Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

The All New TED@State

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 3 2009

Like dogs and cats living together, my friends. Like dogs and cats living together. The State Department has announced that it will be importing a bit of West Coast thinking to Washington DC, hosting a two-hour session of TED talks right there in Foggy Bottom at 2:30pm ET today. The State Department, which has appeared eager to innovate since the start of the Obama Administration, says this afternoon's session marks the first government-sponsored TED talks in the history of the republic. Officially, today's event -- featuring the likes of Hans Rosling, Stewart Brand, Clay Shirky, and other big thinkers -- is being hosted by the State Department's Global Partnership Center, which is the wing of the department responsible for forging public-private partnerships. From the State Department press release announcing what it's calling "TED@State":

On June 3, 2009, the Global Partnership Initiative will host TED@State, the first U.S. Government-sponsored Technology, Entertainment, Design, or TED, event in Dean Acheson Auditorium from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The TED@State speakers will be as follows: social-media analyst Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody; philanthropist Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the Acumen Fund; futurist Stewart Brand, author of the Whole Earth Catalog; economist Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion; and data visionary Hans Rosling, Karolinska Institutet Professor of International Health. Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, the Department of State's Special Representative for Global Partnerships, will introduce the speakers, and Chris Anderson, Curator of TED, will moderate a question and answer session.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched the Global Partnership Initiative on April 22, 2009 at the Global Philanthropy Forum. The initiative seeks to establish public-private partnerships with foundations, businesses, non-governmental organizations, universities, and faith communities. As the first major event under this initiative, the Special Representative for Global Partnerships is proud to welcome the TED program and these visionaries to the Department of State.

If you're unfamiliar with the main TED event, it's an annual invitation-only conference held out in California. (The name "TED" is an acronym drawn from "Technology, Entertainment, Design.") Think Davos for the slightly geekier, more futuristic, and more tech-driven set. By rough shorthand, whereas Davos is focused on people and power, TED prides itself on being a chance for innovative thinkers to grow and share ideas.

Archived video of the event will be posted on TED.com, though no word on when. For a preview of what they'll be watching at the State Department this afternoon, above is a talk that Brand gave at a TED gone by on taking a long view of history.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Mugs

No surprise here, but email list open rates are down; the real reason campaigns want to send you a free bumper sticker; Hillary Clinton wasn't alone in dodging inquiries from the House Oversight Committee about private email accounts; organizing opt-outs from high-stakes testing on Facebook; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Edges

Let the White House know what you think about the new homepage; why Democrats need a competitive primary to maintain their edge in political tech; California Highway Patrol reminded to not talk about how they track political protesters on social media; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Anomalies

Rallying uncommitted voters under a centrist umbrella; a defense of aggregation for a positive-sum Internet; UK says no to ban on killer robots; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: In It To Win It

Hillary Clinton's updated Twitter bio; lots of election data-porn, if you're into that kind of thing; the debate over digital keys and backdoors; protests by hologram; and much, much more. GO

More