April 10


12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Event Category:

connect, inspire, learn

Click to Register: Click to Register


Website: Organizer's Website
RESCHEDULED FROM MARCH 27: Discuss Ideas Worth Spreading with the TEDxHouston community during TED Circles!

We believe that meaningful conversations create interpersonal connections that collectively strengthen communities. Through TED Circles, we invite YOU — our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and TEDxHouston community — to join us online and/or in person on the last Friday of every month to discuss a variety of interesting topics.

Rescheduled from March, the theme for this virtual conversation is “Who Has Power”: This TED Circle will focus on Jeremy Heimans’ TEDSalon Berlin talk: “What New Power Looks Like.

We can see the power of distributed, crowd-sourced business models every day — witness Uber, Kickstarter, Airbnb. But veteran online activist Jeremy Heimans asks: When does that kind of “new power” start to work in politics? His surprising answer: Sooner than you think. It’s a bold argument about the future of politics and power.

We’ll start by discussing:

  • “Activists always say to look for where the power is, who has it, and how it’s shifting.” Where do you think power is in today’s society? Who has more of it? Who has less? How do you think it may be shifting?
  • Jeremy says “New Power is not the inevitable victor.” Do you agree/disagree? Why or why not? Do you prefer New Power or Old Power?
  • In the civic arena, which sources of power do you encounter most often? How does it affect you? How do you respond to it?
  • How have you personally experienced ‘power’ versus ‘powerlessness’? Do you strive for balance of the two — and, if so, how? — or do you work to be more powerful in everyday life?
  • Networks and technologies can be used to build New Power. How do you think that might provide advantages or disadvantages to people who are savvy networkers and/or technologists?
  • Jeremy’s call-to-action is “to NOT be an island.” Do you think we’re moving towards more interconnection, or towards more isolation? Why? How might we build stronger networks and collaboration that effectively leverage New Power for good?

TED Circles uphold the spirit of TED, focusing on the power of ideas. TED provides monthly themes, recommended Talks, and specific conversation starters so everyone participating can focus on engaging in constructive conversations. Welcoming a wide range of perspectives, TED Circles encourage equal participation within a safe environment that promotes curiosity, open-mindedness, debate, inclusion, and generosity. Here’s a summary of what TED Circles are and are not:

  • TED Circles are volunteer-hosted, small, face-to-face (in-person, online) gatherings where topics are safely discussed.
  • TED Circles are not a TED event. They are not a club or a one-off gathering. They do not sell things or raise money. Agendas and self-promotion have no place in these conversations!

Jeremy Heimans has been building movements since childhood, when he ran precocious fax campaigns on issues such as environmental conservation and third world debt in his native Australia. A former McKinsey strategy consultant, he has co-founded several online campaign groups and citizen activism initiatives, including GetUp (an Australian political movement with more members than Australia’s political parties combined), Avaaz (an online political movement with more than 40 million members) and AllOut (a global movement for LGBT people and their straight friends and family).

Now based in New York, Heimans is co-founder and CEO of Purpose, a social business that builds movements and ventures that he says, “uses the power of participation to bring change in the world.” He and colleague Henry Timms, executive director of 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community center in New York, and founder of #GivingTuesday, are set to publish an essay in November 2014 examining new forms of power and their meaning. As Heimans puts it, “Old power downloads and commands; new power uploads and shares.”

The World Economic Forum at Davos named Heimans a Young Global Leader and in 2011 he was awarded the Ford Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Visionary Award. In 2012, Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business, and in 2014, CNN picked his concept of “new power” as one of 10 ideas to change the world.