IF people were given a straight choice between Gateshead and California in this sniffle-ridden month, there might be a few takers for flights to the west coast.
But consider this. If you’re dying to see some of the intriguing speakers at this year’s TED conference in California, tickets cost north of $7,000, even without adding in the travel and accommodation.
And they’re apparently all sold out anyway, so you can forget that idea for starters. However, if you’re more used to commuting up the A1 than the Pacific Coast Highway, you can soak up a few of the best on the bill at the Northern Design Centre, in Gateshead, a day later for free.
Sure, there’s no substitute for soaking up an event in person, but Codeworks is again hosting an afternoon in which North East fans can watch the talks. Last year’s event took place at Gateshead College, and featured a live feed of the talks from the USA.
“It’s not going to be a live feed from California this year”, said Joeli Brearley, head of sector development for Codeworks. “What we’re doing instead is showing recordings the day after it happens, and also featuring some live presentations from speakers at the Northern Design Centre itself.”
This year’s TED is entitled Full Spectrum, and features speakers such as Quiet Revolutionary author Susan Cain, kinetic sculptor Reuben Margolin, poet Billy Collins and film- maker Andrew Stanton. The event is among the most popular in the world, and its focus on inspiration rather than sector-specific talks sowed the seed for the launch of the Thinking Digital conference in Gateshead.
The Codeworks team will be picking out any interesting talks to add to the bill at the last minute, but many have already been earmarked as they present ideas around culture, art and digital. Codeworks is currently nudging the digital and cultural sectors in the region together through the CultureCode Initiative.
These organisations have been briefed this week about the exciting possibilities of linking up, and the initiative will build up to a CultureCode Hack on March 24.
On top of the recorded presentations from TED, the Northern Design Centre event will also feature presentations from speakers with a story to tell. So far the bill includes figures such as Emer McCourt, the Human Traffic film producer who is launching a new digital publishing start-up called eWook Press.
The TEDx Gateshead event is free to Codeworks and GameHorizon members, and takes place from 3pm on March 1.