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Top Places to Watch Great Minds in Action


Back in our copywriter’s class, we were somewhat ‘forced’ by our trainer to explore the world, widen our horizon and broaden our minds. Because a good writer must have good general knowledge, right. Janet made us watch at least 2 videos a week from Ted.com and report it back to her.

Honestly, I had fun. TED.com was inspiring from the most mind-blowing to the most moving presentations/talks by great minds from all over the world.

So. Last week, I was so happy that MASHABLE came up with a list of places to watch great minds in action. I can’t help but share it with you. I hope you’ll like it.

Here it is…

(click on the titles for links)

P/S: Video 7 has an autoplay feature. Just click pause if you decide to watch it later.

1. TED
Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.

Where: Long Beach, California and Oxford, UK (and soon Mysore, India)

What: Founded in 1984 by Richard Saul Wurman, the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference is a now three times per year gathering that brings together some of the world’s most influential and innovative creative thinkers to share, teach, and learn across multiple disciplines.

Why: At the first TED event, the brand new Macintosh computer and Sony compact disc were demoed, and the invite-only conference continues to impress attendees with mind-blowing talks and demos.

2. Gel
Gel (“Good Experience Live”) is a conference and community exploring good experience in all its forms — in business, art, society, technology, and life.

Erin McKean at Gel 2006 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

Where: New York, New York

What: Gel, or the “Good Experience Live,” bills itself as “an eclectic, mind-expanding event that includes presenters from many different disciplines – design, technology, business, and so on – [that] attracts an audience of similar diversity.” The two-day conference has been held every year in New York since 2003 (and once in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2006).

Why: Gel is broken up into two days, each with a different set of events. The first is for direct experiences, workshops, tours, talks, etc. all across New York City. The second is a theater day in which the 600 or so attendees pack an auditorium for a full schedule of enlightening talks from very smart people.

3. Business Innovation Factory
A Community of Innovators Collaborating to Explore and Test Better Ways to Deliver Value.
Where: Providence, Rhode Island

What: Held each year in a theater in downtown Providence, the Business Innovation Factory’s annual Collaborative Innovation Summit is a meeting place for some of the world’s most interesting people. Attendees come together to discuss innovation and share experiences in a small, intimate setting.

Why: To quote TED founder Richard Saul Wurman, who is also a BIF advisor, “The Business Innovation Factor shares my passion for creating experiences that spark intelligent conversations.” The two-day summit BIF holds every year in Rhode Island is packed with such experiences.

4. Pop!Tech
Accelerating the impact of world-changing people and ideas.


@ Yahoo! Video

Where: Camden, Maine

What: Held every year in a quaint seaside village in New England, Pop!Tech attracts 500 visionary thinkers to a restored, 19th-century opera house to talk about “science, technology and the future of ideas.” Pop!Tech attendees are among the best and the brightest in their fields.

Why: The 3-day conference brings together people from “the sciences, technology, business, design, the arts, education, government and culture,” combining films, performances, demos, and talks.

5. BIL
An ad-hoc conference for people changing the world in big ways. It’s a place for passionate people to come together to energize, brainstorm, and take action.

Democratizing the University Innovation Process from Jeriaska on Vimeo.

Where: All over (but there’s one every year wherever TED is being held)

What: BIL, which stands for “Breeding. Impromptu. Luminary.” is an ad-hoc conference for big thinkers that’s held each year in whatever city is hosting TED. BIL originally began as a group of people planning to crash the TED conference in 2007 in Monterey, California (where TED was held back then), but as the group grew, they decided instead to hold their own unconference across the street.

Why: BIL is a conference style more than it is a conference. Like Barcamp, anyone can organize and hold their own BIL conference. So BIL conferences are popping up all over the world as places “for passionate people to come together to energize, brainstorm, and take action.”

6. Big Think
We are a global forum connecting people and ideas.

Where: Online

What: The Big Think is, in their words, “a global online forum connecting people and ideas.” The site offers a platform for connecting and engaging around big ideas and innovative concepts.

Why: The Big Think houses a sizable video library of interviews with some of the world’s brightest and most influential people. The videos are available for free on the site, and serves as a jumping off point for excellent debates and discussion.

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