Last year when we organized TEDxBrussels we reflected on its mission. Was the intention really to ‘play’ TED, but locally, with less resources and fewer audience, lower-scale and with less interesting, -perhaps only on a local level- speakers? We decided that this could not be what TED really wanted. We decided to make a TEDx that was bigger than the normal TEDs (TED Long Beach, TED Global), a 12-hour event that could even have been produced by TED itself and to invite international speakers from all over the world, because after all, this was Brussels, the city where the EU is cared for in its kintergarten phase. Brussels was in constant evolution itself. And evolution is the greatest show on earth: in order for TED to remain original, it needs to evolve.
The principles of Darwinism are simple:
1. Aggregate complexity 2. Negotiate variation 3. Select the traits 4. Replicate
Hundreds of TEDxs all over the world aggregate the rich complexity. These local conferences are often less mainstream, more avant-garde, progressive, cutting-edge than the TED’s. But their new ideas are tested out on a large audience, where TED can scout for new blood. Last year at TEDGlobal two speakers from TEDxBrussels were scouted: Conrad Wolfram and David McCandless. In that way we, @ TEDxBrussels contributed to the ongoing innovation of TED. That’s the mission.