This past weekend I attended a viewing party for TEDx Manhattan – Changing the Way We Eat, which was put on by The Foodshed (an awesome local website / group which supports local agriculture). I’ve been huge fan of TED for several years now but this was my first opportunity to watch a livestream with a group context, with individuals who were looking to be inspired and who want to work towards changing the way we eat. I was not disappointed.
Take away what is by default awesome about TED (incredible speakers with inspirational messages and amazing ideas)… and you’re still left with something remarkable. Our party was one of over 135 viewing parties around the world who were simultaneously taking in TEDx Manhattan. Throw in all of the people watching the livestream on their computers at home, and all those who were exposed to those messages in real-time via social media. It scales pretty quickly.
What amazes me is the velocity at which these ideas and experiences can be shared by people all around the world in real-time. We’re hundreds and in many cases thousands of miles apart, but are all sharing the experience. It can be digested, remixed, re-uploaded, amended and shared again in so many forms of media which hopefully will inspire people to act to bring about change on a large scale on issues ranging from sustainable agriculture to factory farms.
We’ve seen this in Egypt and Tunisia. Now I’m not giving credit to Facebook and Twitter to for starting the revolution – but they were without a doubt the conduit with which people could spread ideas at the speed of light, organize, and get their message out to people around the world. A way for us all to share their experience. I also believe that the speed at which these ideas and movements spread really helped to minimize casualties and violence in Egypt. Speed and communication was everything. And because of this communication, ordinary Egyptians were able to bring down a government that had been in power for 30 years in – about 18 days.
Always remember that these tools work just as well for micro movements as they do for major movements. Are you ideas, content, and brand messages easily shareable? More importantly, are they worthy of being shared?
Speaking of sharable ideas – here’s one talk that was shown during TEDx Manhattan that I especially liked: