I’m obsessed with the process of bringing cool things to life. I admire the TED Prize, because it isn’t about being a genius or a superhero — it’s about doing great stuff. The 2004 winners are Bono, photo-artist Edward Burtynsky, and medical device pioneer Robert Fischell.
Some say that rockers are but court jesters, but some use their fame as a bully pulpit. Bono has done this; the TED site leaves us with one of his remarkable thoughts: "What are the blind spots of our age? It might be something as simple as our deep down refusal to believe that every human life has equal worth."
To my mind, the environmental issues facing us today are beyond comprehension. What do a billion people look like? What does it feel like to lose an organism forever? Photos by Burtynsky can help deliver the message in a way that breaks through the fuzz.
Many people create products which claim to change people’s lives, but which really only affect lifestyle. For example, an iPod is way cool, but it differs from my 80’s Walkman only by degree. Robert Fischell creates things that fundamentally change lives. His work is the standard by which that statement must be judged.