Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2012 Day 2

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

8:30 – 10:15

Session 4: The Lab
Hosted by Chris Anderson

This session had at least two talks with the wow factor. After Scooter spoke to the TED audience and pointed out that TED is like the academy awards for nerds, Regina, a nerd herself says that people  should be nice to nerds because they are the ones who are able to change the world. She asked us: What if you could not fail? Life gets interesting by the way when we fail because it means we surpassed ourselves. She is designing amazing flying objects at DARPA and one of the most interesting ones is the nano hummingbird… looks amazingly real as it floats over the TED stage  and Chris jokingly remarks at the end: Look what a cute hummingbird just flew into my headquarter… he also kept trying to make her say that her designs will be used by the military in unknown ways and what those ways might be… But anyway: What would you attempt to do if you knew that you can’t fail…? Jack demonstrated the highly practical digital anatomy device where the human body is represented by a 1:1 3D model of the human body, excellent for training and also for surgery consultation. This amazing table is already on sale, cheaper than a human body. Marco visually narrated Tesla’s short form bio and we learned that Tesla’s mind was supported by synesthesia and he built models in his head. After hundreds of inventions he had one failed idea, that was actually possible, but he kind of overestimated the possibilities and got no funding. Finally he ended up a recluse in his Waldorf Astoria suit. I mean, how silly, after so much success, how could people leave him so alone? Donald explained his world changing idea: The Liquid Metal Battery. This invention might just save the planet, according to Chris. We were informed that while watching, there are 165 TEDx events happening simultaneously. Vijay showed his team’s agile flying robots. I knew about his work, I have seen it before, but some of the videos were new. I especially liked the small robots flying in formation. At the end of the session Chris remembered Steve Jobs.

11:00 – 12:45

Session 5: The Earth
Hosted by Chris Anderson

Karen took us high up in the mountains to watch bears and showed footage of a newly discovered bat that has a tongue longer than its own body to reach the nectar in a flower. Sharon showed photos of beautiful bird nests. Wade asked us to protect the sacred head waters of the world. James reinforced our knowledge that global warming is real and we need to put extra price on carbon. Boone spoke unconvincingly about natural gas as the bridge energy for the US. I mean he lost 150 million as a solar energy entrepreneur, and now he has investments in natural gas… you can see where he is coming from. The Civilians performed the end of humanity.

2:15 – 4:00

Session 6: The Crowd
Hosted by June Cohen

After some music, the start up whisperer, father of LinkedIn, Reid says that individuals need to use their online company of people, their network as entrepreneurs. You somewhat have to understand technology, have a network identity, need network intelligence and network capabilities.  If you are a company collecting user data, do not do anything with it that you would not publish in The New York Times. David Hornik had a 3 minute talk. He spoke about his invisible disability, dyslexia preventing him from remembering names. He says that even if he can not remember our names, he still loves us. 🙂 Lior presents the first crowd sourced TED talk, and brings a real ox on stage. Jen gives the most practical talk of this session, introducing OccupytheSEC. She brings application developers into City Hall. It is a peace corps for geeks. We need a crowd of voices, but more importantly we need a crowd of hands actually doing things. Frank gives an epic talk about asking people to share their secrets with him on a postcard. June shares her secret: her skirt zipper broke but safety pins saved the day. 🙂 And finally Reggie speaks nonsense in the most intelligent manner possible and produces fun with his persona.

5:00 – 6:45

Session 7: The City
Hosted by Chris Anderson

JR’s TED wish turned his idea into the biggest collaborative art project in the world. Edward spoke too fast, so Chris made him summarize his talk at the end: cities are important for us to be able to connect to create collaboratively. Eduardo demonstrated how efficiently his operations center works in Rio and his colleague came online to tell him about the weather, the traffic and river levels. Suja, a stunning person and excellent storyteller spoke about her urban planning project in Africa, where she is working on a new city in Free State in South Africa.  The session is closed with lively Gospel. 🙂 (I will never forget the kindness of the church people in Harlem after we visited their community following 9/11. It was an unforgettable and wonderful experience. Thank you!)

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Regina Saphier TED Long Beach 2012 Day 1

Long Beach, CA Time is in the Pacific Time Zone in the United States of America (USA).
US Pacific Standard Time (PST) is 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-8).
For Budapest, Hungary local time, add 9 hours to each time in the program.

Here we are again, this is major TED event #6 that I am live blogging online. I must say, every time the first stream of a major TED conference starts, I feel something special… it is the feeling of gratitude that I have the opportunity to be part of this amazing event live. This year I decided to change my habit of speaker by speaker notes and I am going to start writing session summaries, because you can find an amazing speaker by speaker key idea stream on twitter in a micro blog form directly happening during the major TED events by TEDNews.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

11:00 – 12:45

Session 1: The Observatory
Hosted by Chris Anderson

Brian explained how humanity went from the idea of the universe to the idea of a multiverse, how we first assumed that the expansion was slowing, and now we know that the expansion is speeding up… that the Big Bang might have produced several universes instead of only one. And he pointed out that a very long time from now scientists would look into a much darker and more static space and would draw very different conclusions, so we might just as well be doing the same, as some of the information is already gone. And from space time we go to space archeology: Sarah talked about the fact that she was able to show from space that 99% of Egypt’s archaeological sites remain to be uncovered. Paul told us to be afraid and act before the big crisis hits, because the Earth is full, while Peter gave us an optimistic talk about what is possible today with technology, that solar is now more available and so water would also be more available, and that the future depends on the DIY innovators, NOT governments. Susan is an introvert, she wrote a book about the importance of introverts in our societies and she introduced us to the term: endovert (people between introverts and extroverts…)

2:15 – 4:00

Session 2: The Parlor
Hosted by June Cohen

This session is a bit harder to describe, because we witnessed some stunning performances… dance with light by Quixotic… emotional and visual storytelling by Andrew… hypnotic and even dancing sculptures by Reuben… funny poems by Billy

… and some music history by Michael.

Budapest by Billy Collins

5:00 – 6:45

Session 3: The Dinner Party
Hosted by Chris Anderson

I am sorry to say, but the “dinner table” experiment is turning this session into something rather artificial… Rebecca and Steven are not actors, so the fluidity of their over rehearsed and rigid talk is missing and we are unable to reach flow… I am unable to pay attention to their content. You do not talk like this at a dinner table… talking away from the table, managing a memorized dialog with your spouse… I hope not… such smart people looking so silly… Sir Ken Robinson and Therese (Lady) Robinson would be much better at such TED stage performance.

After Rebecca and Steven finish the rigid part of the session, the “real” dinner party starts (no food for the body, only for the mind)… a bit better to watch, but there is not enough space and time for the discussions to unfold… The experience remains awkward.

More speakers appear while guests sit at the table: Julie spoke about creativity in all things we do… Atul spoke about the importance of such simple things as checklists in health care; in one of his projects he introduced a simple checklist in several hospitals around the world and while complications went down by 35%, death rates decreased by 47%! That is amazing! He says we need pit crews of medical professionals. The best care is often the least expensive, while some medical treatments are understandably very costly. When Atul sits down at the dinner table, Sir Ken Robinson tells him about his funny experience at a pathology conference: He was offered a free autopsy. You know, people give you what they can… Jonathan talks about the tendency that most people feel spiritual. He says that the self melting away is a key to our human evolution. He say that you can also feel sacred alone, but it is more meaningful in a group. I disagree. Leaders often need to first experience the melting self alone to be able to become spiritual leaders. It helps to be part of effectively cooperative groups if you want to reach higher social goals. We are “homo duplex” as Emil Durkheim called humans.