Saturday, July 25, 2009

TED Global and Oxford Locals

Around lunchtime on Tuesday, whilst waiting with my shopping bags for the No. 6 bus in Magdalen Street, I saw a queue snaking its way around the bus stop, round the corner, all the way to the Oxford Playhouse. It was not hard to discover what this way about: some large name badges indicated this was the start of TED Global, a conference on 'Technology, Entertainment, Design.' I hope I don't stereotype it by saying that it sounded very Californian, but as I overheard people introduce themselves in the queue, the first place I heard mention was San Francisco.

It ran until yesterday (July 24th). On BBC Radio Oxford, Bill Heine mentioned it briefly in the evening after it had closed, wondering what it was about, and a journalist duly informed him of its broad and inspirational vision. Then it occurred to me that to really share the TED vision, next time they run it here they should have an outdoor session in which they hire the market area in Gloucester Green and engage people outside the theatre/college boxes. All the presenters could have their own stall; there'd probably be room for others. Oxford is very culturally diverse, I'm sure there'd be fruitful encounters and not a little serendipidity. :-)