I had a big week — the kind of week that made me feel that twenty years of effort were, at last, beginning to emerge into a new form with new opportunities.
It started with a series of six meetings with editors in NYC. I found, to my delight, that people at the big New York publishing houses were interested in thinking about, talking about and advancing our understanding of human development in the second half of life. All of the people we met with were also impressed by the effort all of us are making here on the ChangingAging Blogstream. In many of the meetings I got feedback of “this is just the sort of things that authors should be doing.”
At the close of business on Thursday we had a powerful sense that the proposal for “The Second Crucible” had found its mark and that there would be an auction this week. (UPDATE: I just talked to my agent, Lane Zachary – she’s been making calls and she is even more enthused about this book’s prospects.) I’ll let you all know more as soon as I know more.
On Friday I flew to San Francisco. I got off the plane, picked up a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle and read my Op-Ed. You can read it HERE, if you are interested.
Kavan and I made a series of last minute changes to the speech I was scheduled to give — by the way I want to say thank you to all the ChangingAging readers who sent in ideas and suggestions for the talk, the comments were really helpful— and I rehearsed it a couple of times.
We then hiked across the hills of San Francisco until we found the address of a welcoming reception that was held at the home of the one of the founders of TEDxSF. Great party, fascinating people; we took a cab home in the rain.
In the a.m. we walked across the street to the venue and got ready. Being backstage at a big event is always fun but this backstage experience was totally wild. This TEDx brought together writers, photographers, dancers, geriatricians (Ha!), improvisational actors, a rock band, and a midwife who attends births in the mountains of Tibet. Pretty wild.
My talk went well. I was well prepared and had a message I wanted to deliver. You can watch my TEDx Talk here.
What shocked me after the talk was how well is was received by young people. I had a great time talking with people about aging, social media and the art of public speaking during the after conference reception.
The Twitter coverage of the talk and the concept of Elderhood exploded and we couldn’t be happier.
Tom Foremski had this to say about the day:
The best part of the event was when it was over and there was a chance to meet and talk with the audience and performers. In past TEDxSF events few people stay around afterwards. This time it seemed as if everyone stayed for hours. Strangers formed spontaneous discussion groups, salons were formed on the-fly… All great stuff.
TEDxSF is a great example of a type of curation that is uncommon: curating people. Choosing the people that present at the event, and also choosing the people that are allowed into the event (everyone has to apply).
It’s a form of curation that is difficult but rewarding when done right and the TEDxSF team seem to be really hitting their stride.
Read his full round up of the speakers HERE
So, it was a good week. We have so much more to do if we are really going to change aging but the last seven days moved us in the right direction.