TEDx. The new junk culture.


Is it just me or are you sick of ‘think’ events. You know the thing; idea swaps, deep conversations, inspirational speakers. Never has big brain bullshit been so popular.These days you can’t move for a thought leadership night out. Take TEDx for example. Now don’t get me wrong, a few years ago the TED lectures were something worth paying attention to. The brightest minds talking to the smartest people. I’ll have some of that. Get it on the App. Righty ho.

But now we’ve got some franchised version spreading the globe. It’s the ‘concept’ of TED, but a bit shit. Now don’t worry we’ll be beaming in a couple of the original talks to keep the quality up and we may even throw in a ‘book tour’ guest speaker. You know the score, “tonight oh celebrated intellectual prophet* it’s the giddy heights of Colchester. Tomorrow? Ipswich.”

It’s not just TEDx mind. Pecha Kucha. Future Everything. Culture Club Showcase, DocFest. Thought events are everywhere. Is it the new night out? Are ideas are the new entertainment? There’s a graph I can’t be bothered to draw that shows how things go in a steep curve from originality to cool, then hit a peak at fashion and quickly tip over into mainstream and then it’s down, down, down to the devil’s pit of mass consumption.

So watch out all you ‘think’ events. You may be the fashion this summer, but I reckon it’s all over for your grand franchise plans.

I’m off to see a band and get me some proper fun.

*Will Self.

Justin Williams

Justin is the Creative Director of D4. He is an internationally experienced designer specialising in the development of brands into digital. Justin thinks everything is interesting.

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