Live from TED2017 TED Partners

A world of inspiring destinations: The Post Up at TED2017

Marriott Hotel’s project, The Post Up, collects travel tips and stories at TED2017, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED

The medieval Moroccan scholar and traveler Ibn Battuta once wrote: “Traveling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” If that’s the case, TED2017 is a conference full of storytellers, as showcased in The Post Up project by TED partner Marriott Hotels.

“Sikkim, in the Himalayas. I know that electricity is not needed to enjoy a new place when candlelight and moonlight are free.”

“Sydney, Australia. The first time I stood in front of the Sydney Opera House, I knew I wanted to be an architect. Seeing that one building changed the entire course of my life.”

“Tena Tena Camp, Zambia. Taking a sunrise walk there made me feel a deep primordial link to what we now know is the cradle of humanity.”

“New York City. I think of NYC as the forge that made me, bringing me cultures, ideas, opportunities, my wife.”

“Monkey forest, Bali, Indonesia. Out of nowhere, one of the monkeys jumped on my head, and I literally couldn’t even.”

Those are just some of the captivating, authentic stories you’ll see at The Post Up project, where overhead screens show an ever-rotating display of jumbo postcards of life-changing destinations, all of them shared by conference attendees. Tablets are scattered throughout the well-designed space – picture the living room of your dreams, filled with comfortable chairs and sofas and, oh yes, a station staffed by expert baristas in the center — so people can take a moment to input their most memorable trips. Following the simple prompt “This place changed me,” you type in you anecdote and then upload an image of the place directly from your phone if you have it. (Btw, the user photos are just as unique and enticing as the write-ups.) Soon after entering your information, you can see your story and photo filling a giant postcard.

Above, a giant, suspended, lit-up gray globe spins; it’s marked by a growing number of bright red dots pinpointing the locations cited. In another thought-provoking feature of the space, a different daily multiple-choice question – as well as the previous day’s, along with its results – also appears on the screens. Here’s one: “You are traveling across the world. Which would you rather be transported by: A slow-moving boat that lets you experience the journey, or a high-speed space tube?” Sixty-five percent of attendees opted for the former; thirty-five percent, the latter.

The overall effect of The Post Up project is of standing in the midst of a real-life, constantly refreshing bucket list of the most inspiring places on the globe as provided by the hive mind of TED attendees. And when you leave the space, you’ll feel excited and moved to start planning your next travel story.