I should start off by saying ‘long time, no blog’ but that would just be strange. I do write all the time but it’s for my sports blog SidelineSignals.com and soon you will see my stuff on CollegeFootballNews.com. Anyway, this one is about TEDx Mile High 2017 and the things I took away. So yes, it is self centered which is one of the things that disappointed me about TEDx Mile High this past weekend, but on the other end I was exposed to some great speakers and some companies that are truly part of what Steve Case calls ‘The Third Wave.’
TEDx Mile High was two days this year. It was two hours on Friday night and five hours on Saturday but that’s beside the point. The point is that some of the speakers were just fantastic. Theo E.J. Wilson was one of those that was off the charts. He was funny, on point and never lost sight of his message which was to cross the digital divide and get face to face with each other so we can overcome some of this nonsense that we are seeing. One of my favorite lines was that the Internet ‘took demons of our nature and gave them Ferraris’ and another was ‘…if you are white and have a penis… you’re in league with Satan.’ These lines only elevated the point of how we, as a society, have become overly wrapped up in our own personal echo chambers to the point that you have to pretty much do what he did (start a white, right winged Facebook profile) to trick the algorithms and get info outside of your echo chamber just to be able to listen to others who may not agree with you.
Blake Scholl of Boom Supersonic which is based here in Denver was making supersonic air travel affordable and his case was damn compelling. (Quick side note, did you know there is a speed limit for air travel over the continental US? Me neither! ) When the concorde was around we were talking about $20k flights for supersonic travel. With his company, we are looking at $2,500 to $5k which, let’s be honest, is very reasonable for business class/first class when it comes to international travel.
Another company was Dispatch Health. Raise your hand if you like the idea of house calls for the 21st Century? Impressive stuff that if you do the math could give better patient care with lower costs. Hey who doesn’t want that instead of a trip to the ER?
Both Boom Supersonic and Dispatch Health are companies that Steve Case would call part of this ‘Third Wave.’ Companies that are innovative but have to have patience, perseverance and need help to influence/change policy. Think about it, some of the changes proposed or trying to be implemented by the Trump Administration would help companies like these. Now I am not advocating for Trump Administration positions but I think that any administration, republican or democrat, could get behind these companies and what they are trying to do because they are innovative, solve problems and help usher in the next generation of jobs.
Now all of the speakers were not home runs but they never are. Some speakers lost their point by focusing too much on themselves and others were just too nervous. Even some of the ones that I didn’t care for still contributed to an overall idea that took shape during the conference and that is that things can be hard. While this doesn’t sound like a ground breaking message, it kind of is to this younger generation. Things get tough and don’t always go your way despite the fact that you always got a participation trophy. Granted it shouldn’t take a TEDx conference to get this point across when a Winston Churchill quote should suffice, ‘If your going through hell, keep going.’ Regardless, I hope some of the younger folks there took that message to heart.
If you haven’t been to a TED or a TEDx Talk you should go. It will expose you to ideas, positions and thoughts that you may agree or disagree with but in the end will leave you thinking a bit more than you did before. In this day and age I think that’s important and desperately needed.