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TEDwomen, global

I spent about two hours at UVic this afternoon, where the Washington DC-based TEDwomen sessions were being live-streamed. I came in for Session 2: Life’s Symphony, featuring (among others) Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook); Mona Eltahawy (journalist); Tony Porter (educator); and Lauren Zalaznick (television exec).

I was fortunate to have heard about the live-cast (via a friend), and that was evident when I got to UVic. Some of the attendees (mostly women) had been there for Session 1; I arrived right at the break, about 10 or 15 minutes before Session 2. As we waited for it to start, one of the organizers noted that we were a lucky bunch to be privy to the simulcast … since it wasn’t publicly advertised.

Given that there were only about a dozen people in a room that could easily hold about sixty, I really couldn’t understand why the event wasn’t publicly advertised…

At one point, the DC event cut to a map of all the locations, globally, where TEDwomen was being simulcast, and via the magic of simulcasting and Skype, we “visited” the group located in Mexico. Its audience seemed a lot bigger than ours; they had strung up a banner, and were holding a parallel mini-TEDx conference of their own during breaks in the DC simulcast. They had made a big, decidedly public event out of this – I just had to wonder why our Victoria BC session was so private.

I don’t know… I dropped in late, I probably missed something.

But it reminded me of too much in Victoria – taking “it’s on a need-to-know basis” to a whole new level… #dislike

I’m sorry I failed to take notes – there was lots of good stuff.

The picture, above, is of Lauren Zalaznick, whose riveting analysis of TV-watching habits correlated to social trends (in cynicism or judgementalism or optimism or…) was eye-opening. From what I recall: we have so much in common with animals, except this – humans love to watch, whereas other animals don’t have that voyeurism fetish. From that core insight, Zalaznick looked at what we watch (hint, TV), and then extrapolated social trends. She matched these up with TV trends, and made the argument that TV is our “conscience”… Really looking forwarded to getting my hands on an archive broadcast of her talk, and the others, too.

I signed up for another session tomorrow, but I don’t think I’ll take the time out to attend. It’s a hassle to free up the time, and if I’m going to do that, it has to be better than bowling alone.

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