By now I would be enroute to the SCA Expo, instead I find myself immersed in the inspiring whirlpool of the TED2017 conference. It is the week before the 2017 Ted talks begin at the Vancouver Convention Center and several Vancouver based coffee companies along with the Canadian Barista Institute have banded together in a collective effort to fuel the intellectual synergy emanating at the shores of Burrard inlet. The lobby is being transformed into one giant coffee house. A Cafe Collective for the new Millennium so to speak, with some of the most insightful minds on the planet assembling to talk about people, planets, intelligence (real and artificial), design, the future, and a myriad of other mind stretching subjects.
This year's theme? "The Future You"
The diversity of the slate of speakers is mind boggling, from authors, to scientists, to superstars like Serena Williams, author of the human guinea pig, Tim Ferriss, and visionaries like Elon Musk. If that is not enough there is always the excitement of the "The Surprise Guest - A world figure whose identity we can't yet reveal.”
The talks are sold out as usual, with over 2000 attendees shelling out between $2000 to $6000 a person, in order to gain insight to help guide the future of their enterprises, institutions and their personal lives.
Luckily for us mere mortals, portions of the Ted talks will be screened at selected cinemas for about $23.
You may want to inquire at your local library and university if they will be streaming the talks live (and for free!), as was done in past years.
If you find yourself at the library, look for the book, The Devil's Cup: A History of the World According to Coffee by Stewart Lee Allen. If you haven't read this little gem, I highly suggest you pick up a copy, or download, or whatever it is people do these days.
In Devil's cup, Stewart Allen proposes that coffee was instrumental in leading western civilization out of the dark ages. According to Allen, coffee literally sobered up all of Europe at a time where drunken, slurred arguments were the norm in everyday European pub life.
The rise of 17th century coffee houses, suddenly created clarity of thought, and an abundance in energy, (which according to Allen), gave rise to the great intellects, writers and philosophers like Victor Hugo, Balzac, François-Marie Arouet, Rousseau, Jean-Paul Marat, Honoré de Balzac and Denis Diderot amongst others.
This is a new exciting partnership with the organizers of Ted. Some of the best coffees in Vancouver will be served to speakers and attendees, by some of the brightest young local barista talent.
I will divulge a few more details in the days to come, unfortunately this dream coffee shop is not open to the public(sorry!). But, we will endeavour to try and give you some details as the week progresses.
It should be a great event. There are several speakers I'm eager to bump into as it relates to our work at Canadian Barista Institute, like behavioural economist Dan Ariely and cognitive scientist Anil Seth.
But personally I want to try and teach fellow Meta-learner, Tim Ferriss how to pour latte art, as Tim's series of 4-hour self help books have help to inspire the curriculum at the Canadian Barista & Coffee Academy,
4-hour barista, Tim?