During my daily browsing of the web, I came across something that usually would have gone past my radar because it hasn’t been posted in a gaming news website, but in a social twitter mentioning Rob Pardo was on stage. Only sixteen attendees used their mobile devices to tell their friends about this.

After half an hour digging the web and over two hundred photos looking for evidence, I can now confirm that Rob Pardo (Blizzard Entertainment Executive Vice President of Game Design) attended the TED 2011 Conference: The Rediscovery of Wonder — celebrated through February 28 – March 4, 2011.

Rob Pardo conducted the panel titled: “Spotlight on World of Warcraft” on Day Two held during Session 5: Worlds Imagined. The panel happened on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at TED2011, in Long Beach, California.

I couldn’t stop wondering what in the world was Rob Pardo doing at an event that didn’t seem to have much to do with video games.

The photo shows Rob Pardo at TED 2011 (Photo by: James Duncan Davidson)

I could see in the gallery several topics ranging technology, space, science, arts, and health. An astronaut talking from the international space station, music performances, and all kind of stuff.

Digging up the about page this is what TED 2011 is about:

“TED is a small 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 Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

The annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

The springtime TED Conference, held annually in Long Beach and simulcast in Palm Springs, is at the heart of TED. More than a thousand people now attend — indeed, the event sells out a year in advance — and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter presentations, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.”

Rob Pardo was on stage to introduce the TED 2011 audience to World of Warcraft by showing a video. He revealed from internal statistics that players play 10-25 hours a week.

If anyone attended the event, please send us or link to your photo gallery or video.

There was an amazing and inspiring panel last year at TED 2010, by Jane McGonigal titled Gaming Can Make a Better World, which uses World of Warcraft as its main example: