Saturday, March 15, 2014

TED 2014: Vancouver hosts 30th edition featuring Bill & Melinda Gates, Chris Hadfield, Sting

Orbis World Globe at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Photo by Sue Frause.

TED, the global non-profit devoted to "ideas worth spreading," is moving its annual conference from Long Beach, California to Vancouver, British Columbia for its 30th anniversary. That's really big news for Vancouver, which will welcome speakers and attendees from around the world March 17-21, 2014. This is a new chapter for TED (which stands for technology, entertainment and design), and a real coup for Vancouver. It beat out 30 other North American cities to host TED, which will draw more than 1,200 of the world's thought-leaders for four days of talks, seminars and events. TED will be held at the waterfront Vancouver Convention Centre, built in 2010 for the Olympic Winter Games, while TEDActive (the live simulcast) will take place concurrently in Whistler. 

Looking across Burrard Inlet from the Vancouver Convention Centre to the North Shore Mountains.
Photo by Sue Frause.
Here's an explanation from TED Curator Chris Anderson on why TED relocated to Vancouver: "It is truly one of the world's great cities, not just because of its beauty, but because it is walkable and forward thinking, bursting with innovation. And there is this commitment to really try and figure out sustainability."
The Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Photo by Sue Frause.

Among the 70 featured speakers at the sold-out event are philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, novelist Isabel Allende, gun law activitists Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, musician Imogen Heap, street artist JR, athlete and actor Aimee Mullins, conversationalist Charlie Rose, architect Moshe Safdie, writer Andrew Solomon, and musician and activist Sting. The 18-minute talks and presentations will range from technology, entertainment, design and education to climate change, architecture, music, physics, parenting, typography and fireflies.

A view of Coal Harbour from Jack Poole Plaza. Photo by Sue Frause.

So where will the "TED-sters" hang out? According to Tourism Vancouver, here's their best guess for where speakers and attendees might be seen around the city:
  • Eat ~ Top restaurants such as Hawksworth, Miku, Blue Water Cafe, Market by Jean Georges and Tojo's.
  • Drink ~ Hip Gastown cocktail and wine bars such as Pourhouse, The Diamond and Salt Tasting Room. 
  • Shop ~ Holt Renfrew, Secret Location, Alberni Street (Chanel-Tiffany-Louis Vuitton-Tory Burch-Burberry), Gastown (indy boutiques-designers).
  • Sleep ~ Fairmont Pacific Rim, Fairmont Waterfront and Pan Pacific are all across from the Vancouver Convention Centre. TED's website says their other partner hotels include the Marriott Pinnacle and Le Soleil.

The theme of TED 2014 is The Next Chapter. TED 2015,Truth & Dare, will also be held in Vancouver. Dates are March 16-20, and the price to attend is $8,500.

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