One question brought 3500 Vancouverites from all walks of life together on a rainy day. The tone in Roger’s Arena morphed from captive to zen to electric depending on the speaker and the message. Technology provided an interactive component to solicit opinions of the group, artist renditions accompanying performances, illustrations of speaker’s points and the opportunity to tweet(#TEDxVan) and show that history can be interesting with Sam Sullivan’s videos.
Seemingly millions of muffins and baristas who took the time to create patterns in the complimentary foam for our complimentary espresso added to a feeling of generosity. I am a person who talks to strangers. Often this looks like polite conversation and polite smiles. Yesterday people were looking to engage in a conversation. The guys @Red_Act wanted to discuss the connection between the face recognition technology and the unique music for each face. The girls at the Lululemon pop-up shop wanted to talk about their collaborations with young and talented Vancouver designers. Everyone wanted to talk about the speaker who resonated with them. Some of the speakers like hung around to engage in these conversations after leaving the big stage.
The theme of identity was a great pick. It brought together a diverse array of speakers who might not be part of everyone’s circle of friends and a range of topics that might not being discussed with such candor. Ideas that I have theoretically embraced from a human rights standpoint all the sudden were graced with the understanding that comes with genuine empathy. The power of questions and open conversation was palpable. En route home, it spilled out into the city. We stopped at the Zend Lounge because it was one of the TEDxVancouver sponsors. The conversation about the day and the ideas continued with the general manager, waiters and the people sitting beside us. The question WHO ARE YOU? Obviously one worth considering.