A whirl­wind that is TEDAct­ive 2014

Shar­en Scott, our Pro­duc­tion Man­ager, atten­ded TEDAct­ive 2014 for the first time this year. Here’s a slice of her exper­i­ences from a jam-packed week of activ­it­ies.

Vancouver Convention Centre


As the Pro­duc­tion Man­ager for TEDx­Can­ber­ra, I con­sider myself for­tu­nate to be involved in a very diverse and eclectic com­munity who con­trib­ute a lot to the world. Earli­er this year I went to Canada to dis­cov­er more of TED and its com­munity. TEDAct­ive 2014 star­ted before it star­ted. On Sat­urday 15 March, the May­or of Van­couver unveiled the art install­a­tion on the Van­couver Water­front, Unnumbered Sparks, cre­ated by TED speak­er, Janet Echel­man. The tem­por­ary sculp­ture com­bines tech­no­logy and tra­di­tion­al craft, that allows people to use a phone to draw lines, water drop rings, webs and squiggles across the spec­trum of col­ours.

Day 0

Sunday, also known as Day 0, star­ted early at the Van­couver Con­ven­tion Centre, where the organ­isers of TED provided TEDx organ­isers with a behind the scenes tour of their new home.

The next chapter

After this, we headed off to Grouse Moun­tain for a TEDx organ­isers gath­er­ing filled with Deep Dive ses­sions – a strategy of immers­ing a team rap­idly into a situ­ation in order to provide solu­tions or cre­ate ideas.

Deep Dive session

Plus some fun time activ­it­ies in the snow.

TEDx in the snow

Day 1

Whist­ler – get­ting to know you: our gen­er­ous and gra­cious hosts for the week, Kelly Sto­et­zel and Rives, intro­duced attendees to what would be our home for the next activ­ity-packed week.

Kelly and Rives

That even­ing at the Squam­ish Lil’ wat Cul­tur­al Centre wel­come func­tion, I was provided the oppor­tun­ity to reunite with former TEDx­Can­ber­ra Exec­ut­ive Pro­du­cer, Naomi Wynn, who is now immersed in the world of TEDx­Tokyo.

Naomi and Sharen

Day 2

TEDAct­ive Design Stu­dio: TED Fel­low Jimmy Lin set a design chal­lenge for the TEDAct­ive attendees to get involved in. This was to find a way to Get the right inform­a­tion, options and care at the right time at scale for can­cer patients and their med­ic­al pro­vider. This involved identi­fy­ing a solu­tion that lever­ages tech­no­logy, sys­tems and treat­ments, that exist or will be avail­able with­in the next 18 months. We gathered togeth­er and worked through a vari­ety of feas­ible options for Jimmy to take away and imple­ment through the Rare Gen­om­ics Insti­tute.

Jimmy and Sharen

Day 3

Among­st the hive of activ­ity and fast pace that was set for the week, TED Ed provided an Anim­a­tion Sta­tion for attendees to exper­i­ment with and cre­ate stop motion movies.

TED Ed Animation Station

We were set loose on Whist­ler Vil­lage with the oppor­tun­ity to under­take self guided exper­i­ences. This included vis­it­ing loc­al snow­board and ski maker, Pri­or.

Prior ski and snowboards

Fol­lowed by a stop at Purebread, a loc­al fam­ily-based bakery, who opened their doors and insights to us, in addi­tion to provid­ing some won­der­ful baked delights. They chal­lenge them­selves by ensur­ing the menu con­stantly changes so that their cus­tom­ers are always pleas­antly sur­prised by what’s on the shelves for the day.


Day 4

Day four of the con­fer­ence included lunch and a Q&A ses­sion with TED Prize 2014 Win­ner, Charmi­an Gooch.

Charmian Gooch

In the even­ing we took a gon­dola ride to the top of Whist­ler Moun­tain.

Whistler Mountain

… and were sur­prised with a vis­it from Aman­da Palmer and Neil Gaiman, who treated us to an unre­hearsed even­ing of song and stor­ies.

Amanda Palmer

Neil Gaiman

Day 5

The last day of the con­fer­ence seemed to appear from nowhere, as we headed into the TEDAct­ive Action Lab for some final pro­jects.

Action Lab

Fol­lowed by the TEDAct­ive 2014 Farewell Func­tion to say thank you to our hosts, Kelly and Rives, and “see you next year” to our exist­ing and new-found friends.

Farewell Function

This is only a very small win­dow into what is a week full of activ­it­ies, con­nect­ing and pro­jects, that also include 12 ses­sions of TED Talks.

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