Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ridin' nerdy at the MIT Media Lab

In Boston for an epic TEDxBeaconStreet adventure and you're coming with! Surprise!

Posted By on Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 4:21 AM

I've landed in Boston for an epic adventure and you're coming with! Surprise!

TEDxBeaconStreet is today and Sunday here in Bean Town so we (Billboard's Katie Morse, who is one of my besties, a bunch of other TEDxers, and I) spent yesterday at nerd mecca, The MIT Media Lab!

I wish we had a spot like this in Charlotte. How could you not? They have life-sized robots!!! Nerdgasms happened. Hell, they might have even been invented there!

I am struggling to capture all of the lab because there was so much to look at and play with so I snapped a bunch of photosynths and videos for your viewing pleasure. The lab is 6 stories tall. Here are panoramas of three of the stories and some video of playing around with tech toys:

This is the tactile media lab where there was this awesome instructional piano:

Then there was this on the wall, I'm not even sure what to call it. The squares don't require any power source, stick to metal walls, and are aware of each other, changing color to the one that is closest when you touch them together:

What a day! I also got to see a very intimate performance to just 40 of us from beatboxer Jflo while we mingled at Towne Stove and Spirits:

So, what's up with me being here, exactly? I'm part of an organizers group of 49 people representing 6 countries and 70+ TEDx cities! If you're not familiar with TED, the technology, entertainment, and design oriented conference centered around sharing of the world's most progressive and innovative ideas of our time, we have a local version of it here in TEDxCharlotte (full disclosure: I am on the steering committee) to get up to speed with. Of the 1,200 attendees expected to be present over the next two days, the 49 of us are the ones flown here as Adventure Catalysts. We're the ones who can create adventures in our cities via our local TEDx and we're here to show the attendees through presentations of our ideas what that looks like. Tomorrow I'll present ideas live for how TEDxCharlotte can make adventures happen in our city! Hope you'll tune in!

Bonus video: I got a chance to sit down with Dick Simon over drinks to talk with him about what it's like being the founder of the YPO Peace Action Network, what he's learned from being a conflict photographer, and what he can share with the world from what he's learned. The man is a successful serial entrepreneur, the Guatemala Honorary Consul and was in Cuba when Hurricane Sandy hit. What perspective! Anyway, here's what he had to say:

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