Liz’s Notebook
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TED Session 9: Natasha Tsakos, Evan Williams

The theme is GROW.

1. Natasha Tsakos, performance artist

My favorite language is science. Theater transforms senses and opens the door to imagination. And our ability to imagine makes us explorers.

Up Wake — demonstration of show — hero is businessman named “Zero.” Performed in a stage with three walls, she is the only actor but interacts with animations on the walls, perfectly choreographed.

2. Evan Williams, Twitter CEO

We didn’t anticipate the other uses that would evolve from this simple system — giving people ways to share information.

Taco truck that Twitters its location — gets lines around the block.

Users invented syntax to reply to users — we didn’t build it into the system until popular. Other third-party development based on API. Summize did Twitter search — we liked this so much we bought the company.

3. Christen Sussin, comedian

First rule of improv: say yes
Second rule of improv: and

Eye contact, listening closely

4. David Merrill, entrepreneur (and student of Pattie Maes)

What if when we use the computer, we could reach in with both hands, and grasp information physically, and interact with it.

Siftables: blocks you can shift around that are aware of motion and of each other.

5. Joel Fried

Talks about breaking up of his marriage of 33 years.

6. Rosamund Zander, therapist and coach

We grow older, but will we ever grow up. No official guidance after we officially come of age — so all we really know is to refine our game plan and get more control.

7. Dickson Despommier, high-rise farmer

Vertical farms advantages: restoration of damaged ecosystems, use 70% less water than traditional, no crop loss due to sever weather, year-round crop production, no agricultural runoff.

8. AnnMarie Thomas

Figuring out ways to make engineering fun. Class about dynamics. Their lab is full of trapezes and trampolines — looks like Cirque du Soleil.

9. Willie Smits, conservationist

Has lived in Indonesia for last 30 years, forester by profession. Incredible story of revitalizing land/plants/animals/community. Lots of slides and pictures! Very well received.


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