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This article was published on June 26, 2010

TEDxOilSpill – What Are You Prepared To Do?

TEDxOilSpill – What Are You Prepared To Do?
Chad Catacchio
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Chad Catacchio

Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

TEDxOilSpill happens this Monday in Washington DC – and in smaller Meetups around the world – to “explore new ideas for our energy future, and how we can mitigate the current crisis in the Gulf”. The event in DC is already sold out.

The great lineup of speakers includes Sylvia Earle, Philippe Cousteau, representitives from the UN and Greenpeace among other experts focused on the health of our oceans. Oh, and that @BPGlobalPR guy will be speaking too.

In order to deliver first hand accounts in pictures and video of the spill, a group of two professional photographers, a videographer and a writer have spent the last eight days documenting the spill, calling it TEDxOilSpill Expedition – click through to see the stunning photographs like the one:

An important event

So those are the details – now we’d like to discuss why this is so important.

First of all of course, discussing and finding solutions for the current crisis in the Gulf (and doing whatever we can to make sure this never happens again) is the primary reason why this is so important. Secondly, discussing and learning how we can all help the health of our oceans is also extremely important.

Beyond these primary reasons though, we see this effort as another step in an evolution of people using the Internet to take action in times of crisis. First of all, this a great use of TEDx – using TEDx as the central platform to organize around a crisis was a smart move by the organizers – the still developing TEDx brand (and of course the well-established TED brand) has the infrastructure, reach and stature to bring together such a speaker lineup quickly and partnerships with Ustream and LiveStream mean that the event can be live broadcast in high quality with little hassle to the organizers.

Take the TEDx brand and this livestreaming ability and add that to a new service from Meetup called Meetup Everywhere (which we predicted could be transformative for Meetup, and this is a great use case) – and of course add in a little Twitter and Facebook – and you have an instant worldwide event that will not only raise awareness, but that has a very likely chance of coming up with real solutions.

If you are in the DC area and want to help out, TEDxOilSpill is holding a meeting tomorrow for volunteers. If you’re not in DC, you can join or start a Meetup Everywhere, or just watch the livestream on Monday and add to the conversation. Although not affiliated, you can also stop by at the Crisis Commons wiki page on the spill to see how else you might be able to help in their efforts (if you’re in the Gulf, you should install the Oil Reporter app – also, you can take a look at these apps wherever you are), or work with the numerous non-profits that are helping with the cleanup efforts.

So, what are you prepared to do?

Note: The author is involved as a volunteer for both TEDxSB and Crisis Commons.

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