Back from TEDActive 2013

Today it’s back to work for me, and I’m still on cloud seven. I am also anticipating to hear this question: “How was it?” many times.

So I sat down and extracted some bullets from my notes, as well as borrowing heavily from the hilarious summary at the end of TED 2013 by the SNL comedian Julia Sweeney writing to her friend Bonnie about her impressions.

Some questions may get require a short answer, like a casual meeting in the elevator or from my boss shortly before a meeting.

But there will be times where I can dive deep into my list below and relive precious memories.

I also plan what we call here at work a learning lunch where I’ll have 90 minutes to unfold the TED 2013 story in all its glory for my coworkers.


Herbert at TEDActive 2013

So here are some of my talking points:

  • It’s was great!
  • It was in Long Beach & Palm Springs.
  • There were 64 speakers in 12 sessions.
  • Economist Robert J. Gordon said global economic growth is over.
  • Physicist Neil Gershenfeld from MIT disagreed, they had a debate, it was a draw.
  • Bono was there! He uses his celebrity to fight against social injustice.
  • Sergey Brin was there too, showing off his Google Glasses.
  • Peter Gabriel was there too, he is co-founder of WITNESS, which distributes digital cameras to empower people to document human rights abuses.


  • A squid lady was there too, she documented the largest squid specimen ever recorded.
  • Legal activist and lawyer Larry Lessig, inventor of Creative Commons, said we don’t have a democracy as long as money can buy politicians. He recommended Lester Land instead.


  • TED Prize 2013 winner Sugata Mitra told us how young kids learned about neuroscience through a computer in a hole in a wall.
  • President Freeman Harbowski was great!
  • I led a meditation workshop, an encore and then helped a few stragglers getting started along the way.
  • A brave African undercover journalist working on exposing corruption in Ghana appeared undercover on the TED stage.
  • Beijing based artist Liu Bolin silently commented on modern sociopolitical conditions by dissolving into his art.
  • Elon Musk of Tesla, PayPal and SpaceX wants us to settle on Mars any time soon and  made an entire rocket return to earth.
  • 14 year old nuclear scientist Tyler Wilson is the youngest person to achieve nuclear fusion.
  • 15 year old inventor Jack Andracka invented a cheaper, more sensitive cancer detector. And it costs only a few bucks.
  • Environmentalist Steward Brand plans to not only bring extinct species back but to restore them to the wild. Say Hello to the woolly Mammoth!
  • LA renegade gardener Ron Finley said, the problem with sustainability is you have to sustain it.
  • Researcher Jim Flynn asked why Western armies march a total of 5 times into Afghanistan, why haven’t they learnt from the previous ones? He also quotes Samuel Johnson, remarriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
  • Belgian scientist Kees Moeliker gave an xxx rated talk about dead ducks. More info available only on request.
  • Orly Wahba talks about acts of kindness and shows a short film, Kindness Boomerang
  • The Eric Whitacre choir closes TED 2013, again, this time with a life choir on stage plus 30 singers from around the world skyped in. Thumbs up to Skype!
  • Dr. Seuss says, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened!”



March 4, 2013Permalink 2 Comments
2 Responses to Back from TEDActive 2013
  1. [...] Pingback: TEDActive 2013 [...]

  2. [...] Pingback: TEDActive 2013 [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>