TEDxBuffalo 2011: The Videos

We’re excited to finally be able to share with you our dozen speakers from the inaugural TEDxBuffalo event on Oct. 11, 2011, along with the TED Talks we screened that day in the Montante Cultural Center at Canisius College.

Here’s a YouTube playlist with all our talks, arranged in chronological order. We’re working on getting up video from our wonderful performers: Alfred Brown and Ken Keech (a.k.a. “The Crowd-Surfing Lobster”). We also have a photo collection on Flickr, shot by the excellent Scott Freeman, and a Storify stream that captured a lot of the TEDxBuffalo 2011 social web activity.

Want to preview them or watch them all in a row? The entire playlist is embedded below, with one video following the next. Click to play the video, then switch between talks by clicking the tile-ish icon to the left of the closed captioning (cc) button. Below that, find the TED talks shown to our live audience.







Thanks again to our generous speakers and performers.

“Wow, It Happened, Right?” (TEDxBuffalo 2011 Is a Wrap)

Ethan Cox of Community Beer Works, opening the day at TEDxBuffalo 2011

If it was any other conference, there wouldn’t have been a beer on stage at just after 9 a.m. There might never have been a chance to consider the ties between a grandfather’s plastic-covered furniture and a grandson’s creative firm, or between Anne Frank and Meryl Streep and the Rwandan genocide. And a dozen other speakers and performers, and more than 100 audience members and hundreds more watching online, could never have seen a man in a lobster suit pull off a stage dive.

But that’s why the volunteer organizers, speakers, performers, and sponsors behind TEDxBuffalo chose to put on a conference under the banner of TED and its independently organized TEDx events. We wanted to see what happened when you put a bunch of intriguing ideas from many different communities together on one stage, on one day, as a free, not-for-profit conference.

It’s safe to say that most people who saw our first-ever event on Oct. 11, 2011 came away with some new ideas. Pretty soon, we’ll post videos of all our talks and performances, with the goal of spreading those ideas much further.

Update: Videos from TEDxBuffalo 2011 are now posted.

The TEDxBuffalo team had about five months to plan this first conference, starting with a dozen people gathered around a plastic card table. It put a real strain at times on some rather busy people. And not everything went perfectly at showtime (sorry about the lunch lines and live feed outages, folks). But volunteers gave their all, speakers and performers gave their time and talent, and everything, for the most part, worked out.

We’re eager to gather up some feedback, assess our hits and misses, and, after a bit of a sabbatical, start on a 2012 event. For now, we’d like to share some of the photos and web’s responses to TEDxBuffalo 2011.

First up, photos from that day at the Montante Cultural Center, shot by Scott Freeman:

Next, a curated Storify stream of the immediate Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube responses to the event (in rough reverse-chronological order):


Update: Embedded below is our playlist for TEDxBuffalo 2011, containing all of that day’s talks. Click to start playing, then, click the tiled screen icon (to the left of the closed caption/cc button) to choose between talks (or cherry-pick videos from the full list).

Finally, you can peek at the archives of our Ustream output for that day—incomplete and unedited, but a good idea of what viewers are remote sites were seeing.

Thanks to everyone who made TEDxBuffalo 2011 an unforgettable day full of memorable ideas.

TEDxBuffalo 2011: The FAQ

Pete Herr, testing out the stage

I have no idea what TEDxBuffalo is. Can you give it to me in three sentences?

TED is a global conference and successful web video series, where speakers from lots of different professions and passions have 18 minutes each to promote “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TEDx events are TED-licensed, independent, generally smaller-scale versions of TED conferences, but with the same basic purpose and ground rules. TEDxBuffalo is the first of those “mini-TEDs” to launch in Buffalo, NY.

Yeah, but I’ve never heard of TED.

You might have without knowing it, actually–videos from TED’s conferences, and TEDx events, have spread around the web and YouTube in particular, and in the type of email forwards with “Amazing!” in the subject. But to get you up to speed: TED is where you could see Al Gore in 2006 previewing his message on climate change, soon to arrive in the documentary hit An Inconvenient Truth. It’s where you could watch Bill Gates release mosquitoes on his audience to make a point about malaria prevention. And it’s where acclaimed British chef Jamie Oliver made a wish to teach more children about food, which he’s been doing ever since.

Who’s speaking at TEDxBuffalo?

These fine folks, whom you can learn more about by clicking on their names. They come from a variety of professions, organizations, and interests, and we’re really lucky to have them sharing their ideas.

Well, cool! Where can I buy a ticket for the Buffalo TEDx event?

The TED-granted license for TEDxBuffalo prevents us from inviting more than 100 people to attend our event, and charging for tickets is strongly discouraged. So we’ve tried to pick out around 100 people that we think will really get something out of the day’s presentations, and who will benefit from, and hopefully act on, the ideas that come out of it.

Huh. So how did you choose who was invited to TEDxBuffalo?

I know, right? It’s a tough thing when you can only invite 100 people to an event that aims to hit so many different topics and ideas. And many organizers were averse to the apply-and-accept process, because of the negative nature of turning perhaps hundreds of people down, as well as experiences from an earlier attempt at a TEDx event in Buffalo.

So we tried to pick people that were, in the style of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, mavens, connectors, or salespeople. We also had to accept the reality of fitting an all-day conference on a Tuesday into busy schedules. Expect to see a different, and probably improved, attendance process next year.

Note, though, that we’re giving away some tickets in a contest, and some of our friends and sponsors might have a few tickets to spare, too. Get the jump on it by following our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or watch this site’s blog.

So 100 or so people get to hear these ideas, but the rest of us can’t?

No way. We’re going to stream our event live on the web, as it happens, on Oct. 11, and you can watch it by heading to our web site from almost any browser (iPad/smartphone nerds: we’re streaming through Ustream, so grab an app to watch it almost anywhere). If you’re working that day and your boss isn’t so hip, or if you otherwise miss the show, don’t worry–all the speakers and presenters from this event will be up on our web site semi-soon after the event, and all our videos will be delivered to TED itself for archiving (and consideration for wider posting and exposure).

Shorter version: The only difference between you and an official TEDxBuffalo attendee is that attendees get a free tote bag, a free taco or pork sandwich, a more high-definition view of the stage, and the chance to meet their (fairly cool) fellow attendees.

What if I want to get together with a small group and watch the live stream?

That would be entirely acceptable, and awesome. In fact, we’ve set up “Satellite Parties” at four locations around Buffalo, where you’ll have a screen-and-projector setup, a seat, likely a desk if you need to work, some snacks, and possibly a few TEDx goodies:

  • Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus: In the Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY, on the fourth-floor Vera View Conference Room (Details and Facebook RSVP)
  • Main Washington Exchange: at 523 Main St., in the second-floor coworking space. (Details and Facebook RSVP)
  • Sugar City: Collaborative arts space, 19 Wadsworth St., Buffalo, NY. (Web page).
  • University at Buffalo Honors College: In 109 Capen Hall, open to all students. (Web post).

I want to catch (Speaker X) more than anything. When can I see them on the live stream?

We’ve got our full schedule up. Expect a few shifts and changes, as with any live event, but that’s the basic layout for the day.

Wait, back up–Tacos? Pork sandwiches?

Yep. Lunch is being served in tandem by Lloyd Taco Truck & Catering and the Whole Hog Food Truck. They are awesome businesses that are trying something new in Buffalo, and everyone should try them both, at least once.

Who’s paying for this? Who put this together?

TEDxBuffalo is the product of a group of dedicated volunteers, some very kind sponsors, and speakers and performers willing to put themselves out there.

If I did get an invite to TEDxBuffalo, where do I go, and where do I park?

We’ve got parking details, directions, and other details on our when/where page.

How can I get involved in TEDxBuffalo 2012?

Stay tuned. The volunteers are going to take a much-needed break after Oct. 11, but we’ll start the early steps of organizing 2012 before 2012.