Vancouver's TED conference in 2014 isn't for you and me

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Loads of people are excited about the famous TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference moving to Vancouver in 2014. There are a few good reasons for this: 1,200 attendees and their personal assistants can't be bad for the economy, and some of them will be the "world's leading thinkers and doers" and the "best TED speakers of all time".

For many of us, however, TED2014—and its satellite conference TEDActive 2014 in Whistler—might as well be taking place in Santiago, Chile. We'll just end up watching the TED talks that "curator" Chris Anderson and company deign to release on YouTube with everyone else, anyways.

You see, tickets cost US$7,500 for TED2014 and US$3,750 for TEDActive 2014. And that's not enough to get you in.

Yes, registering for a TED conference is worse than filling out a job application. Here's the questions that prospective attendees have to answer to just be considered for admission to TEDGlobal 2013 (US$6,000) in Edinburgh, Scotland:

In two crystal clear sentences: What is your principal occupation?

If a friend were to describe your accomplishments in up to three sentences, what would he or she say?

What other achievements would you like to share?

What are you passionate about? (work, creative output, issues, causes, communities…)

What do we need to know about you that we didn't ask? (Up to 300 words)

(Optional) Can you share a memorable anecdote from your life that will give us a further sense of what makes you tick?

(Optional) Have you contributed to the TED Community this year? If so how (e.g. helped on the TEDPrize, contribution to TEDFellows, hosted TEDx event, translating TEDTalks...)?

(Optional) What's your one great idea worth spreading about how to improve the conference itself?

Applicants are also asked to list up to three websites that say something about them (you are discouraged from choosing Google) and—get this—at least two references.

Registration for TED2014 and TEDActive 2014 opens on Monday (February 11). A parody Twitter account posted this tweet:

I think that about says it all.

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35 Comments

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John

Feb 7, 2013 at 12:49pm

People in Vancouver really know how to throw a wet towel on everything.

Be happy, something good is happening to the community. Lots of smart people will visit the city, and maybe, come into contact with some of the smart people this city has to offer.

xenoprobe

Feb 7, 2013 at 1:14pm

Jealous much?

CashMoney

Feb 7, 2013 at 1:46pm

I'm gonna watch the videos for free in HD on the internet.

cbjerrisgaard

Feb 7, 2013 at 3:03pm

Shortly after the conference they release the videos for free. Attending the conference, which is a monster to put on, is not.

Why is that? Well, tons of people from around the world are going to apply to get in, so they should make it difficult. We are talking about the goal of the worlds greatest minds coming to one place and sharing ideas. Not every angry hipster with a fix gear and a start-up showing up so they can instagram the whole thing for nerd cred.

Having these people come to Vancouver and partake in what we have to offer could be massive for the city. A lot more massive than if we just make them all dance for us like a bunch of smug pricks.

People need to stop complaining about every good thing that happens to this city.

Xandee

Feb 7, 2013 at 3:07pm

Actually Mr. Hui it IS for me. I outearn you. Don't get trampled trying to fangirl Stephen Hawking on his way into the venue.

JohnH

Feb 7, 2013 at 3:43pm

Once again proving that Vancouverites will find and focus on the downside of anything. I swear, if someone invented jellybeans that cured cancer, people like Mr. Hui would complain about the taste.

I didn't attend TED last year when it wasn't here, and I won't attend it next year when it is here, but the free online talks are brilliant. Meanwhile, it's going to inject hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Vancouver economy either way. Mr. Hui, get over yourself.

Ermott

Feb 7, 2013 at 5:40pm

I find elitism in any form, as ugly as sin.

I, lowly peon I am, will probably watch a few of the talks online.

JohnH

Feb 7, 2013 at 6:14pm

Ermott, would you prefer the conference was completely open to all, and completely free?

There could of course be no venue, stage, audio-visual, staff, exhibits or speakers. Since any organizers, even volunteers, could not curate or organize the event without excluding someone, the event itself would be a cacophony of random shouting voices ...but it wouldn't be elitist.

You, of course, don't actually CARE, you just want something to indignantly oppose so you can feel like an 'othered' victim.

Mochi

Feb 7, 2013 at 6:20pm

Most things in Vancouver are priced out of my reach. The Olympics, housing...all the more reason to take advantage of the free stuff they leave out for us. I will enjoy the TED talks online, as I've always done.

Immigrant

Feb 10, 2013 at 7:43pm

This paper is made by losers for the losers who want Vancouver to remain a provincial town of chicken coops and granolaheads. Nothing good, sopfisticated, elegant and innovative will ever get a thumbs-up from those hicks!

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