03/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Little Nutrition For Our Media Diet

In a mere five weeks, literally billions of people worldwide will have watched three single events:

Last week's American Idol episode took in over 32 million viewers (I was conveniently out of the country). On Sunday, 94.5 million Americans saw the Steelers win the Super Bowl (inconveniently out of the country and had to set my alarm for 4:00 am to watch the miraculous ending). And in two weeks, an estimated 30+ million will tune in to watch Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button duke it out on the Oscar front.

Now, I love these events as much as anyone - I tune in regularly, watch raptly, and share my thoughts around our 10 year-old and loud cappuccino machine.

But when all is said and done, I fear these events provide little more than empty calories... welcome diversions, yes, but ultimately unfulfilling. I find myself needing to balance such voyeuristic pleasures with equally substantive and fulfilling media content.

Thankfully, there is an antidote.


The TED Conference (Technology, Entertainment, Design) gathered some of the world's best and brightest for a simple cause - to spread ideas.

This year was the conference's 25th anniversary and the focus was on everything new - thrilling discoveries, powerful inventions and transformative ideas.

Interested? You should be.

The presentations from this invitation-only conference are now being made available for all to see at And this year the TED Prize Session - presented by Quincy Jones, AI Gore, Sir Richard Branson and a surprise guest - was shown live via telecast in movie theaters around the country.

I am obsessed. It is true. And in the spirit of full disclosure my company, Gucci, is also a sponsor. And a proud one at that. Gucci has made the spreading of ideas a priority ...

Working with the Tribeca Film Institute, Gucci is in the second year of a program that provides finishing grants to film makers whose work brings to light critical issues of social significance that are often absent from mainstream media.

Some of our most recent projects include THE FIXER (about the kidnapping of an Afghan translator and an Italian journalist by the Taliban) and DELTA BOYS (about the young men who have taken up arms on the Niger Delta).

Like the new discoveries and ideas that were presented at TED, these are important, world-informing stories. We are pleased to be able to help bring them to the screen.

After all, it is thought-provoking material such as this that provides the protein to the exquisite chaos of your media diet.

So, I'm definitely planning to join the 30+ million interested in a little light fare on Oscar night in a couple of weeks. There is nothing more indulgent than watching hours of pre-Oscar red carpet coverage but meanwhile, I hope you will join me in putting some nutrition into your media diet.

Check out the TED Talks or TED Prize Session, watch a documentary, and take note of how well they feed you.