TEDxNASA: Details Revealed

Keith's note: Over the weekend I sent several additional requests to the organizers of TEDxNASA and LaRC PAO Up until now no one from the conference or LaRC has provided any information whatsoever on this NASA-sponsored event. Last night, Steve Craft, Deputy Director for Strategic Planning in the NASA LaRC Strategic Relationships Office provided a detailed response to my questions/concerns. Meanwhile, I have yet to hear a single thing from LaRC PAO on this event. Also, for the record, Steve provided me with a ticket to the event. I think I will be able to attend. If their LiveStream (or other webstreaming) intent materializes, I will feature it on NASA Watch.

His response to me follows:

Q: Since NASA LaRC is listed as a formal co-sponsor of TEDxNASA, Can you tell me how (specifically) members of the public will be able to get tickets for TedxNASA?

A: There will be a button available on our site for registration. Clicking on that button will take the user to a ticket registration website. Tickets for the general public will be available November 14th. Our updated website will explain this in more detail.

Q: Also, can you send me the criteria whereby people were invited to attend/participate TEDxNASA - why some people were chosen and others were not

A: Normally for a TED conference the entire audience is invite only. But because this is an independently organized and licensed NASA TEDx event, and NOT a TED Conference, we had some control over how to set the audience. We did want to have a variety of people from different backgrounds to get a similar audience participation as what occurs at a TED conference. With that in mind, approximately half of the invitations went out to local businesses and universities. They were each given an allocation of tickets to distribute as they wished. Another 25% of the tickets will be allocated to NASA Langley employees, NASA Langley contractor employees, NIA employees, and NIA member universities. The remaining 25% of tickets will be made available to the general public. By November 13th, any unused tickets that were allocated out originally to invitees will also be offered to the general public.

Here are some additional ticket facts:

  • - All tickets are free! - we only needed to have people register so we could manage the total number of people attending
  • - Invitations to the local community businesses and universities went out Monday, 10/19/09
  • - Invitations to NASA Langley employees, NASA Langley contractor employees, NIA employees, and NIA member universities went out 10/26/09
  • - Tickets to the general public will be available 11/14/09

Q: the current agenda of speakers?

A: These are some of our speakers check the website in a couple days for more. (in alphabetical order)

Q: and the plan for webcasting this event live?

A: LiveStream will be streaming the entire event as it happens.

Q: The tickets will supposedly available on 14 Nov - less than a week before the actual event. By waiting until the last minute, the organizers have all but precluded anyone from other parts of the country from making travel plans.

A: A TEDx event is intended to be a community event, not a national event. The excitement in Hampton Roads is such that we will have no trouble filling the Ferguson Center. We hope that , after we work out the bugs, this event will serve as a model for other NASA Centers. We would be happy to help them host these types of events in their own communities. And as you will see below we will also be streaming this live so everyone will be able to have access for free, worldwide.


Q: In addition, since there is limited seating, most taxpayers will not have access to the event as it unfolds. There has been some vague mention of videos being available after the event, but apparently the concept of streaming this event live is beyond their collective skillset. Curiously, the Gen Y digerati at NASA all profess to be supportive of openness, being inclusive, and live blogging and webcasting - everything.

A: There are no assigned seats, they will be filled on a first come, first served basis. We will have high quality post-production videos of each speaker available on the website after the event takes place. We are working with a company called LiveStream to stream the event live, for free, to potentially 450+ websites around the world. Anyone, anywhere will be able to watch.

Q: According to a rotating notice on the website, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver is speaking - this certainly confers a certain level of official NASA HQ support for the event as well. But I have now confirmed that Lori Garver is speaking somewhere else on that date. Yet this message still appears on the website. Meanwhile LaRC PAO has been totally mute on this entire topic.

A: Lori was originally scheduled to give a talk for us but unfortunately her plans have now changed so that reference will be removed.

Q: One would hope that the new NASA Advisory Council subcommittee on education and public outreach would look into events such like this and push the agency toward adopting a uniform policy of openness and full access - and not allow agency resources to be used on events that only a certain, select few people can benefit from.

A: The truth is anyone will be able to benefit from this event. The event will be streamed live, and the videos will be available online for download long after the event ends.

Earlier post: TEDxNASA: An Invitation-Only NASA Meeting - Unless You Are Lucky

Keith's note: TEDxNASA, openly promoted by its organizers (some of whom work at NASA LaRC) as being sponsored by NASA (NASA LaRC is listed as a formal host), have yet to explain how they will be giving out tickets. The tickets will supposedly available on 14 Nov - less than a week before the actual event. By waiting until the last minute, the organizers have all but precluded anyone from other parts of the country from making travel plans.

Apparently, however, a hand-picked select few have been invited - and they are Twittering about it and posting on Facebook. The organizers also refuse to publish any information as to how invited attendess were selected or who will speaking even though they have clearly been lining up speakers.

In addition, since there is limited seating, most taxpayers will not have access to the event as it unfolds. There has been some vague mention of videos being available after the event, but apparently the concept of streaming this event live is beyond their collective skillset. Curiously, the Gen Y digerati at NASA all profess to be supportive of openness, being inclusive, and live blogging and webcasting - everything.

According to a rotating notice on the website, NASA Deputy Adminstrator Lori Garver is speaking - this certainly confers a certain level of official NASA HQ support for the event as well. But I have now confirmed that Lori Garver is speaking somewhere else on that date. Yet this message still appears on the website. Meanwhile LaRC PAO has been totally mute on this entire topic.

One would hope that the new NASA Advisory Council subcommittee on education and public outreach would look into events such like this and push the agency toward adopting a uniform policy of openness and full access - and not allow agency resources to be used on events that only a certain, select few people can benefit from.

A NASA Conference That No One Can Register For, earlier post

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on November 9, 2009 5:37 PM.

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