Follow Friday: Idea Exchange

February 12, 2010

Back in my college days, one of my favorite memories was walking out of a class feeling enlightened.  You know, the feeling of having that a-ha moment.  I still remember a media studies lecture which explored small group behavior through the characters in the movie The Poseidon Adventure. That lecture was both profound and incredibly entertaining.  Today, I can proudly admit that I am an idea geek. While I am no longer in school, the internet provides us with many places we can exchange ideas.

One such place is at TED.  While TED originally stood for technology, entertainment and design, their focus has evolved to “ideas worth spreading.” For me, the TED site makes me feel like a kid in a candy store and it allows me to have those a-ha moments over and over again.

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the TEDx Windy City event, which explored the theme of creative convergence.  I went into the event incredibly tired after a day of painting, but walked out feeling energized and enlightened.

I particularly enjoyed Donald Marinelli’s lecture about blending theater and craftsmanship with computers and technology.  Marinelli, from Carnegie Mellon University, worked closely with the late Randy Pausch.  While his presentation was delivered via Skype due to weather-related travel problems, Marinelli’s entertaining delivery held everyone’s attention.

Other speakers included Dawn Hancock, creative director and owner of Firebelly Design and Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables.  Both Hancock and Kaplan, through their example, challenged all of us in the audience to explore our passions and follow our bliss.

If there happens to be a TED event in your area, I invite you to check it out.  Or visit the official TED site.

Another place that I like to visit for some great ideas is ChangeThis, a site loaded with numerous PDFs and manifestos.  According to their site, ChangeThis is “on an important mission to spread ideas and change minds.” On it you’ll find downloadable documents from great thinkers such as Seth Godin, Sally Hogshead, Jonathan Fields and Keith Ferazzi to name just a few.

I really enjoy how ChangeThis gives everyone the opportunity to spread a great idea or find out about new ideas.  Some recent topics include How to Read a Business BookThe Myth of Overnight Success, Seven Ways to Reinvent Yourself or the Need to Remember Our Aging Veterans. I know I’ve downloaded my share of manifestos over the years.

If you think you have a great idea or if you’re curious about other great ideas, please visit ChangeThis…who knows, maybe it will change you.

Have a great weekend!

1 Lori February 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

This is GREAT, Tim! I’m an enthusiastic TED supporter — I’ve been transfixed by so many of the presentations via TED, and I also subscribe to the TED blog (updates).

I think Elizabeth Gilbert delivered one of my favorite TED lectures, actually, about inspiration and the concept of the muse.

Thanks for posting about this. I also learned something new in regards to ChangeThis. I’m intrigued! Now I’m off to go visit the site.

Have a lovely weekend, Tim. Hope all is well on your side of the globe.

2 Tim February 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Hi Lori: I’m with you on TED, it is a great source of ideas. In addition to the very cool Elizabeth Gilbert TED video you mention, I keep hearing about the Ken Robinson video about whether our education system stifles creativity in kids. An interesting thought. I also hope you’ll find some good stuff over at ChangeThis. I have a folder of saved PDFs from their site that I had to organize. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts…I hope you have a great weekend, as well!

3 Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord February 13, 2010 at 8:06 pm

That’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing links to everything. I’m going to bookmark ChangeThis tonight — I’m sure I’ll have a lot of great reading on my hands in the very near future!

4 Tim February 14, 2010 at 8:27 am

Hi Megan: Good to hear you haven’t heard about this yet. There’s some very intriguing stuff in there and it’s good to know that anyone can submit a manifesto to their already impressive list.

5 marty February 15, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Hi Tim,

I really liked this blog post. It really put words to what has been going on in my head. I am very inspired by good ideas that work, and loved the resources you have provided.

I’ll be back for sure.



6 Tim February 16, 2010 at 8:33 am

Hi Marty: I’m glad you enjoyed…I know there is certainly a lot of places out there for great ideas, but these are two that I think can make a difference for a lot of people. Good luck on putting some of these to work for you.

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