First the Guggenheim. Now the TED.
My brother Jon, who had already traveled in some pretty rare air before 2011, has won these two staggering honors this year.
And it’s only early June.
For those who are not familiar with TED, according to its website it is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
Jon is a Global Fellow who will attend the Edinburgh conference in July.
While there, he’ll meet people from all over the world who are engaged in projects ranging from studying ancient geometric signs from the Ice Age to creating the first platform in Africa allowing consumers to shop for goods and services via their mobile phones through text to exposing the inhumane treatment of children and adults with disabilities and mental illness in the Balkans.
That’s is just a sampling from three of the other fellows in Jon’s group.
Jon will be continuing to work on his own, long-term documentary projects about poverty, violence and power as well as thinking about how to help create a community of photographers working for social justice.
Those are central values underpinning the work of Noor Images, the Amsterdam-based agency of which Jon is a member and part owner. Through being part of the TED community, he’ll have many different conversation partners with whom to interact and from whom to learn.
He’s got some homework to do before July.
Specifically, he’s got to prepare a four-minute speech in which he encapsulates his work and his vision for Noor.
I know he can do it, and he’s got some time.
For tonight, for the second time in less than a month, I salute my brother for another remarkable recognition of his talent, dedication, vision and hard work.
Nothing but pride and love here.