The One That Started It All

A few days ago my dad was sharing stories with me about his week in Texas at the SXSW conference when he mentioned, kind of offhand, that one afternoon he found himself in a conversation with Michael Stipe.  Yes, that Michael Stipe.  They talked about songwriting.


When I was done freaking-out like a teenager he sent me home with the programs from the conference, so I could page through them at my (jealous) leisure.  I felt sort of like, my-parents-went-to-Hawaii-and-all-I-got-is-this-lousy-t-shirt.  But it got me thinking about the people I’d love to fall into conversation with someday, daydreaming about going out for drinks with Jakob Dylan, Sheryl Crow.  The Edge.  Pink.  Ken Robinson.

What, not ringing any bells?  Sir Ken Robinson, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, is an internationally renowned creativity expert.  He’s written best-sellers, received awards, and spoken before audiences throughout the world, and at the risk of sounding like a wicked (odd) groupie, he’s got great stage presence, a wry sense of humor, and that appealing British accent.  I first came across Sir Ken Robinson about three years ago, when I was just beginning to learn as much as I could about arts-integration, multiple intelligences, and creativity in our public schools, and I felt like I’d stumbled into a treasure trove when I found the TED conference website and this video of Mr. Robinson’s 2006 TED talk:

Sometimes you read something or hear someone speak, and you might find what they have to say perfectly reasonable, if not memorable.  Other times, the experience makes things as clear and bright as the sun blazing through a break in the clouds.

update: Yay! The video will play now, thanks to the Wordpress Support folks; if you are having any difficulty you can also view the video on the Ted website at

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