Post by Rob Minton
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If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already heard that I attended the Ted 2009 conference last week in California. I can honestly say that it was the best conference I've ever been to and I've been to a lot of conferences.
This conference was different because it wasn't about business. It wasn't about marketing. It wasn't even about sales or entrepreneurship. It was about sharing ideas that can change the world. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It started in 1984 and has evolved into a large group of people who want to add value to our world. From the TED website:
"We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building a clearing house that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."
They invite 50 though provoking speakers and challenge them to make the speech of their lives. The speakers ranged from Bill Gates discussing his charitable foundation to Lina Maria Klingwall, who was born with no arms and only one full leg.
Bill Gates shares some of the challenges they face in reducing the number of life threatening illnesses and in improving the educational system throughout the United States. His presentation was so good that I've included it for you here:
I still think about the one question he asked in this presentation every single day:
"How do you make a teacher great?"
I've reformatted this question several times as follows:
- How do you make a parent great?
- How do you make a family great?
- How do you make a make a school great?
- How do you make a country great?
- How do you make a business great?
- How do you make a team great?
Notice that these questions have nothing to do with money? They have everything to do with seeing the world differently and challenging yourself to make it better. This was life changing for me.
Or think about Lina Maria Klingvall and imagine what life would be without arms or as she calls says living "Hands-Free." She is an amazing person and I was so inspired by her. Through fierce determination she became a gold medal swimmer, a singing star, a painter and a writer. She has accomplished more with her challenges than most people with two arms and both legs have in their entire life times. Think about what really is possible in life after considering her story.
I encourage you to take some time out of your busy schedule and watch some of the fantastic presentations at Ted.com. They are free and might just change your life, too!