Mark Fidelman, Contributor 6/19/12
Watch any TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) video and you’re most certainly met with an intellectual adrenaline rush, like the feeling that rips through you after a significant accomplishment. Except this time, the thrill is triggered by the imagination and not the act. How TED and its TEDx licensees manage to consistently produce that effect on people, is one of the many intriguing things I learned after talking to TED’s leader Chris Anderson and researching the TEDx phenomenon.
You might think their success has to do with the quality of the speakers, and that’s partially true, but the main reason extends much deeper. It includes a certain X factor that you never see on camera or while sitting back in the auditorium. For me the ‘x’ factor in TEDx truly are the organizers. For TED, it’s Anderson and his team. TED and TEDx make their events interesting because the Organizers are interesting. They select interesting themes, interesting speakers and interesting audiences (more on that later).
The difference between TED and TEDx events are that the former takes more of a global approach while the latter typically focuses on a local community that concentrates on local voices. “Officially, the ‘x’ in TEDx stands for independently organized TED event – but it’s more of a TED multiplied. It’s been the force that has taken TED across the planet and seeded all of these communities. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Anderson explains, “and I’m absolutely in awe of that.”