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Champagne At Work? Yes, Please!

December 7, 2010

When you’re invited to a work event and the invitation mentions free champagne, always RSVP ‘yes.’ Trust me on this.

While a cool blogger panel was going on upstairs for execs — apparently Tina was at my office and I didn’t even know it! — AOL employees were invited to watch a live webcast of the TEDWomen conference going on in DC this week.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is one of the hottest tickets in the country — the conferences blend information and innovation with a lot of fun and fascinating speakers, so it’s nearly impossible to get an invite — and this was the first event devoted solely to women and girls. It would have been great to be there in person but it was still nice to relax in a comfortable theatre with a glass of champagne.

There aren’t any boring lectures at TED. Many speakers are funny, some are touching and all inspire you to think outside the box.

Many of the speakers spoke to the changing roles of women, how my generation is really bringing in huge changes in education and the workforce. But it was the final speaker that made me sit up, put down the champagne and really pay attention.

Hans Rosling, whom they refer to as a ‘TED Rockstar,’ gave an incredible talk about industrialization by using an everyday household appliance: the washing machine. It’s something we take for granted yet billions of people around the world don’t even have electricity, much less this basic device that could make their lives so much easier.

It made me stop and think. I complain all the time about not having a washing machine in my apartment. I wish out-loud that this apartment had a dishwasher. I want more space, even though we have six rooms for just two people.

Of all the afternoon’s speakers — and there were a lot of people who made me take notice and think deeper — Rosling’s talk spoke to me the most. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are, especially as we’re paid to sit in an auditorium and drink champagne, but just by virtue of birth, we’re luckier than we can even imagine.

What has inspired you recently? Have you ever attended a TED event? They have TED conferences all over the world and some of the more exotic locations — I’m looking at you, TEDxAmazona — look amazing.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2010 12:38 am

    I haven’t attended a conference, but my boyfriend and I will watch the conferences online sometimes- they are great!

  2. December 8, 2010 9:06 am

    I would have loved to have attended TEDWomen.

    I’m not one to complain about space. I always say my house is way to big for just me, my husband, and my dog. I never use my dishwasher. Ever. I often forget I have it. And my washing machine has been broken for weeks so I have to take my clothes to my dad’s house to use his.

  3. December 8, 2010 7:49 pm

    wow, that sounds like a great day at work!

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