Mobility Project Day 1 Recap and Reflections

It’s that time of year. The TED and TEDActive conferences are in full swing and innovators, creators and thinkers from around the world are coming together to connect and be inspired.

But while it’s easy to be inspired sitting next to people who have traveled to the moon, beat every hand in poker or changed the face of investment for the poor, it’s all the more critical to get these amazing individuals to help turn that inspiration into action.

That’s why I’m honored to be helping with the TEDActive Projects. The goal is to get all the brilliant minds here to tackle some of the world’s grandest challenges. I’m focused on the mobility project, which seeks to answer the question: How do we make the world smaller and more accessible?

The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind of insight, probing, questions and opportunity. We kicked off with an amazing brainstorm among the group leaders for the mobility project. The experts in our group include everyone from my amazing facilitation partner Luis Cilimingras, who brings years of automotive experience to the table, to Internet protocol specialists and mobile innovators and leaders in futures and trends research.

The result so far has been deeper exploration into what mobility is all about, including:

  • Questioning the very definition of it and the value of our commonly held understanding of efficiency between point A and B. This then led to a look at the actual quality of experience in getting (or getting to) the place or thing in question, which often hinges on human interactions and social community.
  • How mobile connectivity and transfer of information is a massive driver for new opportunities for mobility to make the world smaller or, as one of our members put it so well, “make us bigger.” For example, think about how basic things we travel to get to or to accomplish every day, like education, work, or even currency, could be made mobile, and have been with new technology and developments.
  • The beautiful concept of making more “small worlds” came up in our conversation and touched on the benefits of self-sustaining communities and experientially complete urban planning that fulfills human needs for interaction and resources, whether a planned community or just a great museum that has everything needed to enjoy an afternoon.
  • Getting back to the basics, we also asked some questions around what the human needs actually are around mobility. What drives people to feel like they need to travel, to move, and what does it mean to be “close”?

These ideas were put out to the TEDActive community in the form of two questions that I’d like to now put out to the wider community: How might we use mobile to facilitate social to make the world more local, and what are the basic human needs around mobility?

These questions have been, and will continue to be, investigated throughout the rest of the conference. The result has already been some amazing dialogue, debate and three-diminutional formulas on what mobility means to us as humans and what action we can all take to translate this into a better quality of life.

Join and follow the conversation at #TEDActiveMob.


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