Rolling your eyes is not allowed at TED. There’s no rule in the conduct policy (I assume, I haven’t actually checked); it’s just one of those powerful unspoken maxims that goes ignored at your peril. When they hand you your TED badge, you’re consenting to check your cynicism at the door.
The TED Conference, which has taken place annually since 1990, was founded on the principle that spreading ideas from passionate people can change the world. This year’s theme is “Bigger Than Us,” which is meant as an acknowledgement of the lasting effects this era will have on the planet and the future of humanity, according to Chris Anderson, head of TED. Experts and enthusiasts will be talking about everything from hunting bacteria in the furthest reaches of the oceans to how to restore the very idea of truth in a post-truth era. All week, I’m going to run from talk to workshop to branded experience (Gatorade personalized sweat reading, anyone?) looking for gems and surprises and mind benders while staying hydrated and keeping an open mind.