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October 27, 2011

TEDxLosGatosKudos to Jonathan Knowles, with help from Jennifer Turner, for organizing an outrageously successful, interesting and first ever TEDx event in Los Gatos. It took place last night at the historic Opera House to a full house (perhaps 250 people?). This was a free event, as is always the case with TED.

Many of the speakers were local and presented live, but in addition there were video clips ranging from fun to serious, but all of them attention-getting.

So what was it all about? That’s what Jim and I were wondering before we headed there. Curiosity, plus an enjoyment of TED videos I’d seen online, made me what to give it a spin. TED’s website says that it provides “Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world” or in short “ideas worth spreading“. There’s not a central theme or desired outcome other than getting people to think, process some new ideas, and (one would hope) later act on them.

TEDx events are independently organized TED events. The locally presented TEDx get togethers utilize the TED format, some material, but they are more grass-roots oriented with a lot of presentations being from folks nearby.

And that’s exactly what we had last night. There were 4 videos (some from a few years back) and the rest were all local, live presenters.

Topics ranged from lighthearted (a video of a parrot conversing with its trainer) to artistic (music and visual arts) to scientific and sociological. For many of us, it was a first taste of TED that didn’t come to us on our computers. It was nice to have the experience and also to share it with so many people that we know – or at least recognise from around town.

All around, it was a fun and informative evening. I’m looking forward to the next one.