If ever there were a time when the observations and insight of the TED Talk family of presenters were needed by a public in search of answers and assistance, this was unmistakably one of them.
The challenge of providing programming for which a hunkered-down society in isolation was thirsting for content, was met head on by TEDxSanDiego, a group cast entirely from volunteers willing to lend the collective benefit of their expertise gathered, and ideas began to take shape: a virtual event, with unprecedented scope in the TEDxSanDiego world. The event spanned four evenings in August, providing a forum for an amazing panel of presenters and entertainers.
From Monday, August 10, through Thursday, August 13, everyone with the desire to participate was able to hear one speaker each night deliver a presentation relevant to the prevailing social climate. Each presentation was preceded by a musical interlude and followed by a question/answer session with the questions provided exclusively by the viewers.
A $20 ticket covered all four nights, and, recognizing the financial constraints that have been common during this time of economic uncertainty, organizers were sure to provide complimentary admission to anyone needing it. “These issues are too important,” explained TEDxSanDiego Organizer Jack Abbott, “to allow financial considerations to become a barrier to participation for anyone desiring to join us.”
In the end, nearly 1,000 participants from 16 countries spanning the globe joined this unique and rewarding event. The response was overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive. Abbott credits the efforts of his volunteer staff for the ultimate success of the event. “Events such as this are simply not possible without the involvement of our volunteers. Their willingness to invest their time and energy and considerable talents is absolutely critical to our work. It’s what allows us to provide such high quality programming to our community. It’s what made this event such a great success.”
Two members of that group, Magali Ambrosi and Alexandra Steinhaus, a student and alumna, respectively, of the Kroc School’s MA in Social Innovation (MASI) program at the University of San Diego, recently contributed an article on the USD News Center website detailing their experiences and impressions of their work on the event and the messages they gleaned from the presenters.
Talk and performances from the event are now live: