One of the reasons I love to watch TED talks is the motivation I get out of them. Those talks come from passionate people who dare to do what many of us are afraid of: living the life of a pioneer. It’s not the innovation of their ideas but what really fascinates me is their strong believe in what they are doing. My favourite example is Lior Zoref. The cool thing about Lior ist that he is just like you and me. An average guy from Israel who had a dream to talk at TED.
Following a dream
When Lior presented his idea to his best friend he told him he had a better chance of winning the lottery than talking at TED. But Lior was not discouraged at all. He wanted to talk about crowd wisdom, a topic he had been deeply passionate about. Instead of creating his talk alone he asked his Facebook friends how they would explain the idea of crowd wisdom. A sixteen-year-old boy made a very interesting suggestion. He told Lior the story about an ox.
An ox on stage
One hundred years ago at a market in the United Kingdom people would guess the weight of an ox. Nobody was able to guess the exact weight. But when the people collected all their guesses and added them together, the average was the exact weight of the ox. And there it was! The basis of the wisdom of crowds explained in a way everyone would understand it. Lior was so excited about the ox-story that he decided he would want a real ox to perform the experiment once more on the stage of TED. The people from TED loved the idea and the rest is history.
The wisdom of friends
Lior Zoref wrote the first ever crowd-sourced TED talk. He uploaded it to Wikipedia, where hundreds of people improved it. Using his social networks Lior was able to present the best ideas and knowledge of his friends. The idea of wisdom of crowds does not only apply to research and academic talks but to our every day life. If you think about it there are so many situations where you could benifit from the power of your social networks. Last winter just before I went to NYC I asked my Facebook friends to post some songs so I would not get bored on my flight. After a couple of minutes I had an awesome playlist and still enough time to pack my suitcase. I’m sure you can think of similar experiences!
One thing I like to keep in mind is that social networks are not just about sharing but about thinking together! If we do this we can get a lot more out of social media than mere entertainment. Because as Lior put it: “Great minds think alike, clever minds think together.”