Need your help achieving my dream

ted_logo Sure this dream is not really on a par with Martin Luther King Jr. or anything, but it’s still a dream.

I really want to get to a TED Conference in person.  I mentioned this here and here.

Yes, I know this is totally out of my league, and yet I also know that this is something that will be life changing for me and overall a good idea.

Here is the why something like TED is a uniquely good idea for me

  • I love looking at things in a new way — most things I’ve seen recently that have really gotten me thinking have been from TED
  • I love the energy and thinking I do at conferences.  There is something in the process that really works for me.  I get most all my big ideas at conferences and it’s almost always the sum of a lot of little inputs vs. just one talk or presentation or person
  • I love learning new stuff — I really thrive on gathering new ideas, facts, etc
  • I use what I learn in action-oriented, creative ways.  I make connections others don’t and use those connections to do something specific, concrete and useful.
  • I share what I learn.  I blog it, I talk about it I send emails that simultaneously blow peoples minds and bore them to tears.

Sure, all the above bullets probably cement my brand as a geek but I’m no longer in middle school and I think being a geek is cool.

Here’s what I’m not

Particularly well connected in a way that would get me to TED and I’m also not the best essay writer.

Here’s what I’ve done.

  1. Joined the Online Community
  2. Started following the TED twitter accounts here and here
  3. Subscribed to the blog
  4. Printed out the application and freaked out
  5. Targeted the TedActive conference since a) it’s still open for 2010 registration and b) I suspect it’s a little more open to “unknowns”

Here’s what I need

  1. Some good suggestions on how to best “stand out” with the questions below
  2. Ideas on things I could do in addition to the list above
  3. Someone(s) to review my profile and give me ideas to make it better, especially looking for things I’ve left off
  4. An idea on how to pick references (I need two).   What kind of references would appeal to the people deciding Ted attendance?

Here is the application questions (remember I want suggestions that are true about me, I’m not looking for textbook perfect answers or anything just better ways to describe me)

  1. If a friend were to describe your accomplishments in up to three sentences what would s/he say?
  2. What other achievements would you like to share?
  3. What are you passionate about (work, creative output, issues, communities…)
  4. What do we need to know about you that we didn’t ask?
  5. (Optional) Can you share a memorable anecdote from your life that will give us a further sense of what makes you tick?

Thanks in advance for helping with Team Meg!  Direct email responses are also welcome.

7 thoughts on “Need your help achieving my dream

  1. Meg, you are a woman who understands the intersection of technology, work, and human resources. You are passionate about making work better. You are a woman, a mentor, and a mother who shows other women that it’s okay to embrace technology. You are not scared easily.

    If Ted doesn’t want you as an attendee, they are nuts.

  2. It can’t be that all their applicants are people like Al Gore and Tony Robbins. I think they select people who will be excited about attending. For #5 I keep thinking of that crazy swingset you used to have in your living room… didn’t you learn something really important from that about technology and people? 😉 And as for #3, I’m thinking that’s the one that’ll get you in. That’s what you’ve been thinking and writing so passionately about all this time, you just need to pare it down to a few key sentences about building communities and team you and all that good stuff. Finally, a blogger friend of mine in Sweden went, you might drop in on her blog and ask her how she got in:

  3. Oh, one more thing occurs – the main TED theme seems to be about improving lives. You should definitely talk about that in your answers. You can bring in your experience with this blog and trying to help people be better people managers. OK, it not be an ocean of pure drinking water in a little aspirin sized capsule that can be used to terraform Mars but blogs like this do reach out and help improve people’s lives. I’d pick you. I mean, right after the terraforming guy. 😉

  4. @Laurie you take my breath away
    @Working Girl – wow! next to Terraforming guy — that’s going on my list of accomplishments this year for sure!!

    @All. You will be happy to know I’ve secured 2 references who actually know me (and agreed to be a reference!). One who is both a neighbor and a prior TED attendee (w00t!). I have also conscripted some editing services to review my application draft. I plan to submit on friday, wish me luck!

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