Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Call To Action!

Cross-posted in High Techpectations

I normally am very into TED (Technology Entertainment and Design), an annual invite-only conference that takes places in Monterey, California. I was so busy a few weeks ago when the conference took place that I vaguely noticed that Dave Eggers was one recipient of the TED prize this year. Previous winners include Bono and Bill Clinton, and basically they are honored by having a world-improving wish granted. It's idealism at its highest. Check out Dave's TEDTalk below; besides the prize winners, various presenters do 20 minute presos on their life's work throughout the conference. I would love to be a fly on the wall there!

Via Twitter last night, a friend pointed out one outcome of Eggers' wish: Once Upon A School. This web site is a repository for people's ideas for getting involved in public schools. I love this idea and think the structure of the initiative itself and the examples lend themselves to a brilliant simplicity. It makes me think that all will be well in this world when I see people leading efforts to make real change happen. It's not easy to pull off something like this on a large scale, so kudos to Eggers and company doing so. I'm very excited to see what comes out of this, and around midnight last night I immediately emailed info to friends and colleagues! I was so jazzed I couldn't sleep!

If you haven't read Eggers' first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, you must. He has a great style to his writing, and what struck me about the book was his descriptions of the town where we both grew up. Although we went to the same high school (he may have entered after I graduated), I did not know him, although his sister was in my Latin class. I thought I was the only person that felt a certain way about our conservative town, and it was a relief to read his articulate words that echoed my thoughts. I must re-read that book! Anyway, I'm very happy for Eggers and glad that he's enjoying so much success in such a meaningful way.

Here are a few other things to check out related to his TED Prize work:

TED Prize >> Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers' Wish Blog
Dave Eggers' Wish Discussion
826 Valencia National Seminar - learn more about the writing tutoring center started by Eggers

So what are YOU going to do to change the world? Pass this info on at least!