Asghar Syed, Partnership Director @ TEDxJacksonville, writes about his recent trip to Vancouver for TEDActive. An insightful piece with cool pics of the facilities and surrounding area.
What was it like to attend TEDActive 2014? In a word: Energizing! Yes, you get to watch great talks and meet interesting people, but there’s more to it. It’s easy to forget on a day-to-day basis how hard your fellow man is working to eradicate disease, educate kids, and develop the means to harness clean fusion energy. TEDActive is an opportunity to be steeped, for an entire week, not in problems or stresses but in solutions and possibilities. I came away believing that I can, and should, and will take on the world.
Three members from the TEDxJacksonville team attended TEDActive this year: Doug Coleman, our organizer; my wife Sabeen, TEDxJacksonville’s co-organizer and executive producer; and me. I do partnerships and a little bit of everything else with TEDxJacksonville. TEDActive is a sister conference to TED. While TED was held in Vancouver, TEDActive was held 90 minutes away in Whistler, British Colombia. We opted to attend TEDActive because it’s geared towards TEDx organizers like ourselves.
Left to right: Sabeen, Doug and Asghar
Our week started with a tour of the waterfront Vancouver Convention Center where we saw some incredible TED exhibits and a state of the art studio that the city of Vancouver had just completed for TED. This space was among the many perks that Vancouver used to entice TED to relocate from Long Beach, California.
We then headed to the ‘peak chalet’ atop nearby Grouse Mountain to participate in organizer workshops and to get to know our fellow attendees. We had great food, great conversations, and poached lots of ideas from fellow TEDx organizers. For instance, at our salon events, we work hard to get conversations going about issues that are important in Jacksonville. We brainstormed ways to capture and preserve those conversations in a way that we can build on the discussions and engage a broader community. An organizer from Australia suggested that we try the storify platform so we’re hoping to try it out in upcoming salons.
On Monday morning, our team took a break from TED to ski the magnificent Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. It was sunny, we had several feet of fresh power, and I got to ski Peak to Creek, the longest intermediate trail in North America. Enough said.