TEDWomen is on the move. 2017 marks the seventh year of this annual conference focusing on the global narratives, innovations and ideas of women. We began in 2010 in Washington, DC; then hopscotched NY to LA for a couple of years, before returning in 2011 to the capital. In 2012, we headed west to TED's original home venue of Monterey, then up the coast to San Fran, and in November 2017, we're going South to one of the more iconic and most visited US cities, New Orleans.
Why New Orleans? If you've been to visit, you understand the obvious attractions of the famous food, the legendary music and musicians, the diverse and unique combinations of French, Spanish, Creole, and Native American cultures. If you haven't been, I predict you'll be totally seduced by all of the above plus the distinct design and architecture that adds to the overall feeling of being somewhere other than America.
New Orleans is also a city of stunning bridges that span large bodies of water (such as the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the longest bridge over water in the world) and so many other bridges in all directions -- connecting communities, bringing people together during celebrations, and offering a way out in times of peril.
As the editorial director of TEDWomen, working closely in partnership with the extraordinarily experienced curatorial and production teams at TED, I was drawn to New Orleans as just the right place at this time when America sometime feels less like a United States. We think New Orleans – a city on the rise, nobly reinventing itself in response to great devastation – will offer the right environment for thoughtful TEDTalks on some of our more urgent global disruptions and challenges, from climate change to racial and cultural divides to economic and scientific innovations. The theme that will unite all of this year's TEDTalks at TEDWomen will be, not surprisingly, BRIDGES, and we will explore the physical, cultural, ethnic, economic, technological and scientific bridges that women are designing, building, sustaining, and yes, even burning as sometimes, you have to burn a bridge or two in order to move forward.
I hope you'll join the global community of women and men (yes, men do come and speak at TEDWomen!) which convenes on Wed, Nov. 1st and concludes Friday, Nov. 3rd at noon. And you'll want to come early or stay afterward to more fully explore this unique city and to understand better why the TEDWomen2017 team is so excited about this location and this year's conference.