Pretty extraordinary bunch of folks here at TED 2012, as always.
I especially liked today the diversity of topics including Susan Cain extolling the importance of introverts and their contribution to the world.
The pretend Dinner Party which was an effort to shake up the usual format did not work so well...but it was great to see Chris Anderson, TED's Curator, once again pushing the envelope in trying new approaches, new ideas. TED never fails to surprise.
Perhaps best of all was the face off between Paul Gilding, who argued passionately for the importance of understanding that the fragile earth is indeed in peril and we need to take action now--much like mobilizing for war-- and Peter Diamandis, whose optimistic presentation argued that we brilliant human beings will find a way out of is mess and the doomsayers will be proven wrong. Chris asked us to vote on which side has it right...and the audience was evenly divided. I am stained from voting because I feel it is wrong headed to think these views are mutually exclusive. Instead, we should treat it like the Y2K scare. Remember that? When people felt the world would come crashing down at the turn of the century because computers had not provided for the millennial change of date? My view is that because people hollered DOOM, others got cracking and after lots of money was spent, avoided the predicted mess entirely. But only because people got worried enough to put extraordinary effort to work to prevent the predicted digital meltdown.
As usual, TED providing the fodder for debates that will live well beyond the conference.