Thursday, May 22, 2008

A (inspirational) work of staggering genius...

Although I have so far been unable to stomach the full contents of author, publisher, philanthropist, designer and teacher-at-large Dave Eggers' memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, this guy is truly one of my heroes. I am clearly not alone in my appreciation for this gentleman's contributions to life on Planet Earth, as the organizers of TED -- the renowned annual invitation-only event where leading thinkers and doers gather for inspiration and insight centered around the themes of Technology, Entertainment and Design -- saw fit to name him one of three 2008 winners of their prestigious TEDPrize. For background, check out this TEDTalk where he accepts his award and invites the audience to personally, creatively engage with local public schools. For more on why I'm telling you all this, please read on below.



Earlier this week, TED's organizers announced an open challenge in support of Dave's wish to collect 1,000 stories of private citizens innovatively engaged in their local public schools. In short, you and I are invited to design and implement new projects for public school students, and then share the results at onceuponaschool.org for a chance to attend next year's sold out TED Conference in Long Beach, California, on Feb. 4-7, and other extraordinary rewards which are probably fairly obvious. Thank you for the inspiration, Mr. E; your genius is staggering indeed.