Monday, July 11, 2011

Ever Wondered What You Might Discover in a Great Conference Gift Bag?

Well here’s what I found at TEDActive 2011: The Rediscovery of Wonder. It was heavy to carry home, but worth the weight! And I think there is some interesting gift bag inspiration for others of us in the future.

Of practical use during (and after) the event:
- A special limited edition design JAMBOX wireless speaker + speakerphone by Jawbone: a small packaged hi-fi streaming wireless audio from any Bluetooth device, OR a scooter for speeding around the spreading hotel venue (these were the gifts of fame this year!)
- A ceramic Bento Box for healthy meals on the move, away from home - ‘Box Appetit’, by
- A re-usable water bottle from (with info on refill stations in the venue)
- A drip coffee bag of very freshly roasted from Hebo Coffee Ltd. (
- A little book from the to guide attendees’ coffee experiences
- Two bags: A unique bag created from a billboard by - turning unsustainable waste into sustainable good AND a sturdy travel bag from
- A compact LED flashlight from (especially useful for the desert party)
- An Action Journal from Behance (

Interesting conversation-starters:
- Full colour attendees brochure with portraits and “three things to talk with me about”
- A publication featuring the amazing stories of the 2011 Long Beach TED Fellows
- A mini-publication of photos compiled from TEDx events across the globe in 2011
- Necklaces from women in Kaolack, Senegal
- A peaceBOMB bracelet - made from fragments of bombs - supporting artisan families, community development, and clearance of unexploded ordnance from farmland and forests in Laos ( and
- A $100 philanthropic gift card underwritten by REDU for use supporting a classroom project of choice from online charity

Reading material to keep up the (re)discovery post-TED:
- A special TEDGlobal issue of “Design Mind” - the award-winning publication of global innovation firm frog design - entitled “And Now the Good News”
- Seth Godin’s latest book: Poke the Box
- Trois Couleurs Special Issue: JR 2001-2011, A Retrospective
- ‘Imagine, Design, Create: How Designers, Architects and Engineers are Changing the World’ edited by Tom Wujec
- A TEDBooks Gift Card courtesy of for use via

Further learning opportunities and brain exercises:
- Research credit to Frost & Sullivan ( for your choice of ‘The Visionary Membership’, ‘The Growth Partnership Service’ or ‘The Top 20 Mega Trends Study’
- A free LivingHome Feasibility Analysis or one-hour environmental design consultation to help you assess how to lower your ecological footprint for an existing home or office (
- A subscription to - online software training videos
- The Unit One version of the Rosetta Stone solution (language of choice)
- One month tuition-free access to the Rouxbe Cooking School (
- A year’s subscription to MAKE: technology on your time (
- Two A-ha! Brainteasers of choice from

For the journey home and to share with others:
- Complementary wifi session from your return journey - courtesy of Delta Air Lines
- Free Personal Travel Planning Package from JetSetter
- A Blu-ray of Pixar’s latest film, Toy Story 3
- The feature film ‘Waiting for “Superman”’ - from the Director of An Inconvenient Truth - looking at education in the United States (DVD)
- CD of the Venezuelan clarinet of Alcides Rodriguez
- In support of Sylvia Earle’s TED wish - Drivers of Change: Oceans - cards to share with your community and help shape a better world (
- A page of Seed Paper from to plant when back home, mixing 100% post consumer content with their custom wildflower mix.

I’m keen to learn what Gillian’s going to come home with next week after her time at TEDGlobal!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

TEDGlobal: On My Way!

Oh, it's been busy busy busy, but for a week, time with stop, and I will paddle around with some 700 other people in a veritable sea of "ideas worth spreading" at the TEDGlobal Conference next week in Edinburgh.

I have done the suggested prep - I noted and contacted my Top 10 TEDGlobal attendees (TED uses a "secret" algorhythm to generate that.) They all have something in common with me - either the key words they picked, their profiles etc.

I have updated my own profile, so that other attendees get the latest info about me. I packed my business cards which have different images reflecting the different kinds of work I do, so I can customise the image for the people I meet (See: Make Your Business Cards Moo). I have a thick notebook, and rain gear.

I even re-read my last year's blog post on How to Go To TED, and am always very happy when I re-use my learning. I also tidied up my TweetDeck columns so I can follow the #TEDGlobal tag, and use it to find people and keep up with what's going on onsite. This year, however, TED tells us that people using smartphones and laptops must sit in the back rows of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre where the main stage is located.

TED is known for bringing to the stage people with remarkable ideas, who are not always household names (yet). On the agenda this year are Malcomb Gladwell (writer), Alain de Botton (philosopher), and Thandie Newton (actor), among many others - see the speaker list here.  And there is normally a secret guest - last year it was WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, this year it could be anyone...

I have not been able to entirely clear my calendar for the week, although that is highly recommended by the TED organizers. But I do have a set of connecting questions I would like to ask the people I will meet there, bringing together my world and the eclectic TED world. For example, how can other learning events have similar pull power that people will actually prepare for them? What are some of the features that make an event so exciting that people will update their profile before they go?  TED has a lot of "pull" power, and although I can guess some of it, I have my own reasons, and it would be interesting to hear from others what makes them so eager to come for this learning extravaganza...

I will do my best to blog and Tweet, but will probably do it at night, as I can't see myself in the back rows at such an exciting event!