Planet TEDx

TED was one of the world’s most elite gatherings. Then they franchised it to everyone, for free. How TEDx is flooding the globe with big ideas.
  1. One afternoon this past spring, at the public library on Main Street in Bozeman, Montana, I sat in a room with 10 or so other people and watched a video projected on a screen. It was a TED Talk: a speech given the previous March at the annual TED conference in Long Beach, California, and then posted to the organization’s website,

    In the video, Eric Whitacre, a classical composer and conductor with blond surfer-dude hair, describes an online experiment he’d recently carried out. He posted the sheet music for one of his popular choral works, as well as a video of him conducting the work as a piano played along. Then he invited singers around the globe to perform their parts—soprano, alto, tenor, bass—in front of their own webcams. After hundreds of people responded with videos, Whitacre arranged them into a simulation of a real-life choir, with himself in front conducting. While showing this odd choral facsimile to the TED crowd, Whitacre explains that he was “moved to tears...

The complete text of “Planet TEDx” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on

Originally published in Wired, November 2012

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