TEDx Danubia March 2011 by Regina Saphier

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Yesterday I looked at my facebook news stream and I got curious about the latest TEDx Danubia program. I had a quick look and suddenly decided to set up my latest live blog, but for the first time to blog about a TEDx event in Hungary (I regularly blog about the main live TED events, but not about TEDx events). It looked like the organizers have finally overcome the provincial curatorial style of the previous TEDx Danubia events and for the first time the program looked world class. I had everything set up and was looking forward to blogging the entire show when right at the beginning: on the official site the stream link was nowhere to see (and trust me, I knew what I was doing, I am a regular live conference streamer and it was not going to be my first TEDx Danubia live stream either), no stream started, and by the time I figured out that the free webcast was supposed to be on ustream, there was still no live stream… I posted quick notes to the organizers after I established that other people had the same stream error…

For hours the stream did not work so I decided to spend my day with different tasks, e.g.: reading the English letters of a wonderful female painter (while sunbathing on my balcony), who lived a short life and painted some remarkable pictures mainly in Hungary and in India. I was rather frustrated that I did not get to see some of the excellent morning TEDx D. speakers… so I kept returning to my computer and suddenly the steam went live.

So, I have seen some of the speakers… well… it was rather hard to see them, because the stream quality was miserable (on the organizers’ side). It was nowhere near the TED Long Beach quality. But still after the many technical problems, I have to say: there were some really interesting talks, good speakers and I especially appreciated the English speaking talks, because they have a better chance of making it onto the TED.COM site’s talk archive list for everyone to see. (There were some boring speakers too, but I am not here to write about the negative aspect of speakers.)

The event was also special because Bruno Giussani TED’s EU director attended in person and also spoke at this TEDx conference. I am hoping to see his talk soon on TEDx Danubia’s official site, along with Tamás Freund’s talk (I have no idea why he did not speak in English, I know for a fact that he is able to speak in English, because we were featured in the same BBC World News report a few years ago).

So, below is the program that I did not get to see in its entirety, but whatever I managed to see during the day, most were interesting, well delivered and TED-worthy. I congratulate the curators of the sessions. They have done a really good job and set a new standard for Hungarian TEDx events. I even played with the idea of attending the next one in person and even suggesting speakers.

But please, pay much more attention to the online stream. It is after all the future… The online experience in the world of social media is a key aspect. Also, while I am glad that last year’s idiotic toilet paper stage design was nowhere to be seen (I mean, really? is this how you want to be seen in the world? toilet paper behind the speakers?), still the boring boxes only overcrowded the stage and were lacking fantasy. Also, the member profiles on the tedxdanubia site are unavailable (I used to brows them last year but now there is no link to them.). Plus, for the next event, please find a host with real charisma, stage presence and well timed humor or some other deep intellectual substance.

Finally, the most exquisite performance happened right at the end of the day. I am sure the Moholy-Nagy light play will soon be on the TED.COM site. It was wonderfully directed and performed. A true creative delight for the international connoisseur’s mind. Excellent curatorial decision. Thank you! (Especially because I could see it twice: the webcam was on even during the rehearsal…)

Here is the performance: http://www.tedxdanubia.com/hu-HU/TEDxDanubia_Talks/Negative_Variete.aspx


8:50-10:40 Exploring Within

Tamás Freund – neuroscientist: Brain Waves and Creativity

• Julian Treasure – sound designer: Conscious Listening (in English)

• Keren Hanan – pianist, painter: Music in Colours (in English)

• Péter Csermely – biochemist, network researcher: The Tao of Talent (in English)

Bruno GiussaniTED’s European Director and Curator for TEDGlobal (in English)

• Lakshmi Pratury – host of TEDIndia 2009 and INK: What the West Can Learn from the East (in English)

11:40-13:20 Connecting the Dots

• Vilmos Csányi – ethologist: The Nature of Beliefs

• Carolyn Steel – food urbanist: Sitopia – how we can think through food (in English)

• Antal Kelle – creative artist: ArtFormer

• Zsuzsa Szvetelszky – social psychologist: The Art and Science of Gossip

• Péter Papp – programmer mathematician: What a Software Designer Dreams Of…

• Tomicah Tillemann – international relations expert: Creating Change in a Changing World (in English)

14:20-16:10 Extraordinary Journeys

• László Kiss – physicist, astronomer: Almost Nothing

• Zoltán Galántai – futures scientist: The Glasses of Time

• Gábor Korom – instinct management researcher: Ariadne’s Thread

• Carin King – fashion consultant: Style Without Mirrors (in English)

• Róbert Mandel – musician, organologist: Instruments Ago…

• Stuart Schulzke – new media entrepreneur: Detrivializing a Twitterized World (in English)

17:10-19:00 A New Beginning

• Gábor George Burt – strategist, innovation/creativity expert: Re-engaging Your Childhood Creativity (in English)

• Gábor Karsai – philosopher, spiritual diplomat: The Origin of the Beginning

• Nic Marks – statistician: The Happiness Manifesto (in English)

• John Foppe – motivation expert: Within Reach (in English)

• Balázs Havasi – pianist, composer

20:10-20:30 Special Evening Session: Dream Bubbles

Viktória Szépvölgyi – director, producer: Negative Varieté