Who is Going to Save the World? Frankly, I don’t know and I guess you don’t either. At this point. But in the late afternoon, early evening of December 6, 2010, - and this is the magic of TED and its local versions TEDx- the audience of TEDxBrussels 2010, will return home with answers which are meaningful. And these answers will have been construed by each of them differently.
That is how TED differs from any other conference where conventionally the audience is guided from a tunneling vision to a reality that is unfolded top-down as a Grand Narrative.
TED is different. The question makes the audience socially construct the story in a collaborative way. During the day sometimes spontaneously, “TED moments” of deep emotion emerge which rush through the audience and produce a real transformative event. In fact when the audience goes home, they are the story, or rather one of the thousands of micronarratives or a wiki-like socionarrative. The “ideas worth spreading” become part of their meme pool.
D & G (Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, not Dolce& Gabbana) would have called TED a plateau. A plateau is reached when circumstances combine to bring an activity to a pitch of intensity that is not automatically dissipated in a climax. The heightening of energies is sustained long enough to leave a kind of afterimage of its dynamism that can be reactivated or injected into other activities.
TEDxBrussels is a Nomad war machine. “What new thoughts does it make the audience possible to think? ” And so, on December 6, 2010...
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings."
Lewis Carroll (1872),"The Walrus and the Carpenter", in Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, (Everyman’s Library, 1992).