You never know who you might bump into at TED... pic.twitter.com/T0tl9xDSXe— Chris Anderson (@TEDchris) March 18, 2014
So, this happened Today: Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin hung out with whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was attending the TED conference via a telepresence robot. You may want to read that last sentence again to let it sink in.
Despite the very careful legal dance that tech giants have had to walk around the National Security Agency scandal, Snowden has been welcomed as a hero. In public statements, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others involved with the NSA have had to steer clear of giving the sensitive topic more spotlight. But, it seems that behind the lawyers and policy consultants, tech luminaries are fans.
Last week, when Snowden gave his first live interview at the SXSW conference, I couldn’t get into the room where he was telecast, let alone one-on-one time with him. SXSW had at least two giant overflow rooms just to fit in all the attendees that wanted to see it live.
It’s impressive that any conference can provide that kind of experience for attendees. TED will post the interview with Snowden soon.