TEDx WindyCity 2013

I attended my first TEDx two weeks ago. The theme for TEDx WindyCity 2013 (videos) was contrast. If you’re in Chicago the next TEDx, TEDxDePaulU 2013, will be held at on April 6th. The theme for this TEDx is Creators & Curators. Chicago is also lucky enough to be hosting TEDx Midwest on May 2–4.

I highly recommend finding a TEDx event that you can attend. TEDx events do a great job posting all the talks online, but attending forces you to be exposed to a range of talks that you wouldn’t watch online. When browsing online there is a tendency to just pick and choose TED talks we think we’ll find interesting. At an event you get exposed all the event’s content. I saw some great talks I probably wouldn’t have watch online.

My favorite talks were “Shape Your Thinking” by Brandy Agerbeck and “Take the Red Pill” by Glenn Kelman.

Shape Your Thinking

Brandy explains how some people process information auditory-sequential and other process it visual-spatial. Of coarse there are some of us that do both. A lot of the tools she uses to facilitate discussion are very similar to the methods interaction designers use to facilitate design thinking.

Brandy talks about five steps to processing information visually.

  1. Chunk: Break apart important ideas and concepts on post-its or index cards
  2. Sort/Group: Put together the ideas/concepts that are similar
  3. Connect: Diagram how groups of ideas are interconnected or how they flow into each other
  4. Scale: Use size to show importance or priority
  5. Grasp: Discuss and fiddle with the artifacts to find insight

The next important bit she talks about was making sure that participants are comfortable with sharing. The key is to create an environment that is safe to express ideas and to keep people focused on the substance of ideas not the style of their sketches or notes.

Take the Red Pill

Glenn Kelman talks how he believes that we should try use software to effect the real world. I’d love to see more software companies trying to affect the physical world.

Photos From TEDx WindyCity

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