The pound-for-pound talent tonnage of TEDsters boggles the mind. It is absolutely the thing that makes the TED community so incandescent, as well as so humbling and deeply neat-o to be a part of. So it is no small thing to aim this talent at very real problems with the goal of emerging from the gathering with ideas worth doing, as is happening this year for the first time with TEDActive Projects.
No doubt that some wonderfully innovative approaches will surface. The question that has us nibbling our nails is how they will translate into action.
One way is through the use of a very new, very beta platform called IfWeRanTheWorld, the brain/love child of Cindy Gallop (of MakeLoveNotPorn fame). IfWeRanTheWorld is an online platform that is designed to power real-world action. It makes it very easy for good & talented people to work together to achieve a common goal – be it host a dodgeball tournament or expand an urban community farm program or only eat cupcakes with lots of icing. Microactions are the coin of this realm – they are small, eminently doable tasks that, when added together, make things happen.
On IfWeRanTheWorld, you are what you do – it is where you ‘walk’ your social media ‘talk’. If Facebook is the social graph and Twitter the interest graph, then IfWeRanTheWorld is the action graph.
Here’s how it works:
- Bring your project, talent, inspiration and good intentions to ifwerantheworld.com
- Answer the question, “If I ran the world, I would….”.
- Join forces with other people working on similar things by picking up & doing their microactions.
- Accelerate action by suggesting microactions, and inviting your network to act with you by sharing through Facebook, Twitter, you name it.
- Start an actionplatform (or project) to make something happen on your own.
(if you prefer pictures over words, here is the how-it-works video)
How it might work for TEDActive Projects
The thought for TEDActive Projects is this: Some project teams might publish their solutions as microactions, inviting the wider TED community (and beyond) to do them, report back, & collaborate. Other project teams might use microactions to invite outside insight and expertise on their topic area. Still other project teams might blow our doors off by using microactions in a totally new way.
It feels appropriate to the theme of wonder and the spirit of experimentation that we don’t know exactly how people will make use of IfWeRanTheWorld. For me, though, it just makes it that much more exciting.
That said, I’ll be on hand at TEDActive to help the project teams do their voodoo. If you are interested in IfWeRanTheWorld (or scotch, or experience design as seduction, or comic books), then look for a girl with long blonde & blue hair wearing epic but foolishly high-heels. That’ll be me.
The magnificent shot of Cindy (above) is by Jon Bauer, who says he is ‘mostly doing this stuff for fun’ but who is extraordinary & should be mostly doing this stuff period.