Ideas Worth Spreading

I broke from the norm and the cold yesterday afternoon to huddle with one hundred or so New Yorkers at TEDxSiliconAlley and wanted to keep spreading some of the interesting ideas that came up during the talks.

I can’t possibly recap it all but there were some ideas that centered around some of my favorite topics: conscious consumption or re-consumerism, pop-up shopping, live media, and the growing need for excellent UXD in industrial design to make sense of our data-rich daily lives. Some personal highlights that were scribbled in my Moleskine:

Max Hoat, CEO of Livestream talked about the potential democratization of media when people can broadcast the world around them to the rest of the world, with timely examples from Occupy Wall Street and some staggering viewership metrics. I couldn’t help but get flashbacks of sitting in rooms many years ago with AOL Community leader Bill Schreiner and AOL News head Lewis DVorkin in Dulles, talking about the possibilities in aligning “citizen journalism,” video and chat — the tools and tech simply wasn’t pervasive enough back then, and where it did exist it was cumbersome. It was amazing to see how easy Livestream is making the process of broadcast media for millions of users. 

While I’m on the subject of applications rapidly shifting from cumbersome to pervasive, GoldRun’s  Vivian Rosenthal gave a compelling talk about how Augmented Reality is set to enhance the way we navigate the world: how we shop, how we spend, how we connect. TheNextWeb has a full write-up worth checking out. 

The charming and brilliant Reality Architect Tish Shute talked about how she’s translating her experience developing motion control, robotics, and special effects for film and television into this brave, exciting new world of visual data design and interaction. 

IMB’s Jack Mason talked about coFarming and The Garden City, showing how urban farms are not only transforming the landscape in some of America’s most-dense metropolitan areas but how they’re generating new jobs and opportunities for a whole supply chain of innovators and entrepreneurs. I hadn’t ever heard of StockBox (a pop-up green grocer) or Holton Farms (who tapped into the food truck trend to bring fresh veggies to inner cities). Way cool. 


Gavin Becker talked about his forthcoming social network of things, Bondsy, where people can share previously loved things and stuff with other people who might love them too. LOVE this concept and can’t wait to see when it goes live. 

Chris Grayson and team put together a fantastic line-up of speakers and I felt so lucky to be in this city, so diverse, and so inspiring. But TED serves to remind me that people are doing cool stuff everywhere. If you get the chance to attend a TEDx in your town, I highly encourage you to bunk off work (if needs be) and spend a day getting inspired. 

  1. gigidowns posted this