You’ve probably heard of the TED talks. They’ve spread in part due to their excellent internet strategy: a powerful website, a strong presence on YouTube, software like Miro and the like. TEDx is a series of talks operating in the UK under license, I believe. They don’t quite pull in the Bill Gates and Seth Godins’ of the main TED talks but, as I found out last week, they present some pretty interesting folks.
TEDx came to Sheffield so my colleague and I spent the whole day at Electric Works and yes, we had a go on the slide. The range of talks kept things interesting. It started off quite business-orientated and the highlight in the morning was definitely Mike Southon of the Financial Times. He gave an obviously very finely tuned presentation that likened business success to the path the Beatles took. It was pretty ‘fluffy’ stuff, but I’m no business-head so that was probably fortunate. As the day progressed, the talks got a bit more creative-y. Highlights for me were Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino from Tinker it! bigging up the Arduino open-source hardware project and Andy Huntington with his little magic noise boxes (my name for them, not his). I wanted my own.
By the afternoon, the suits had all disappeared and the crowd was a little more geeky (I mean that in a loving way, obviously). That’s understandable, considering the breadth of topics. TEDx Sheffield was a day that did inspire, the only bad thing I thought was that they played us videos of previous international TED talks. I could have stayed at home to watch those, guys. I took some (not especially great) pictures that you can view on my flickr stream.