This Is The Future?

So, I went to my first Ted Conference today – TedxBroadway.  I’m not going to go into detail about the content, as I’m sure it will be posted online at some point.  Aren’t they all?

But I have to say, I was disappointed by the organization and structure.  You’ve invited me to give up a work day and pay you for the privilege and you told me we were going to attack the question “What’s the Best that Broadway Can Be 20 Years from Now?”.  It started late.  Each speaker ran over.  Lunch was not there when promised.  There were significant technical difficulties.  There was no internet in the venue.  Overall, it was pretty white, pretty male, and fairly middle-aged.  (And before someone posts an attendance list, this was my impression – I didn’t take a survey.)  Not only did we not attract our audience of the future, we did not even attract our audience of the present (which, according to the information presented, is me).  And last, but not least, I did not go expecting to be talked at for five hours.  Not that the speakers were uninteresting, but when you frame your title as a question, I expect dialogue.

If this is the future, I’m a little worried. And if this is my take-away — Houston, we have a problem.

This may sound petty to you, but I actually think these things are important.  We must head into our future, not with a plan necessarily, but with structure.  I don’t care what “how” you use, but have a “how”.  This is what frustrated me, in part, about Occupy Wall Street.  I love a good demonstration, but once you’ve got my attention, direct it.  Have a “how” to get to a plan, and perhaps you will see results.  How many of us can cite any good changes that came from the Occupy movement?  How much of an impact has it actually had?  Yes, we have a new catch-phrase, but it is beginning to have about as much significance as “where’s the beef?”

But in the end, I must admit I did have one other take-away from today.  I was reminded of a favorite quote by Gandhi:  “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”   THAT’S the best Broadway can be twenty years from now.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Cynthia McGean
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 16:01:06

    Love the wide range of topics in your posts.


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