Last month on May 15th, I was involved in organizing an event called TEDxTokyo 2010.

What is TED?

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, it is an invitation-only annual conference held in long beach, with amazing speakers and participants from all over the world. Originally it was a closed conference, but they started to provide their video online using Creative Commons license which helped them spread the word. They also launched a translation project with which 4,000 volunteer translators worked on over 9,000 videos to 77 languages so far, which helped non-English speakers all over the world to learn about, and learn from TED conference videos.

What is TEDx?

TED licensed their brand for free as "TEDx" so that anyone who abides to the TEDx guidelines are able to hold their own TEDx event. They can either view the past TED videos together or invite their own speakers to talk. During the past year, 1,000 TEDx events were held all over the world in 70 countries with 35 languages, and more than 50,000 people participated. It is becoming a big phenomenon. The great thing about TEDx is that people around the world are using their own creativity harmonizing with their own expertize and culture to make interesting events happen, and most of them are streamed live and/or video recorded and uploaded on YouTube.

If you go to this channel, you'll be able to find tons of interesting videos from TEDx all around the world (1,874 videos as of 6/26).

What is TEDxTokyo?

TEDxTokyo is one of the TEDx events held in Tokyo, we held 2 TEDxTokyo events so far, one on 2009/5/22 and another on 2010/5/15 both of which were amazing and I am very proud of being in the organizing team :) I was serving as social media Japanese lead in charge of @TEDxTokyo_ja (Japanese language tweets).

We had amazing speakers- the following is speaker list from this year (link on speaker names goes to speaker profile, link on video links to the videos)


One of the great things about TEDxTokyo is that everything is operated as volunteer work. We as staffs met up at 7AM in the morning at the venue (Mirai Kan). It was a great sunny day!


Some of the performances don't need language. Amazing Ukulele performance by Jake Shimabukuro:

Performance by Cirque du Soleil:

As TEDxTokyo is in held in Japan, we had some very traditional Japanese performances by Japanese artists such as Kamikiri by Imamaru Hayashiya:

Also noh performance by Naohiko Umewaka:

Some speeches were about advanced technology of Japan, Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai showing his HAL system which is a robot suit that enables the disabled people to stand up or walk, weak people to hold heavy loads etc.

Morinosuke Kawaguchi talks about the Japanese super-advanced toilets.

Some talked about the lost values of Japan. Dr. Hiroshi Tasaka talks about the age of "invisible capitalism".

Azby Brown talks about how the sustainable practices of the Japanese Edo era can serve as a model for the modern world.

Some talked about how Japan can contribute to the world- Kentaro Toyama talks about The Technology for Emerging Markets research group which investigates ways the world's poorer communities can harness technology to drive their socioeconomic development.

Kanae Doi shares her experiences from NPO "Human Rights Watch" on how Japan should be helping more refugees around the world.

Jakob Lusensky talks about branding using music, but the presentation was received by the audience that his insights can be applied in various areas.

Industrial designer Kiyoyuki 'Ken' Okuyama shares his thoughts on how society and space is changing and how companies/people should change the way design spaces and products to meet those changes.

Some of the speakers comes back! Techno Magician Marco Tempest's performance from TEDxTokyo2009:

This is Marco's performance from TEDxTokyo2010:

I'm getting tempted to introduce all of the speakers but this post is becoming too long already- all of the videos from TEDxTokyo can be seen here :)

The other great thing about TEDxTokyo is that it is basically invitation only, and the audience are amazing people as well. Some of the speakers this year were audiences last year, and some of the speakers from last year came again as audience this year. I think it is becoming an amazing community.

Mario Tokoro, speaker last year participates as audience this year:


Joi who couldn't join last year participated this year as an audience.


As the organizing team is volunteer work too, the video shooting and streaming team brought their equipments for free and worked for us. It was amazing.


There were amazing things happening even outside the main hall. Rinpa Eshidan was live painting the walls during the event.


If you are not familiar with Rinpa, check out this video. I'm a big fan of them.

Sponsor booth by the sponsors:


Lunch time was fascinating too. Lots of interesting people, doing interesting things.


HAL (robot suit) was walking around at the lunch venue:


Imamaru-san was doing kamikiri (paper cutting) during lunch time too:


Tesla- one of our sponsors brought a Tesla car to the venue:


Our Ustream team was working on interviews during lunch time as well:


Photo from the stage when all of the staffs and volunteers got on stage:


I would like to thank all the speakers, sponsors and partners, organizing staffs and volunteers, audiences at the venue as well as on the live stream! Also, many thanks to the social media team- Steve Nagata, Joseph Tame and Paul Papadimitriou!

BTW, I love how speeches at TED are always so inspiring and loved this Ten commandments:

Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick.
Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something
Thou Hast Never Shared Before.
Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion.
Thou Shalt Tell a Story.
Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy.
Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desperate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee.

If you are able to read Japanese, it looks like I wrote 31 posts about TEDxTokyo in Japanese here :P