180 Ideas Talks

What is a 180 Ideas Talk?

Ever wanted to share an idea more widely than your immediate circle of friends? This is your opportunity!

Our 180 Ideas Talks were inspired by the famous TED "Talks from the audience", where participants had a chance to take the stage to give short, informal talks in between speakers about the ideas they were most passionate about. We adpated that to be short 3-minute (180 second) talks from selected participants at our own in-person events, inspiring them to share a small idea that would help others change their perspectives — do a mental 180!

We then took it even further by bringing 180 Ideas Talks to various public venues where people with great ideas were likely to gather, and have since collaborated with a number of community friends to help amplify some of the ideas coming out of their events. Their participants supply the ideas, and we supply the video platform via our own TEDxCalgary YouTube channel (typically cross-posted to the organization's own channel).

Click to see some examples!



How it works

When we offer this event interaction, individuals are given an opportunity to sign up for a 15-minute time slot in which they can outline, rehearse, and record their talk with our 180 Ideas video team. The time slots are tightly controlled, so we greatly encourage people to think about and rehearse their idea talk in advance, so that they can give the talk as naturally as possible within the time allowed.

A good guideline is to keep it really simple. You'll only have time to share one idea in a concise format, so be sure that you can address the following key points:

  1. State the idea up front! For example, "My idea is that everyone should get an extra two holiday days each year, to use for whatever they want" or "I want to share the idea that comes from Person X, which I think isn't getting enough attention right now." Don't make people wait until the very end to tell them what your idea is. 
  2. Tell people why it's important to you, and why you think it should be important to them. Here, you want to make the idea relate to something that you've been thinking about for a while, a problem you've encountered for which your idea is a potential solution, and why it applies more broadly to society — and Calgary in particular. 
  3. What are some practical examples of how your idea applies to daily life? Make these relatable to the experiences of others. Your idea shouldn't be so narrow or lofty that others can't relate, so take some time to explain how and where people might put the idea to use.
  4. How can people get involved in your idea? If people want to learn more, or join you in amplifying the idea, where can they go to get additional information, or how can they take the idea and apply it in their own way? Remember that the TED/TEDx motto is "Ideas worth spreading", so encourage people to take your idea further.

Do you get stage fright? Everyone can, so we have a trained facilitator who can ask you a few simple questions to prompt you through talking about your idea. If you're not able to deliver the idea in a single take, this option allows us to edit your talk together in post-production.

What NOT to talk about... Talks that are inherently commercial in nature (including based on selling or promoting personal coaching services, counselling, or products) are not considered, nor are talks that are based on a single religious faith, inherently divisive social viewpoints and opionions, or pseudo-scientific principles. It is a cardinal rule of TEDx talks (even 180 Ideas Talks) that they should be evidence-based, which means that such evidence should be accessible to others and not based on New Age frameworks, personal visions, or conspiracy theories that can't be tested. Such concepts might some day be proven, but we're comfortable taking the stance that we won't promote them from our stage in the interim.


Important conditions and restrictions

Anyone doing a 180 Ideas Talk must sign our standard speaker release form. Among other things, this asks you to verify that your idea doesn't contain any copyrighted material that you don't have appropriate permissions to redistribute, that you understand you won't be financially compensated for the idea or its ongoing distribution via electronic or other means, and that you understand that we have full editorial control over whether the talk will be publicly released and maintained online (meaning we have the right to remove it at our discretion). 

The release form will be available for review in full at the interaction, and must be signed before the talk is recorded. As the release is used globally by TED and all TEDx organizing teams, no provisions in the release are waivable or negotiable.

All TED and TEDx talks are shared under a Creative Commons CC BY–NC–ND 4.0 International licence, and have important restrictions around modifications, embedding in other works, and commercial use. Please see the TED Talks Usage Policy for full details.