A lot has been written about the recently adjourned Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Conference, but I wanted to put in my two cents from the perspective of one of the younger social entrepreneurs. (Check out Arianna Huffington's notes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/notes-from-ted-can-simpli_b_457709.html)
This year, I selfishly looked forward to TED as a surreal, almost dream-like experience that is a welcome change of pace from my daily activities at VeeV Spirits. Yes, açaí is considered cutting-edge in the food and beverage (alcohol) industry and being socially responsible is perhaps even more cutting-edge. However, we're talking about a whole different definition of the word cutting-edge when it comes to TED: from robots performing surgery in place of doctors to imagining a world without cancer and beyond.
As a TED rookie last year, everything was new and I was constantly asking myself, in a good way:
"I wonder what's next?"In honor of the Olympics . . . it's similar to the type of adrenaline rush the first time down a new mountain. You really have no idea what is around the next turn. This year at TED I at least knew the basic terrain. So, while my heart didn't quite skip a beat because I knew more of what to expect, in other ways it was more rewarding as I was able to focus on the speakers and topics at hand.
In my case, VeeV currently gives me that sense of purpose because we're really doing some ground-breaking things in terms of our business practices and sustainability. Take, for example, our $1 donation to Rainforest preservation per bottle sold, being the first carbon neutral spirits company in the world, and receiving a portion of our power through renewable wind energy at our distillers in Idaho. These are just the highlights of our activities, and I can't wait to fully detail our mission and future goals in our inaugural Corporate & Social Responsibility (CSR) report set to be released this spring. In short, I think that we have the opportunity to help lead a paramount shift in the alcohol industry in the way that products are created and marketed.
Last but not least, here are my top 10 moments from this year's TED - what are yours?
In case anyone didn't get to watch an associate simulcast of TED or doesn't know what the heck I'm talking about, talks should be up soon at www.TED.com, and there are already thousands of ground-breaking talks up on the site in a variety of languages.