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Unexpected Gifts from a TED salon…

Last night in New York, we held our first-ever TED holiday salon, to thank our extended community for a year of wonderful support. It was a full TED session, with five thoughtful speakers, gorgeous music, visual delight, and a parlor trick or two. The evening’s theme was “Unexpected Gifts,” and we think it lived up to its name, on many levels…

Jazz singer Nora York brought the Gift of Music (with the poetic brilliance of songs like “What I Want”) Griffith Observatory director E.C. Krupp brought the Gift of Wonder (and gorgeous images of space); Counterpart CEO Lelei Lelaulu offered the Gift of Connection (and lessons learned in getting people what they really need to live with dignity); anime artist Chiho Aoshima brought the Gift of Imagination (with the New York City debut of her mesmerizing animation, “City Glow”); Jim Karol brought the Gift of Memory (and an unsettling knowledge of everyone in the audience); Tenzin Bob Thurman offered the Gift of Compassion. And host Deborah Patton masterminded the evening’s gifts.

(Our gift to you… All these presentations will be be released online, through TEDTalks, in the coming weeks.)

The evening closed with an epic gift exchange … There was no charge for the salon; instead, everyone brought a gift (preferably one with a story attached to it.) and at the appropriate moment, swapped gifts and stories. Looking around the room, it was clear there were many TED stories in the making …