FAQ 2013 TED Fellows Retreat [Note: all details subject to change]Please read through this document carefully before completing your survey or asking questions of the team.
1. What is the TED Fellows Retreat?
Its your chance to get together with (most) all of the other fellows around the world, for conversation, ideas sharing, projects, workshops, Fellows talks and more. 2. When is it taking place? August 17th through August 21st, 2013 Arrivals: Saturday, August 17th (by 4pm preferably, well begin with an opening dinner) Departures: Wednesday, August 21st (anytime) 3. Where is it taking place? In gorgeous Whistler, Canada, two hours from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at the Chateau Whistler Resort Hotel. The gorgeous city of Vancouver, British Columbia is 1 hours away. 4. What is the setting? Whistler is Canadas premiere ski resort and it is also stunning in the summer. Its set in the mountains at a modest 2,200 feet elevation (700 metres). 5. Why should I attend? To meet all the Fellows you dont know. To reunite with all the ones you do. To make new friends and potential new collaborators, to give or listen to new talks, to exchange new ideas, to build your skills, to work on cool projects, to contribute your unique gifts to the community, to enjoy one of the most stunning outdoor locations in the world the list goes on. 6. How do I complete my survey? Click this link but NOT before reading the rest of this document. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FellowsRetreatQ1 and fill out your initial survey. That will give us an idea of how many people are coming, and several other details we need. 7. Why should I complete my survey right away? We only have room for 200 out of 300 total Fellows. We need to hear from you soon. 8. I dont know my schedule this far in advance. Still, fill out the survey and choose Im coming, schedule permitting. 9. How do I know if I have a confirmed place at the retreat? After we receive your completed survey, we will tell you if you have a reservation OR a place on the wait list (we dont anticipate a wait list right now, but we cant be sure). Then youll submit a copy of your paid airline ticket or receipt and of your visa application, if any. At that point we will issue you a confirmation. You have until May 17,
2013 to submit your documentation. If not, your reservation will be released and the next person on the waitlist will be offered a place. To be fair to every Fellow who wants to come, the May 17 deadline will be strictly enforced. Those receiving financial aid will have a slightly different procedure. 10. Your confirmation system seems strict. Why is it designed this way? We believe that all Fellows will respond with honor and keep their commitment to attend. But, traditionally at any other event, a person is confirmed when they pay, and in the Fellows program, we know people are coming because we pay for their airline tickets. Thus, we need an objective way to make sure that you are coming, as not showing up will deny someone else a place and cost thousands of dollars. 11. I know that I cant come. Will that hurt me in the program? Absolutely not! Its impossible that everyone can come. We love you no matter what. Still, please complete the survey. 12. Whats the schedule? The retreat starts Saturday (the 17th) evening with dinner. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are full days, then Wednesday morning goodbye. Basically, programming will be in the morning from 9am until 1pm, lunch 1 to 2pm, indoor/outdoor activities from 2pm to 5pm (all chosen for being conversation friendly), downtime, dinner, late night. In other words, only 4 hours a day are programmed, the rest is activities, meals and conversation. You dont need to attend everything. This is meant to be more mellow than a TED Conference, though still extremely valuable. 13. How much does it cost? From the moment you arrive at Vancouver Airport until the time you return there, the Fellows program pays for virtually everything. You are expected to pay for your airline ticket as well as for your visa, if applicable. More on help in paying below. 14. Whos invited? All TED Fellows, TEDs directors (Chris, Tom V, June, Kelly, Lara, Katherine, Janet, Ronda, Bruno and Gavin), the TED Brain Trust and special guests. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate partners, spouses or children, BUT its a great place for a family vacation. We recommend you consider having them meet you at the end of the retreat, and we have a special post-retreat rate at the hotel. We anticipate that some of you will arrange your own post-retreat events. 15. I have an idea for the retreat Excellent: the design premise for the retreat is Of, By and For Fellows. We hope everyone will contribute something. Photographers may volunteer to take pictures; filmmakers make a documentary; designers, a logo; or software developers, a retreat app, for example.
However you dont HAVE to do anything. This is also a place to practice skills no one knows you possess. For example, in our midst we have an extremely gifted shiatsu therapist and a hardcore scientist who is also a tarot card reader. Use the Fellows retreat survey (same one as attached to the invitation, you only need to complete once) [Insert LINK ]to contribute your ideas initially, and after at firstname.lastname@example.org. 16. You mentioned TED Fellows talks. Do I really have to give one? NO! Talks are not the main goal of the retreat. Those who want to give a talk will be able to submit their ideas later in the fall. From those, well choose only about 25. And, for those who do want to speak, the talks take place the very first morning so that you can get them over with and then relax with everyone else. And yes, were recording these at full quality to consider for TED.com. 17. I have an idea for a TED-Ed talk. (TED Education) Thats great! Logan Smalley, himself a 2009 TED Fellow, is our director of TED-Ed. You will have an opportunity to record an audio track to be considered for pairing with an animator to make into a TED-Ed Talk. Look at Greg Gages talk to see the first Fellow who has one (though his is live/animation hybrid.) Learn more at ed.ted.com. 18. I have an idea for a TED Book Great! You will be able to meet with TED Books editor Jim Daly and pitch your idea. We have TED Books from Fellows Rachel Armstrong and Alanna Shaikh so far, but by next year there will be more. 19. I have an idea for a TED Prize application. The director of the TED Prize, Lara Stein will be there. 20. How do I get there? You fly to Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is reachable as a direct flight from hundreds of Asian and Western cities, and is one or two stops from the rest. A TED Fellows shuttle will meet you for the two-hour drive to Whistler. Well have snacks and water in case youre hungry or thirsty. 21. I cant afford an airline ticket. Can I still come? Everyone is expected to contribute something towards their flight and visa. There is a whole year to fundraise creatively towards the costs. However, we recognize that some folks are from economically disadvantaged parts of the world or earn little from their work. Therefore we will offer limited financial aid to those who demonstrate need. Because the event is so expensive, we will only be able to assist those who need help most. We may award partial or complete plane/visa scholarships. If you indicate in your response survey that you are interested, we will reach out in September 2012 with more information. 22. I have to get a Visa. As always we will provide the necessary letter of invitation to the retreat for the Canadian immigration officials, and do our best to
assist you. We plan to have legal assistance and senior governmental help to assist should there be any issues. Because there are sometimes delays, please start the process to obtain your visa at least six months in advance if not sooner to give us a chance to appeal. Well put out more information about visas Sept/Oct, 2012. 23. Where do I apply for a Visa? http://www.migrationexpert.ca/immigration_canada/ 24. Who needs a Canadian Travel Visa? In general, if you are NOT from one of these exempt countries, you will need a visa:Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania(biometric passport holders), Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland(biometric passport holders), Portugal, Republic of Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom (including British Overseas citizens who are re-admissible and citizens of some British Dependant Territories), United States (including persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence and Green Card holders) Western Samoa.
25. How much do travel visas cost? USD$99 at standard speed. 26. How did you choose the location? We wanted a place on the
West Coast of North America for the first event, a place that has lots of flights from India, Europe, Latin America and the US. We were looking for an immersive escape, and considered the beach, wine groves and mountains. In the end, mountains seemed the best choice. We also needed a superb venue where everyone and the event could be under one roof. The Chateau Whistler, located at the base of one of the two main mountains, is such a venue. 27. Tell me more about the Fellows Retreat venue. The Chateau Whistler Resort Hotel is a Fairmont property, a four-star resort with excellent food and service. It has several advantages: beautiful rooms with comfortable beds, delicious food, lots of space, a big pool, multiple hot tubs, a spa, tennis courts, a golf course, walking distan