to TED and learn about it, connect with those people and call them my peers. I tend to think that if you're at TED, you're a curious human being.”

Joah’s tip for making deep connections? Ask one good question and see where the conversation goes. 

“Connection to me starts with being open, then just being open to what they say. If you're open I think energetically people feel that. Try asking them a good question like: Where did you travel here from? Is there someone you're most excited to see?”

Begin with one good question and just listen. 

Joah Spearman

Be Open to Inspiration

It’s common for people to arrive at TED, feel totally overwhelmed and nervous to talk to anyone and think that they don’t match up with the people who are very far into their paths and careers. According to TEDster Martin Medicus, they’re not thinking about it in the right context. 

“It's not about whether you deserve to be here, or whether you can match up to what other people have accomplished or what they're doing with their life right now,” he says. ”It's about seeing what is possible in all these different fields that you know nothing about. And using that to catalyze your own enthusiasm and your own desire to do great things.” 

In fact, Martin – who first attended TED as a teenager – thinks there should be more young people at TED who are not stifled by adulting standards and are just ready to be inspired. 

“Everyone should be coming to TED to get inspired and then leave feeling more enthusiastic and hopeful,” he highlights. “The only thing you could do wrong at TED is to leave and think wow, that was fun. I'm just going to go back to my normal life and not let that impact me in any way.” 

Martin goes on to point out that you don't have to be in a specific industry, or a specific area of expertise, to make a difference in an issue revolving around that industry. 

“Everyone's on their own path of creating their legacy. The only wrong thing is if you're not doing anything at all.” 

Martin Medicus

From thought-provoking sessions to meaningful connections, Day 1 at TED2024 reminded us of the courage to be vulnerable, the power of intentional connections, and the endless possibilities of being open to inspiration.

Stay tuned for more thought-provoking talks and engaging discussions. Until then, keep the conversation going and stay tuned for more updates from TED2024.

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