It’s no wonder the TED Prize got my attention. My husband’s name is – well, you guessed it – Theodore. Ted for short.
If you’ve never heard of it, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. Each year, TED gives out $100,000 in prizes to people with big ideas to help them bring their ideas to fruition and make their dreams come true. These winners make a wish, and with the help of other TEDsters and professionals, they attempt to do nothing less than change the world.
TED (as in the prize, not the one I share my life and bathroom with….although “Ted” might argue that he’s my prize…) came into my awareness last year when Jamie Oliver – a.k.a. The Naked Chef – won the prize for his goal to help change the way humans eat – especially kids. (Jamie Oliver’s recipes rock, by the way. Take it from someone who has tested them.)
This year, a French photographer known mysteriously as “JR” has taken the TED prize.
JR exhibits his photographs in the biggest art gallery on the planet. His work is presented freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people other than those who would be found in a museum.
Mixing Art and Action, JR is street savvy. He approaches common people all over the world – sometimes your typical neighborhood thug, other times, people divided by war-torn conflict – and asks them to create their own caricature, on the spot. His subjects distort, widen, pinch and exaggerate their features, and JR snaps their photo. He then plasters city billboards and neighborhoods with these larger-than-life caricatures – and creates more impact than you would guess.
Here’s a man who is out there fostering community and peace with Funny Faces. It’s brilliant. He deserves the prize.
More about JR (who prefers to remain anonymous, by the way…points for adding to the intrigue):
In 2007, with business partner Marco, JR did an exhibit called Face to Face, which some consider the most illegal photo exhibition ever. JR and a grassroots team of community members posted huge portraits of Israelis and Palestinians face to face in eight Palestinian and Israeli cities, and on both sides of the security fence/separation barrier. It caused quite a scandal, as you can imagine.
Check out the trailer for his latest film project: Women Are Heroes, which reveals the inner dignity of African women who are targets of conflict. The film received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.
More about TED (the Prize):
Started in 1984, TED has grown into a series of global conferences that bring people together to talk about ideas―big, transformative ideas. TED solicits presenters and speakers from all walks of life to discuss world-changing innovations, and to try to solve intractable global problems. Every year, more than one thousand people attend the main conference in Long Beach, California, to hear industry leaders and information pioneers talk about their plans to effect change through the dissemination of these groundbreaking ideas.
More about Ted (the Husband):
Ted Fawcett was born in Rhode Island and made his early home in Pittsford, New York. After a decade-long stint in Maui as a boat captain, surfer and private pilot, Ted is now using his natural charm and dedication in changing the way America does energy. He is currently a Solar Accounts Rep for Sungevity, an Oakland-based company that provides solar leasing to homes and dealers all over the country (it was Sungevity’s recent pitch to Obama that led the White House to say Yes to Solar).
In his spare time, Ted enjoys surfing, biking, stand-up paddle boarding, snowboarding, and knitting. (Just kidding about the knitting part.)
What’s your BIG IDEA?? If you had a $100,000 to do something worthwhile, as in, world-changing, what would it be? Granted, $100,000 isn’t a billion, but it’s a start.Let’s get the conversation started.