Writing a TED Badge

Random Observation/Comment #501: Find a common ground where all of your interests become an intellectual discussion.


To prepare for TEDActive this year, we were asked to create a badge with a section named “talk to me about”. These are 2-3 topics you’d love to kick off a conversation about and will be printed on your badge for all to see. I guess by the end of all this, we’ll all know how it feels to be a large breasted women wearing a low cut top or anyone wearing a funny t-shirt with small print.

This exercise sounds easy (and it may be for some people), but it certainly isn’t simple. Whether you’re struggling to find your true expertise or struggling to narrow down your list of 100 things that you do, this is a complex and deep psychological question. Essentially: “What’s your brand in 45 characters or less?” (it has to fit printed)

More importantly, what would you like to talk about with a random stranger? If you had those words drawn on your face so anyone you speak with can automatically know these are your passions and comfort zones, then what would these topics be? Should they be funny? Should they be generic? Are you going to make it meta?

I thought about this in the shower (where I have my best thoughts – really the bathroom in general), and I decided to put something common ground that I know enough about and can lead to other conversations. I thought about it as “who do I want to meet at this conference” instead of “how do I want to be remembered?”

From Monday Night Alive with Ariel and Shya, I heard a very interesting quote: “You don’t have to try to be interesting and impress other people. Instead, be interested and actually listen – be in the moment with that person and the interesting will follow.”

Complex, right? Perhaps the badge shouldn’t be about yourself, but about the true nature of being open-minded and friendly.

What did I write?  30 Day Challenges | Travel | Noms

Of course, if you think you messed up, you can always bring a sharpie and just write something creative afterwards.

See you all at TED Active!

~See Lemons TEDActive