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UW’s TEDxChange event is the largest in the world

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Bright and early on Monday, Sept. 20, the UW was changing the world—again.

The UW’s Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) hosted a satellite event at Kane Hall for The Gates Foundation’s breakthrough TEDxChange: The Future We Make, a worldwide forum designed to generate discussion and review the eight Millennium Development Goals set by the UN in 2000. It also assessed how close we are as a global community to achieving the goals by the 2015 deadline.

The main event was held in New York City and featured Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates as the keynote speaker. A live feed broadcast the event to the world and more than 70 locations from Singapore to Sao Paulo hosted satellite events—the UW’s being the largest of them all. Watch the webcast here.

I have been to a couple of TEDx events this past year and both have slapped me silly with feelings of deep empowerment—to make change, to go further, to ask the tough questions. These are quickly replacing concerts and Husky games as my favorite events. There is something absolutely magical about them, and the UW was a gracious host for this special event. Attendees arrived early for a networking breakfast and were treated to a warm introduction from UW alum Bill Gates Sr.

Melinda Gates captured our attention with a stirring speech on the role of marketing in global health. She asked, “What can we learn from Coca-Cola?” and the answer, of course, is a lot. Just think about how ubiquitous Coke is across the globe. It’s everywhere. Now imagine, she said, what that kind of marketing could do for access to preventative medicines and many other concerns.

Additional speakers included Graça Machel, a women’s rights advocate from Mozambique and former wife of Nelson Mandela; Mechai Viravaidya, known affectionately in Thailand as “Mr. Condom” for the incredible work he has done there in slowing the AIDS epidemic; and Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor of international health and all-around showstopper who proved there is power in numbers.

The UW is proud to have played a part in TEDxChange. Here are a few links if you are interested in learning more:

Video courtesy of The Gates Foundation.

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4 Responses to “UW’s TEDxChange event is the largest in the world”

  1. Gates Keeper wrote:
    September 23, 2010

    Er, isn’t the point of having the video on line so that we can watch it whenever we like instead of only ‘live’? What is the advantage of a large crowd watching it live? Are they going out to change the world immediately after watching it or can that wait a day? http://gateskeepers.civiblog.org

    • Derek Belt wrote:
      September 23, 2010

      I just added another link to view the webcast. It’s also the first bullet item toward the bottom of the post. You can watch it whenever you like via the Gates Foundation site. As for the advantage of watching TEDxChange live with a large group, it was all about the community. Both before and after, attendees discussed the Millenium Development Goals and shared stories, thoughts and opinions on the current state and future of these important global health initiatives. Melinda said the purpose of TEDxChange was to spark discussion, and that is exactly what it did Monday at the UW. I found it very rewarding and well worth my morning.

      • Gates Keepers wrote:
        September 24, 2010

        Thanks, Derek. You’ve sidestepped my question by explaining why you see an advantage in watching Melinda AS A GROUP though my question asked what advantage there was in watching her LIVE. TED is not like baseball or football. Or is it? Gates Keepers http://gateskeepers.civiblog.org

        • Derek Belt wrote:
          September 24, 2010

          For me, it was about the moment. Just knowing there were thousands of people all around the world, in more than 70 locations and at all hours of the day (it was morning in Seattle and nighttime in Australia, for example) that really made you feel like you were a part of something big. It made you feel like what we were talking about mattered, that the world was paying attention. I considered it a statement of support, and it was a lot of fun. Good question. Thanks for checking in.

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