Friday, March 2, 2012

TEDxBletchleyPark for Alan Turing's centenary


Well why not? Wouldn't a TEDxBletchleyPark be an excellent way to celebrate Turing's unique contribution to us all this year? If like me you are a TED addict and find yourself watching "just one more video" in the wee small hours, you must have thought you'd like to put a TEDx event together yourself. So why don't we organise a TEDxBletchleyPark.
    TED's rules governing the organisation of TEDx conferences state: "Your event must maintain the spirit of TED itself: cross-disciplinary, focused on the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world."  Well if Alan Turing's legacy doesn't fit that brief perfectly I don't know what does.
    Here's the plan - a group of us get together to organise TEDxBletchleyPark. It would be essential to have someone who has been involved with a TED event before (it's in the rules). Bletchley Park would be the ideal venue, since it's closely associated with Turing and would further raise its profile; so a contact there would be needed (if we couldn't use Bletchley then King's College Cambridge would be a good plan B, but Princeton, Manchester, Sherborne could all be possibilities). Then we need some speakers including WWII code-breaking historians, computer historians, people from mathematics, AI, physics, biology, long distance running, gay rights...all the passions that Turing embraced.
    So would you be keen to be involved?  If so leave a comment or email me.
[Of course we could ask TED for special permission to have a TEDxAlanTuring their rules state, "a name beginning with TEDx, followed by a location-based descriptor such as the name of your city, school, neighborhood or organization." - but they might give permission for Turing]