Why do we have such strong attachments to places? A strong sense of place has always been central to our making sense of the world and our lives. Would The Great Gatsby have been as great without its setting of America in the 1920’s? Or Van Gogh without his muse, the south of France? How much does place affects who we are as individuals, societies and cultures, as well as how much we affect that place?
Communities and organizations that capture this emotional connection to place are powerful. Consider examples from the local foods movement, the unique wines with a taste of “terroir,” the best small towns, and companies that employees love. Or, local environmental causes that have succeeded, memorials that have transformed human behavior, or favorite places to which we return each year to restore ourselves.
How is our sense of place changing in the digital age? What does our “place” matter in a world where we seem unable to exist without updates from our Facebook friends living a world away, yet we can easily exist without knowing our neighbors? Then there is our place, Sonoma County, located in the heart of wine country with a spectacular coastline, vineyard-draped hills, and striking redwood groves. Its cycling, restaurants and wineries are a draw for tourists around the world. What gives Sonoma County its sense of place? How has its unique location, history and its people defined it, and how has Sonoma County defined us?
But our place is not just in California, the United States and the world. We have a place in an immense and growing universe where we seem so small as to be insignificant. Modern physics theorizes that even the solidity of places is an illusion, and our understanding of place is limited by humans’ ability to perceive space and time. How does this perspective affect us?
From global to local to individual; from science to belief to creativity; from technology to entertainment to design; TEDxSonomaCounty will explore multiple perspectives on
A Sense of Place.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
For information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration