TEDMEDsters ride forth...


from Peter Durand, Creative Director of Alphachimp Studio Inc. 

ABOVE: Peter & Diane with their trusty iPads at TEDMED 2012

TEDMED can be described as the Baby Doc spinoff of the TED Mothership.

Or, it can be summed up as a glimpse into why the human race is doomed and how we screwed everything up through ignorance, gluttony, greed, avarice and the three other deadly sins, and that only a radical change in personal and communal decisions will save us.

(It seems like between the body's natural frailty, Pandora's Box, evolutionary biology, a $15,000,000,000 deficit and malpractice lawyers... we have our collective work cut out for us!) 

Each speaker's 15 minute presentation gave us a glimpse into something amazing and/or terrifying: 
... the experience of being stabbed to death (and surviving); 
... kids falling in love with robot nurses;
... dancing whilst on an intravenous drip;
... the fierceness and grace of a mother and daughter who broke through Autism's wall with poetry and patience; 
... the impending collision of population growth, aging, Alzheimer's and "diabesity" ( the diabetes-obesity pandemic); 
... astounding 3D anatomy technology enabling the next generation of medical students; 
... our planet's dwindling plant diversity and the burden of feeding 9 billion; 
... our impossibly slow governmental approval process for badly needed drugs and therapies; 
... our lopsided "arms race" of drugs vs. bugs (spoiler alert: natural selection always wins!);
... our personal microbial cloud that lives on and inside us, serving as another vital organ upon which our lives depend;

... the mechanical mysteries of the male mammalian primary reproductive appendage; 

.... and we'll stop there!

As the preeminent US scientist and TEDMED 2012 presenter Edward O. Wilson writes in the opening of his latest book, The Social Conquest of Earth

We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and are a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life. 

You would think that after careening to the heights of optimism and depths of pessimism that the TEDMED attendees would need to be wheeled out of the Kennedy Center on robotic gurneys and receive deep brain stimulation for clinical depression. 

Instead, they exited with optimism and vigor; ready to ride forth and conquer ignorance, ineptitude, inequity and injustice! 

Because the place was packed with what we at Alphachimp Studio Inc. refer to as "Klablaminators". We were introduced to this term by Ki, a friend of Perrin (our resident scientific storyteller and self-appointed social media maven). Perrin's friend has a habit, upon hearing positive news or completing a task, of saying: 

So we picked up on the expletive and it is now part of our formal vernacular and company org chart. We don't have "assistants" or "managers" or "administrative" anythings working in the multicellular organism that is our business. Instead, we really have only one job description: a Kablaminator. 

The role definition goes like this: 
1. See what needs to happen. 
2. Kablam it! 

So, I need to brag a little on our team of Kablaminators. 
They illustrated the role of kablaminator perfectly and sailed through a VERY unique production process for TEDMED 2012. And, more surprisingly, no one quit, no matter how many emails I sent from the TEDMED Social Hub Tent with hysterical subject lines like "URGENT!!!!!!!!" and "ALERT!!!!!" 

Here's what our team managed to pull off last week...

Step 1: For each TEDMED presenter or performer, Diane and I created a drawing on our iPad using the Brushes app. As soon as we were finished, we emailed the team a digital still image plus the "actions" (a stroke-by-stroke video of the drawings created in the Brushes app). 

Step 2: Back at Alphachimp HQ in Nashville, Perrin and Morton received the images, labeled, tagged, and uploaded them in Flickr; then forwarded the images on to the TEDMED blog team. 

Step 3: They plopped the images into a template that includes the speaker headshot, bio, and the session name. Then exported and uploaded a PDF summary for each session. 

Step 4: 
Our Video Kablaminator, Betsy, incorporated the "actions" videos into a montage which include the speaker names, quotes and funky music. She uploaded the videos to our YouTube channel, Facebook and the TEDMED blog team. 

Step 5: All of us swarmed over the alphachimp.com homepage like fire ants on a hotdog to integrate all the assets from Flickr, YouTube, the TEDMED blog, and PDF summaries

Our team did this for almost 90 speakers and performers, comprising 11 sessions, over 3 days, and were finished by close-of-business on Friday afternoon. 



Check out the results at /tedmedscribe