TEDxCoMo to explore impact of 'big data' on human experiences

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 | 5:04 p.m. CDT; updated 8:04 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 2, 2013

COLUMBIA — Reflect. Act. Repeat.

These steps make up a feedback loop, or a way embracing innovation, the central theme of TEDxCoMo's Feedback conference to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts.

If you go

What: TEDxCoMo's Feedback, a look into the transforming power of feedback loops

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, 206 Ninth Street

Details: Tickets $15, doors open at 9:30 a.m.

TEDx is an independent branch of the larger nonprofit organization, TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design. The organization has been around for nearly 30 years, and is devoted to spreading ideas in an effort to change lives, according to its website.

Keith Politte, co-producer of Feedback, said the conference was created in order to help people embrace information databases.

TEDxCoMo’s event will explore feedback’s potential to change the way in which people participate in the world, and will examine how this has transformed media, education and technology.

“The goal is to have people leave at the end of the day more watchful of feedback loops in everyday life,” Politte said.

Feedback will be broken into 3 sessions that correlate with three major themes of feedback loops, including Go Big, a look at global interactions; Go Between, focusing on communication between individuals; and Go Within, which centers on internal learning.

The event will present the ideas of 18 individuals from a variety of occupations, generations and locations around the United States, including Sarah Hill, an Emmy-award winning reporter for Veterans United Network who will speak of the possibilities of Human Media, the real-time connection of people globally.

“We have speakers from San Diego, Miami and New York, as well as from here in Columbia,” Politte said. “We have found there are many homegrown stories that need to be spread.”

In addition to pulling from their own networks of individuals, Politte and fellow co-producer Cale Sears took referrals and held auditions to create the set of speakers for the event.

“The speakers we chose are working in their own way to enhance pre-established feedback loops as well as creating loops where none existed,” Politte said.

Attendees of the event can expect to learn from a stimulating array of leaders in thought from a wide variety of fields, he said. The tone of Saturday’s conference will be fast paced; intermixed with the 18-minute talks will be short videos from TED.

“I hope this series of talks inform, inspire, and maybe even provoke the attendees,” Politte said.

For those who are unable to attend, a recording will be available for viewing on the TEDx website following the event.

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Mark Foecking April 2, 2013 | 6:04 p.m.

These days, our problems is not access to information. Volumes of information can be obtained with the click of a mouse. Our problem now is we have lost the ability, either by lack of education or diligence, or emotional impulsiveness, to vet and put the information in context.

Most people don't need new and far-reaching ideas. They need to understand the ideas and technologies that maintain the world they know and take for granted. The new and far-reaching ideas will take care of themselves.


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