I’ve attended TDC every year since its inception, and I’m always left with a strange mixture of emotions once it ends. I feel dizzied by the onboarding of so many new ideas, inspired by the amazing people I’ve met, slightly deflated by comparing myself to their awesomeness; but mainly challenged – to try and convert this amazing experience into something that makes me and the world around me a little bit better.
Key to this is finding an effective way to record and express the many ideas, perceptions, facts and stories that I really want to retain and use from the conference. I therefore set myself the constraints of a a simple A-Z list, and here we are:
A: Attention – @WilsoRob proposed that today we are not short of data, we are short of human attention.
B: Bletchley Park – we need to preserve and celebrate our past in order to inspire our future, as beautifully demonstrated by @dr_black.
C: Constraints are needed for creativity said @aza – they improve the scope of our perceptual and conceptual thinking.
D: DEO – Design Executive Officers are needed, suggested @mgiudice, to place design at the centre of business decisions.
E: Every country, no planes – an amazing account of what can be achieved through focus, dedication and bloody hard work, even if you ignore the usual paths like @everycountry.
F: Fear – @ihrobertson told us that the fear of being socially rated is the biggest source of human stress, so well done again to all the speakers:)
G: Gender Equality – TDC has a decent ratio of male: female speakers and delegates, but @maggiephilbin told us that only 8 out of 300 students at her last TeenTech event drew a scientist/ technologist as a woman.
H: Hope. With 15 year olds curing cancer, historical places, species and machines being rescued from extinction, and educators seeking new ways to inspire the next generation, surely our future is full of hope.
I: Inside the right box – this is where we need to be thinking in order to come up with creative, effective design. Awesome insight from @aza again.
J: Journalism is now about analysing conversations to find and verify meaningful content. Amazing demonstration of right place, right time from @markham.
K: Kick the ball. Wise words from @EddieObeng – don’t drag kids away from their ball to do maths. Let them kick the ball, achieve mastery – then to the maths when they’re full of energy and confidence!
L: Little slices of life – how @derekscobie described You Tube. And his advice – don’t try to invent the trends; identify and respond to them.
M: Minimally invasive education: ‘I don’t know, and I’ve got to go’ – empowering words from @Sugatam.
N: Naked. What our old friend @tomscott will be if he carries on burning his clothes like that!
O: Oslo – home of the awesome train ticket machine that made @aral feel like a superhero, not a baby! The power of great design:)
P: Pancreatic Cancer – 100% survival rate now possible thanks to a 15 year old guy who didn’t know what a pancreas was. Anything is possible with the internet according to @JackAndraka.
Q: Question. We must make sure we ask the right question if we want to get meaningful answers. A theme throughout the conference.
R: Record. @daveerasmus of Givey asked us to press the record button during the special moments in our lives. We must realise the value these hold before it’s too late.
S: Schizophonia – @juliantreasure told us how headphones are leading to a disconnect between what we see and what we hear. Slippy slope…
T: Time Travel – is what most people do when they leave their well-connected homes and travel to work. Why? asked @eddieobeng.
U: User Experience – We need to think outside the screen implored @aral – user experience is your business plan.
V: Viewpoints – we need to absorb multiple viewpoints on our world in order to learn effectively – as shown by @dragonsinger57‘s crowdsourced homework marking.
W: What if our phones didn’t like us any more? Thought-provoking look at humanity through the eyes of a robot from @ArEbEnTweet.
X: Xenagogue. Ha – thought you had me on ‘X’ didn’t you! A xenagogue is apparently a guide – one who helps people through unknown places. I’d say @herbkim has done this pretty nicely for TDC – big thanks!
Y: Y-axis. So diverse was TDC that the various y-axes on show were used to record everything from computer sales, to learning speeds, to volume of tweets, to locations of news stories. Pretty impressive.
Z: Zeal – the ‘enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance.’ (Wordnik). I would say that every single speaker, and most of the delegates at #tdc13 were brimming with zeal, and I for one feel all the better for being a part of.
Thanks to everyone for making such an amazing alphabet of awesomeness. (Aliteration, so must be true).
But for now, it’s bedtime.