TEDGLOBAL / WHERE IDEAS MEET & MATE

Fresh from Oxford, Contagious’ co-founder Paul Kemp-Robertson offers his perspective on the world’s most intense conference experience…

It’s not always easy being an Adland native in the crowd at a TED conference. If you haven’t saved the world or don’t own enough liquid capital to die trying, then the whoops that greeted this jibe from economist Tim Jackson can make you feel like a dumb jock who’s accidentally stumbled into the Chess Club Christmas party.

But maybe that’s just my insecurity and the nagging suspicion that my soul has been stress-fractured thanks to 20 years of commentating on the mechanics of mass consumption. When the biggest task you’ve recently completed is a speech on ‘advertising as a conversation’ and you’re suddenly surrounded by AIDS activists, women’s rights campaigners, MIT brainboxes and people who’ve spent their retirement fund building an eco-school in the middle of a jungle, it’s hard not to feel just a teeny bit marginalised and shallow. But then, I guess, such abrupt introspection is actually part of the value of TED. The compressed intellectual energy of the 18-minute speeches certainly dragged this editor out of his corporate cocoon and berated and beguiled him in equal measure.


‘We spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t care about.’

Fresh from Oxford, Contagious’ co-founder Paul Kemp-Robertson offers his perspective on the world’s most intense conference experience…

It’s not always easy being an Adland native in the crowd at a TED conference. If you haven’t saved the world or don’t own enough liquid capital to die trying, then the whoops that greeted this jibe from economist Tim Jackson can make you feel like a dumb jock who’s accidentally stumbled into the Chess Club Christmas party.

But maybe that’s just my insecurity and the nagging suspicion that my soul has been stress-fractured thanks to 20 years of commentating on the mechanics of mass consumption. When the biggest task you’ve recently completed is a speech on ‘advertising as a conversation’ and you’re suddenly surrounded by AIDS activists, women’s rights campaigners, MIT brainboxes and people who’ve spent their retirement fund building an eco-school in the middle of a jungle, it’s hard not to feel just a teeny bit marginalised and shallow. But then, I guess, such abrupt introspection is actually part of the value of TED. The compressed intellectual energy of the 18-minute speeches certainly dragged this editor out of his corporate cocoon and berated and beguiled him in equal measure. Leer más “TEDGLOBAL / WHERE IDEAS MEET & MATE”