Day 2: TEDGlobal 2013

Tonight’s entry is going to be very short.

I will try to get more written tomorrow, but today was a very busy day!

I woke up and went for a 5km run around the area, and then got dressed and walked over to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

TEDGlobal 2013 - Badge

After signing, in I received my gift bag and badge! So many goodies inside…an umbrella, urbanears, a dragonfly converter, a stylus and a vapur water bottle.

IMG_7554                                                             IMG_7557

This morning began with a Workshop  ‘Taming Wicked Problems!”, lead by Tom Wujec. I received a book after the Workshop and proceeded to the TEDInsitute Session which featured:

Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa (GoThinkBig) – investing in people’s potential

Jeremy Bentham (Shell) – making future memories to better visualize a path toward success

Kate Groch (Bush Schools) – providing access to technology to aid education in rural Africa

Jennifer Healey (Intel) – personal digital data as a future currency of exchange

Chris Paretta (State Street) – being able to think wide and have deep knowledge of disciplines

Mahadev Raman (Arup) – maintaining the human environmental confort zone (20-25`C, 30-70% humidity

Philippe Schulz (Renault-Nissan) – leaving the oil business to develop environmentally conscious automobiles

Ton Wujec (Autodesk) – how design and creativity can aid innovation and ideas

Once this session concluded everyone walked over to the University Lyceum for our first TEDUniversity session featuring attendees! The inside of the theater was absolutely beautiful and very TED.

Concluding the University session we walked back over to the conference centre for some friendly networking before being bussed over to the National Museum for the evening reception. There everyone spent another few hours meeting other attendees and enjoying conversations about the day’s events. At the reception I met Arthur Benjamin, who is completely amazed by the 5 million views his talk about Mathmagic received. He took the time to explain his process briefly and explained what the seemingly random words he mentioned during his calculations meant!

I then bumped into Tokunbo again. I had told him how much I could relate to his talk earlier, and we began talking more specifically about our stories. I hope to run into him again to discuss in more detail how I could possibly become involved with his organization!

I then walked home and edited a few images from yesterday’s adventures and tried to keep my blog post short as tomorrow will be another packed and busy day! We didn’t even really get to the big speakers yet!

on the way up                                        IMG_7522

IMG_7526                        at the top

another angle                                       IMG_7523

IMG_7528           TEDx’ers get creative!IMG_7531
….and they told me it always rained in Scotland….


Day 1: Complete

Finally, I am in bed and I have a quiet moment to myself before I pass out!

After arriving in Edinburgh I grabbed my luggage and left the airport looking for a cab into town. This entire trip was very quiet. Usually I speak to more people during my travels, but I hypothesize that I received a bit of peace and quiet from the universe, since this week is going to be filled with excitement. My driver (also very quiet) was from Poland and entertained my small talk occasionally.

I have already encountered my first faux pas. I thought I could simply show up to the TEDxOrganizer event, since I was told I could leave my luggage at the cafe and on the bus once we went on the hike. However, I should have gone through registration first and picked up my conference badge instead. Luckily everyone was very accommodating and they let me in even without my badge. I walked up the royal blue staircase and entered the workshop. The room was entirely set in TEd colors, soft velvet curtains hung from the front stage and the walls were a deep terracotta. The food on the middle buffet tables was already gone, but I grabbed myself a cup of coffee and joined in on one of the smaller circles. Once the first ‘Dive Deep Topic’ sessions had ended, I decided to sit in on a filming workshop Angela Chang.

Angela is lead of production for TED. As I sat in one of the chairs in the big circle surrounding her whiteboard, it soon became clear that only myself and another TEDx organizer were going to participate in the discussion of this topic. Filming was difficult at our TEDx this year, so I figured that any input from Angela could help our process next year. The three of us were able to have a great discussion about camera angles, placement, and lighting. We were also able to discuss the process of editing and the best programs to use. I have a whole page of notes that will be extremely useful to our organizing team.

The TED team then concluded the sessions and asked everyone to walk to the buses that would take us to the foot of Arthur’s Seat. After driving out toward the park we were given three hiking options: 1. easy, 2. medium, and 3. hard. I decided to join the “hard” group, and found the challenge quite pleasant. The hike up was beautiful, the sun was shining and there was a nice cool breeze from the ocean. The entire way up I had a great conversation with another attendee, Kinga, who was also from poland.

English: Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, viewed from...

English: Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, viewed from Pollock Halls. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once summiting the peak, we decided to take arial shots of ourselves spelling TEDx further down the hill. After enjoying the sun and the view of the city we began walking back down to the buses, which began dropping us off at the hotel locations. As I am staying at a wonderful family’s guest room, I simply got off at the nearest stop. This is when the second small adventure of the day began. I went to grab my suitcase from below the bus, and was told by the driver it was on the other coach! No one had told me that they made this switch, so the other bus met us at our location and dropped off my bag. Once I figured all of this out I hopped in a cab and took it over to the B&B I am staying at.

The family wasn’t home yet so once I got to the house I sat on a bench enjoying the last 10minutes of sun. When they arrived I was warmly greeted. The room is very spacious and they have been taking fantastic care of me already.

This evening there was a reception up at the castle, so they offered to drop me at the mound from where I then walked up the hill to the castle. At the castle I checked in and grabbed a glass of white wine, finally ready to relax. I began speaking to other organizers. TEDxBerlin, TEDxChange etc. etc.

I also began speaking to members of the staff. I was able to have a longer conversation with Salome Heusel about TEDx and her road to becoming part of the TED crew. The conversation then lead into the discussion of TEDxYouth a fantastic program for children.

After making a few more rounds of conversation it was time to head out. Other attendees continued on to the bar, and I decided to make my way back home. I wanted to be sure I could find my way back. I arrived back at the guest room and had a friendly chat with the father and his oldest son. Katharine (the mother) then came in and asked me what time I would like to have breakfast and that she would bring it into the room in the morning.

So now I am in bed, and going to go to sleep! I plan on running a bit in the morning and then heading over to registration after a nice gluten-free breakfast!

At the Zurich Airport

Today I am at the airport waiting to board my flight from:  Zurich –> Amsterdam –> Edinburgh.

I still can’t believe that I will actually be attending TEDGlobal 2013! I am both excited and nervous about this opportunity. The people I will be meeting there are most likely leaps and bounds beyond where I stand in life right now.

They have just begun boarding, I thought I would have more time to work on my first blog post. I guess it’s a good sign!

Hopefully, I have purged myself of all my flight troubles on my last trip. (I say this with caution)

Unfortunately some of the TEDxOrganizers Workshop events have already begun this morning. I should arrive in time for the TEDxOrganizers hike to Arthur’s Seat though and I am very glad that I decided to bring my camera. (even if it’s one of the heaviest things in my bag!)

For those of you following, I will post again tonight!