It was equal parts inspiration, intelligence and Austinness at TEDxAustin this past Saturday. Over 500 attendees gathered in the Austin Music Hall for the 2nd annual, local continuation of the TED conference. Focusing on the theme of Right Now, the day was all about actionable, big ideas that the community can take part in.
The Lab: Going along with the TED mantra of “Ideas Worth Spreading,” we designed 5 3-D thought bubbles as an art installation for the TED X-Lab. Working with Austin’s very own Blue Genie to bring these massive thought bubbles to life, we documented their technically-refined artistic process for everyone to see. At the event, we showcased our 6 feet massive thought bubbles, along with a touch screen recapping the building process and details about each piece. The thought bubbles are back at GSD&M and will be hung in our halls soon to inspire more big ideas that drive our agency. You can see the building video and learn about the thought bubbles here.
The Talks: Each speaker brought exceptional perspective to the stage, covering topics like synthetic biology, zen psychotherapy and the global marketplace. The opening talk from Sunny Vanderbeck struck a chord with me. It was a call for companies to practice “Conscious Capitalism,” citing examples like Southwest that provide enduring value for customers, employees and all other stakeholders. Companies that reinforce this type of social responsibility and purpose have a true competitive advantage and the happiest customers. The talks that followed Sunny’s kept up the same momentum, with thought-provoking and inspiring ideas until the very end.
The Community: All of the attendees I encountered at TEDxAustin were passionate about the environment, art and technology, working at the forefront for change in Austin. This video created for the event by One Year Study and Public School summed why we were all there, “Expectations run high for Austin as the place to be, to start and to do. Fueled by possibility and optimism, we are a city where ideas take shape. Momentum takes hold and together we shrink the space between action and actuality. We are at the heart of it all. We are at the start of it all. Right now. ”
Special thanks to the TEDxAustin crew for bringing together such an inspiring group of speakers and attendees. We were honored to be a part of it and can’t wait for the next one.