Establish a presentation series similar to TED Talks or Pecha Kucha but whose structure is inspired by James Burke’s Connections series. Connections was a nerdy and brilliant British documentary series made in the late ’70′s which explored invention history through the lens of “an alternative view of change.”
What Burke meant by an “alternative view of change” was that modern inventions were more than just the product of geniuses tinkering away in a laboratory; they were also the result of a series of events and technologies, which allowed for that invention to be brought to life. For example, in the episode “Death in the Morning“, Burke explores the creation of the atom bomb by first connecting the nuclear weapon to ancient Greece with the birth of a monetary economy – which then spurred trade in Persia and the Mediterranean – which eventually lead to the construction of the Royal Library of Alexandria – which housed the first star charts – that were later used in naval exploration – and up and up and up – until making a final connection with ‘Little Boy’ – the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.
In this fashion, create a gestalt-themed presentation series, where prior to the event, each presenter is given two topics (they could be an invention, or person, or event, or song, or what have you). The two topics would serve as a point A and B, where throughout their presentation, the presenter would have X number of slides to draw a relationship between the two topics while indulging in everything in between.
The progression of the presentations could be very linear (like in Connections, where A + B + C = D) or they could be a little roundabout (where A + Y + M = D). Also, each presenter would be unaware of the previous and next presenter’s topics. So for example, if Presenter A’s topics are Sex and and The Bubonic Plague and Presenter B’s topics are The Bubonic Plague & Furbies, neither would know that their presentations are ultimately drawing a connection between Sex and Furbies via The Bubonic Plague (and many other links). By the end of the event, the audience and presenters will have leapt-frogged from topic to topic, learning about historical invention, forming new relationships and hopefully having a lot of fun along the way.