Don’t get me wrong here.While I do work in the social sciences (Knowledge Management), I am starting to wonder about the validity of groups or conferences such as TED. While there is a positive synergy that can come from these networking events, the exclusiveness and somewhat pompous ‘membership’ requirements as I see it drifts away from the idea of an ordinary person being a ‘hero’. If that was the case, why is there such an economic burden to the ‘ordinary’ person to participate.
Are the members of this group only there because they are not known of by many and feel they must pay ‘dues’ to be recognized by the world? Granted, there have been some that are well known but have been invited to participate. I have not seen people that are considered ‘ordinary’ or ‘common’ participate or even indirectly contribute to the effort.
A group of people slowly gather at the cocktail party and talk about world issues of every kind and how they see it, how technology can solve them, how entertainment can amuse them, and how designing the ultimate doohicky can package them. They are then ushered into a room with several large flat screen TV and a program starts. Many people are singularly presenting the woes of the world and solutions that call for the one world movement to occur. They applaud each other and pat each other on the back for a ‘job well done’. There is another cocktail party and they all go home. They go home and continue the same elitist patterns of espousing ideals to solve the world problems….Oddly, the problems remain, the elitists remain and things move along time. This is my view of TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) and what really never happens… true solutions that can be implemented to actually serve society not for society to serve as fodder to the elitists.
Oh, I forgot…for only $995 you ( and ten close friends )can become Associate Members of TED and get all sorts of goody bags full of dumpster stuffers that will be out of style the time the next TED conference comes together. And the ‘closed circuit’ access to the live ( you can’t touch the real gods and goddesses of world solutions, they might bleed and show they are only humans) conference some where in the campy part of the world far away from the problems that are to be solved.
So, What I propose is OPIS (Ordinary People Innovation Solutions). Using the Internet as the virtual meeting place to hold conferences on how the people involved would solve the problems. But this is absurd! Imagine people actually having ideas that can be implemented that not only solve the problems but to grow a sustainable community solution without government or outside elitist intervention.