A long, exciting day that I won’t try to capture in full. Some quick notes, after hearing loads of great talks.
First, and of course, stories, stories, stories, every time. This is how we process information, this is how we stay engaged as an audience, this is how we connect.
But what I saw more of today than I expected was that nearly all the speakers who connected with the audience used either humor or poignancy, with humor winning out as the most common and effective way to connect (probably because poignancy is harder to create). I want to spend more time thinking about humor, how to use it the right way, and how and whether anyone who wants to be a good public speaker can learn from stand-up comics.
My list of memorable people/talks from today:
- Dan Barber, chef at Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, got a deserved standing ovation for his fabulous talk about a fish farm in southern Spain that is the future of sustainable food.
- Jamie Oliver, another chef, made a hugely compelling case for the urgency of fighting obesity, and his TED2010 wish is to attack this problem (one stat: 10% of US healthcare spending is on obesity-related illness – $150 billion / year)
- Jake Shimabukuro wowed everyone with his virtuoso ukulele playing (Sheryl Crow was incredible too, but it’s not like that’s some big discovery I’m sharing)
- William Li gave us all hope about the power of angiogenesis (blood supply to cancerous tumors) as the future for fighting cancer (and gave a list of foods with antiangiogenic foods we should all eat more of)
- And Tom Wujec cracked me up with his data that shows that for a design challenge involving dried pasta and a marshmallow – with the goal of building the highest tower – recent MBA grads fare the worst, and do much more poorly than kindergartners (I can’t find the link)