Melinda Gates took questions today from journalists about her upcoming TEDxChange presentation next week aimed at increasing awareness of and support for the Millennium Development Goals.
“We’re inspired by the progress in global health and development since the MDGs were ratified 10 years ago,” Gates said. “Child mortality has dropped … polio is almost eradicated … MDG 1 is on track to cut poverty in half ….”
If you don’t know what the Millennium Development Goals are, you’re not alone. Most Americans are clearly unaware of these goals that were set in 2000 by the UN aimed at reducing poverty and improving health. We have until 2015 to achieve them, some of which are possible — and some which likely are not.
I’ll be writing much more on the MDGs (that’s what we, the cognoscenti, call them) later.
If you don’t really know what a TEDx event is either, you’re also not alone. You’re probably over 50, only occasionally use Twitter and you don’t text your friends about every little damn thing. Just trying to sign up for one of these things seems to require an online refresher course in web skills.
You may have heard about the big-daddy annual TED conference, where smart and powerful people talk to other smart and powerful people. Why do they do this? I don’t know. I guess smart and powerful people think talking about their cool ideas will make cool things happen.
So, anyway, TEDx events are basically a way for the main TED folks to franchise their currently cool brand-name popularity and let you host your own TED-like event.
Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation decided to organize their own TEDx event to help get the word out about the MDGs, the meeting in New York and why this under-appreciated effort is so important to our future. The event will be truly global — simultaneously webcast across the globe in addition to hosting several local gatherings (in physical reality) on Monday.
In Seattle, on Monday morning, I’ll be at the TEDxSeattle branch of TEDxChange starting at 7 a.m. in the UW’s Kane Hall. It just seems like the thing to do.