5 March 2007

Where artists and inventors plot to save the world [The New York Times]

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Chris Anderson
An article by Saul Hansell in The New York Times provides a good insight into the socially responsible direction Chris Anderson is taking the famous TED conference.

“The art being discussed is likely to be photography of genocide victims; the architecture, environmentally sustainable AIDS clinics; and the technology, water-purification systems.”

Anderson, a wealthy former magazine publisher of British origin who founded Business 2.0, the Internet-age business magazine, took over the TED conference from its founder, Richard Saul Wurman, and “absolutely, completely, totally believes that those three days at TED can change the world” [these are the words of Steve Rosenbaum, a longtime TED participant and the chief executive of Magnify Media, a Web video company].

[TED gave me] “a sense of possibility, that people can reach beyond where they are and do things that are surprising,” says Anderson.

Nice is that edited highlights from the conference presentations, called TED Talks, are available to watch online or to download for free – sponsored by BMW. And this after the BBC called the event “too intellectual”.

“So far the talks have been viewed 5.5 million times by 2 million people.”

Now they are creating — guess what — “a social networking system that will seek to be a sort of MySpace for the change-the-world crowd.”

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