Regina Saphier TED Global 2013 Day 2

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

8:45 – 10:15am Session 4: Money Talks

Living during the time of a new economic revolution, we need a new: New Deal! She spoke about the problem that the rich are getting richer and the middle class is going down really… The industrial revolution showed us what it means to change a system, and she listed the wars, systems changes and financial crisis that societies and people had to suffer through to get to an era when we are healthier, living longer, and even are taller because of better nutrition, etc. Meanwhile today is the era of the plutocrats who are in fact not creating enough jobs, but are really professional when it comes to tax optimization, and this is why a New Deal is imminent, because we are already in a second revolution (also related to technology) and one financial crisis is already ruining our lives. This topic also came up at the TED Long Beach event earlier this year and it is a very important one. Governments are already contemplating giving basic income to every citizen who is not able to obtain work, because 1. There are not enough jobs, 2. People become desperate in such situation in masses, 3. That means upheaval, fighting, attacks, wars… and that needs to be prevented… At the same time educated citizens need to work out a New Deal so that people are not only silenced, but also get to live a normal, sustainable life with dignity.

Modeling economic crisis and predicting them by looking at natural or systemic signs of crisis, like a birth, a land slide, or a rocket engine starting. Economic and market crisis can be predicted scientifically. Didier told us how. He also told us how his valid predictions were initially not taken seriously by so called market experts. “Gouverner, c’est prevoir”. Governing is about the ability of foresight. I wrote many years ago on another blog of mine that the Hungarian government was asleep while the economic crisis was approaching… I could not understand how that bunch of people could be called “government” when those idiots (we learned yesterday that political idiots are the ones acting alone without any coordination) had no foresight of something so visible that even I could see it coming and overwhelming Hungary. It was all over the international news that something was wrong with the markets internationally, it was clear it will reach us, yet the Hungarian “government” was surprised, and the opposition was no more skilled, made no predictions, suggested no protective measures. It was shocking to me.

She says a new, independent, transparent, self sustaining and nonprofit rating agency needs to be created and she is of course right. Rating agencies of today are intentionally distorting the international markets based on invisible background economic interests. This must change for more realistic valuation.

Where are the European Googles? She shows an image, on the left: Zuckerberg, the US, on the right: Kafka (bureaucracy), the EU. The public sector suffocates the EU, we know this slogan. However, most of the key technology in a smart phone was funded by DARPA and other government agencies in the US. Just think about that! So the EU needs to become a better government-like investor in order for the European Google to be created. Mariana is a pleasantly crazy smart speaker, I hope to see more of her at TED.

It is all about attention… a very skilled performer picking a spectator’s pocket on stage. Really entertaining. 🙂 However, I do not think the credit card was meant to fly off from the performer’s hand behind the subjects back… that was a mistake right there. But still a very funny performance that should make you think: What would you do if you could control people’s attention to that extent?

Introducing the social impact bond. Invest in social programs to prevent re-offending by criminals. Save money for governments this way, and finally investors get their money back when offenders don’t relapse and become working citizens (less prisons are needed). Win-win-win.13 social interest bond programs in the UK already. Flexibility is needed too for these to work. Public, private, social, civic, all need to be involved in a partnership to bring on social change this way.

11:00 – 12:45pm Session 5: Listening to Nature

Measuring biodiversity by measuring how it sounds. Knowing that birds are gone by playing the sounds that were recorded in a park year by year…

Mono-cultures and pesticides are killing bees. Bees are flying greater distances to find diverse flowers, are hungry and when they finally find pollen, it is full of toxic pesticide and this complex situation kills them. You can help! Plant local bee friendly flowers everywhere and do not use pesticides. Flowering weeds are also very important to bees.

Why malaria nets are not used inside malaria societies where malaria is viewed as a fact of life (and the nets are also uncomfortable). And in other more developed countries there is no malaria because of better and healthier infrastructure… So, we need a new malaria attitude against this otherwise amazingly resilient and interesting parasite. Nets are not the long term solution against malaria. So, why is Bill Gates shipping nets to those people? It is true that Europeans are also not wearing masks during the influenza season… even if it is a good idea, people just don’t like to do that…

Introducing the robotic cockroach… or the robo roach… for teaching purposes and for brain simulation.

Real time composition on the TED stage. (I assumed this is what improvisation was about.) I think it is an intuitive ambiance and introspection based composing style, real time, based on solid performance skills and practice. It is what I used to do whenever I set down at a piano when I was younger, with the tiny difference that I had no clue about piano playing. 😉 Yaron says he turns off his conscious mind and lets his unconscious play in flow.

Suzana is a smart primate on Earth eating cooked food. Like all of us humans. It is basically what she was saying. She counted that the human brain has 86 billion neurons and our primate specific brains need the energy in “predigested” or cooked food. Raw food eating primates have less neurons and smaller brains. So, what made us so smart is: cooking!

Chris announced that TED Global goes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in October 2014! We already knew that TED Long Beach becomes TED Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada in 2014. For me it only means that there will be two major TED events to blog about in the evening and by night… (not during the morning and the afternoon, like now, during TED Global… the really hard ones were/are TED events on the west coast of the US and Canada… that means 9 hours of time difference and writing until the morning each time…).

Hilarious examples of sexual (anatomical and behavioral) diversity in the animal kingdom. Very good talk.

2:15 – 4:00pm Session 6: World on Its Head

Talked about the crisis of institutions and how disadvantaged groups need to learn the code of these institutions to be able to successfully fight back for their own wellbeing.

She introduced us to the Babushkas (senior ladies who refused to move) still living in the dead zone of Chernobyl in Ukraine.

Telling us about the development of Latin America.

We learn about the Middle Eastern conflicts.

Making political art. Being critical about politics.

Humanizing Muhammad.

  • May El-Khalil Founder of the Beirut Marathon

    May El-Khalil

    May El-Khalil (TED Global 2013)

Peacemaking is a marathon… May told her story of training as an athlete, being hit by a bus, having had 36 surgeries to be able to walk again and meanwhile organizing the Beirut Marathon to unite people of her nation and to create leaders for the future.

5:00 – 6:45pm Session 7: Regeneration

Growing bone tissue in vivo (within the human body) and also using her special technique to regenerate heart tissue.

Regenerating the damaged brain. The brain has its own regenerative capacity even in MS (we see images about this). There are stem cells that are responsible for those slow and minor regenerative processes. This slow process needs to be promoted to make it more efficient. Healing and drug discovery… using brain stem cells of the patient.

  • Grégoire Courtine Spinal cord researcher

    Grégoire Courtine Spinal cord researcher

    Grégoire Courtine Spinal cord researcher (TED 2013)

On his way to heal spinal cord injury in people. He can do it in rats already. And he is sexy with this cute French accent in English. Especially like his upper lips. 😉 I love that he showed his team too and told us it was a community effort and he is “only” the maestro. (Still I am sorry for the rats…)

Introducing the Nanopatch for safer and pain free vaccination. Because it injects into the right skin surface (we see a brilliant microscopic image of the skin with the Nanopatch in it), the immune response is much better at much lower doses. Also, the vaccines used in the Nanopatch are dry, so no need for refrigeration.

Taking pictures of sound waves, magnetic fluids and burning whiskey in a bottle. Not exactly sure how this last talk fits in with this mega powerful session of game changing scientists. Nice images, but not scientific enough… so I take it as art. But for art it was not as powerful… Still an amazing session it was!

Bruno tells us: TEDx-ers are watching online from 53 countries. A truly global event.

Three brothers playing the same instrument at the same time… looks a bit bizarre on the TED stage… I mean, it really looks like a “foursome”… if you know what I mean… 😉

 

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Regina Saphier TED Global 2013 Day 1

Natasha Bedingfield

 

I am as usual in Hungary, more specifically in Budapest, and watching TED Global 2013 plus live blogging about it. Meanwhile in my district in Buda we have major flooding along the Danube, we also had several powerful storms like the one yesterday, we had two earthquakes during the last two months between 4.2 and 4.8, and Hungary is struggling economically (also in social terms and professionals are leaving by the thousands to find jobs abroad). My life too was full of hardship for the last few years. TED conferences gave me perspective, hope and intellectual resources. It was at a TED conference last year that I discovered Coursera and started another blog about it. Next year I am probably going to phase out my TED live conference blog after we celebrate 30 years of TED in 2014, and I am going to focus more on Coursera. I am still thinking about the future of my blogging… Let me know if you would like me to continue both blogs. By now I have solid experience in global blogging in English (as opposed to more limited local blogging in Hungarian) and I am thinking about new blog topics…

Coursera was anyway what I was really looking for in the first place when I stumbled upon TED many years ago… I had something to watch until Coursera finally manifested itself… Thank you Richard! Thank you Chris! Thank you TED speakers!

Lets see what is happening at TED Global this year. These are Edinburgh, Scotland times below, please look up your own local time relative to the program.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

11:00 – 12:45pm Session 1: Moments of Truth

Generally I detest when politicians speak at TED. Still, this appeared to be a humble talk about democracy in crisis internationally. There was even some review of democracy’s history. Papandreou envisions the EU as a citizens’ “Agora”. Give immigrants a European citizenship, he says. Lets not be “Idiots” standing on our own, lets examine our issues together.

Talked about the sustainability strategy of IKEA and other major corporations.

He asked during his passionate talk: Why shouldn’t we all have a Serengeti on our doorsteps? Well, I am thinking: I am ok with the lions in Africa… And yes, whales are important for the existence of planktons… not only the other way round… but as the speaker himself pointed out: who are we to decide what kinds of animals get to live in our neighborhoods… Why would I want to let him decide?

From a land where driving a car by a woman is punished by direct harassment to her family… It happened to her, she was sent to jail, therefore she became an activist for the right to drive. Saudi Arabia was the last place where women could not drive and were punished for even attempting to drive once. It turns our, there was no law, this was some unwritten custom. There was her land and there was the rest of the world. She succeeded because others joined her protest and women are now driving in Saudi Arabia.

Saying no to the old school feminist narrative of putting your job first. Bread-winning and care-giving are equally important and governments should invest in both like Sweden and Norway does. Make care-giving cool for men. She is basically talking about humanizing society, accepting differences, and let people be who they want to be, the way they want to live. Finally she pointed out that she grew up in a time when her parents were smoking, and when racial segregation was the norm. She pointed out that change is happening, but how fast, that depends on us.

2:15 – 4:00pm Session 2: Those Flying Things

Amazing demo of drones in flight indoors. Balancing a glass of water in the air by a drone? No problem.

Explaining the flexibility of conservation drones. Low cost tools to survey huge areas.

Using drones in logistics. Getting supplies, like medication to areas that are unreachable on roads. The cost is low, the speed is high. The beginning of a new paradigm in transportation? (Get your sushi by a drone in no time and make all delivery people jobless…hmm…? I always have this dilemma…) Engage in social fiction to make it happen: lift people out of poverty… (but do it so that you do not push others into poverty).

Weaponized drones are still controlled by humans but human control for them to work as tools of killing: no longer a technical requirement. Autonomous operation is part of them. The capability is there already. Drones today are able to make the decision to kill a human on their own! Is this the future we want? Robots killing people? Pushing responsibility away from humans…? Anonymous war? Will you know your enemy? How can you protect yourself from such faceless attackers hiding behind robotic weapons…? Advanced nations are data driven and opinion leaders are easily identified by their data and social network usage. Easy targets. This could suffocate free speech. We need a treaty on robotic weapons. No robot privacy in public places!

3D panorama imaging demonstrated by one of my favorite TED speakers, Blaise (such a nice man). As you walk your camera takes photos and stitches them into a flow of images.

Looking at  the forest and landscapes with bio sensors from the air. Greg shows us how he is able to deeply analyze the forest with his spectrometer, showing the biodiversity, living and dead trees, their growth rate, the impact of animals and human activity (like illegal gold-mining). Brilliant technology.

5:00 – 6:45pm Session 3: Exquisite Enigmatic Us

Sleep is vital! The quality of your sleep impacts your mental health.

Our minds are able to mislead us when it comes to memories. Memories can even be artificially planted into human minds.

Mixing culture, language and media heroes.

Speaking to us about the brain’s thermostat when it comes to weight gain or weight loss. It feels like Sandra experienced a lot of trauma and her anxiety level is very high to tolerate the stress of the TED stage. Remember, have compassion, do not judge, rather ask: What happened to her? And in her TED talk she talks about that… I feel how she is struggling. It took her a lot of courage to go on stage and speak about eating, culture, mind, body and anxiety.

Excellent speaker, just like Jane, her twin sister, who is now a regular TED speaker. Still, I am not entirely convinced Kelly… I think all this sounded way too idealistic: you now believe (after believing the opposite for 10 years) that stress is making us stronger… you are less likely to pass away from stress related causes and are more likely to become successful at the task that is stressful, if you think stress helps you do what you do. Why am I not convinced?

Kelly McGonigal

She told us, if you believe stress is bad for you, your blood vessels contract during stressful events, while if you believe that stress is good for you, your blood vessels relax. This could be, yes, but what if you were traumatized in the past, and no matter what you think, your blood vessels just keep contracting due to neurological or genetic damage? Also, she stated that while financial stress raises your risk factor by some 30%, taking care of someone removes that risk… due to the wonderful impact of a famous stress hormone: oxytocin. This contradicts Christakis’s findings regarding care taking, networks and stress (often killing the caretaker and stressing out friends and family in your network), and also contradicts the Columbia U. research regarding higher status and stress… the higher your status the better you handle stress… So, this new finding of yours needs more examination, perhaps another 10 years.

Still, I am sure what you think of stress and what your attitude is like, that does impact your body via your mind, definitely.

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Regina Saphier TED Global 2012 Day 3

English: Portrait of Jane McGonigal

Portrait of Jane McGonigal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

12:00 – 13:45

Session 8:

Talk to Strangers

There was a major technical issue in Edinburgh. We had no idea at the time if the power comes back or not until the next session. We sure hoped so.

Update: the power is back and session 9 starts at 3:15 Budapest time. Jane got to complete her fun and empowering talk in session 9.

After Session 10. update: Jane had to do a retake of her talk’s first part, because the power outage destroyed the first part of her original talk… High drama… we felt the stress… we were with her as she walked on stage at the end of the day and re-recorded her first few minutes… and the stream was cut suddenly again and we were in the dark… for a while we had no idea if she was ok and if it was only us being cut off, or if the power was gone again in the building of the TED conference… I kept asking and we were informed that she was ok, and she was able to record her talk just fine finally… My sympathy for this pro speaker! Jane is a warrior! Hope to see her talk online soon.

Rachel Botsman

Sharing Innovator

I know Rachel from the RSA lectures. She talks about the age of online trust between strangers. Collaborative consumption on a global scale, using technology. Your reputation in this age is key. Service networking… outsourcing your tasks: taskrabbit… assembling IKEA furniture and earning 5000 dollars a month… Facebook users trust each other, she says, so they have the potential for trust based online collaboration. How do you ensure safety, how do you handle real and online identity? Should your reputation travel with you from one site to another? Manage your reputation capital! It is very valuable. Because would it not be wonderful if the truly trustworthy would run the world?

She also mentioned:

http://stackoverflow.com/

https://trustcloud.com/

http://launch.connect.me/

https://airbnb.com/

Robin Chase

Transport Networker

Robin’s story: from Zipcar, to Buzzcar… from uniform cars that you can use in the US, to people’s cars that you can share in Paris. She calls this phenomenon: Peers Incorporated. It is a world of innovation, personalization, collaboration, and economies of scale. It is not self evident how such a system is built, but she now knows how it works. The peer production community needs quick feedback tools that are in place. Supercharging Individuals.

Amy Cuddy

Social Psychologist

High testosterone and low cortisol are the key to top leadership… Be powerful, but do not get nervous … Role change can change your hormone level. Fake it until you become it! Amy becomes truly vulnerable when she is telling us that her career was broken by a car accident and it took her 4 years longer to get her college degree, but more importantly it took a lot of faking until she made it back on track as a gifted academic. She needed her wonderful mentor to push her to stay in the game and when she had the chance as a mentor to do the same for a discouraged young woman in her class, she told her the same: you have a place here, and you should fake it until you become it.

So, the practical take home parts of this talk: before you enter a judgment situation, like a job interview, in the elevator or in the bathroom, stand up, spread your arms high in a V, smile, imagine you are strong, and tell yourself you will be successful. Smile! And this helps you to do better or even give your best, because your posture, your facial expression, your words go deep in your brain and change the outcome of your efforts. Take the power pose! This was a truly moving TED talk with very important content.

Jason McCue

Lawyer

People who were hurt by terrorist attacks, should be better supported to live a more normal life. I really do not understand why this talk had to be placed into this session. Terribly out of place among so many positive messages. It is important, yes, it has a place in the conference, just not in this session. Especially after Amy’s brilliant, vulnerable and uplifting talk. A very bad curatorial decision, after a really good one… actually a lot of very good ones.

Marco Tempest

Techno-illusionist

Jane McGonigal

Game Designer

As our old friend Jane tells her story of a head injury and promises us 7 extra minutes of life, the power goes out in Edinburgh, but we have no clue what happened, and the live TED conference chat goes wild trying to figure out why the stream is gone… and I am thinking, this reminds me of the power outage in Oxford a few years back.. and sure enough, it is a major power outage, but in the city of Edinburgh. We hope Jane gets to finish her talk, and we get our 7 extra minutes of a gamer’s life. 🙂

Here is Jane’s first TED talk with my Hungarian subtitle: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/hu/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html

Jane finishes her talk at the beginning of Session 9. so I continue my blog note:

Priorities change when you make a comeback from a trauma or illness.

I do what makes me happy, I know who I am, get a new sense of me, better able to focus on what is important. Trauma helps you live a more authentic life, and have fewer regrets at the end of your life. Jane playfully teaches us to work on our physical, mental, emotional and social resilience and live 10 years longer. She in fact developed a game, called SuperBetter to help herself get better and here she is, giving us this inspiring TED talk. She is always creative, even when she is ill and her brain tells her to kill herself. I know how it feels to be so ill… feeling desperate.

Why is this talk so meaningful to me? Well… during the second part of my thirties I have been severely ill and the illness demolished my career as an NGO founder and director. I suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and it took three years of my life. I have become completely isolated, because people did not understand what happened to me, including my doctors. The person working 18 hours a day and enjoying her work, turned into a recluse in pain, unable to do much. That person was me. So, I set out online to find the cause of my illness and read thousands of medical articles in English (on pubmed, etc.). I did finally manage to find the cause of my illness (a major part: severe lack of “vitamin” D due to too much work and lack of sun). I recovered, but for a long time I felt this deep fear that I might get sick again. The TED talks, the TED conferences, my own TED translations and my own TED blogs were my hope giving tasks. The TED phenomenon helped me to keep up my mental, emotional and social resilience. (“Vitamin” D gave me my physical resilience and strengths back. And so much more… read about this “vitamin”! It is not even a vitamin!) Therefore I am completely able to understand and feel why Jane’s game for recovery is so helpful. And I am glad we both recovered! 🙂

Note: if you did not read the into of this day: Jane had to do a retake of her talk’s first part, because the power outage destroyed the first part of her original talk… High drama…

3:15 – 5:00

Session 9:

The Upside of Transparency

Parag Khanna

Global Theorist; Guest Host at TEDGlobal 2012

Sanjay Pradhan

Development Leader

I am still under the influence of Jane’s talk, so I am sorry, I am unable to pay attention to Sanjay’s emotional talk…

Beth Noveck

Open-Government Expert

How to use technology and data to get things done… Delivering better information… US patent applications will be totally open to all of us to influence them, globally… Demand this revolution!

Heather Brooke

Investigative Journalist

Grow up society, and demand secret documents now. Heather did that and heads fell in the British Parliament, by the dozen! Lets make officials accountable for not revealing public interest information. Iceland is becoming a safe and open place for data publication for all of us.

She suggested these sites for good use by citizens (the first one had Hungary listed on the left side):

http://www.alaveteli.org/

http://www.asktheeu.org/

http://www.investigativedashboard.org/

……

Marc Goodman

Global Security Futurist

Marc shows us how useful everyday technology is used by criminals too. Like 3D printing… or what about DNA… personalized attacks… Our security system is outdated. Open source global security… I really like Marc.

Deyan Sudjic

Curator

Talking about transparency and opacity in design, city planing, architecture and every day life.

6:00 – 7:45

Session 10:

Reframing

Sarah Slean

Musician

Singing her song: Lucky me! … about living today and being ready for science. 🙂

Laura Snyder

Science Historian

Darwin started his discovery journey as a natural philosopher and came back as a scientist, because the word was born around his time… As women got admitted into science circles in the past… today: people must be incorporated into the field of science.

John Maeda

Artist

Funny play with letters, sound, typeface, movement… Art is enigmatic… “You do not get it? Good.” – he says. It is what it is all about. Also, leadership is about connecting unlikely entities and see what happens… and you can use visual network analysis technology to understand your system, connections, groups and people in the system. Interesting talk.

Michael Hansmeyer

Computational Architect

Folding simple shapes into intricate, beautiful forms never seen before by using simple algorithms and 3D printing them. Awesome! 🙂 WOW! I believe the people there in the room do not grasp what they have seen now. My best friend is an architect and an artist… I have been “trained” in this field… I know that this was fantastic!

Ramesh Raskar

Femtophotographer

Taking pictures of light at really high speed and sensing light reflections for… safety for example… this talk was fantastic too.

Boaz Almog

Quantum Researcher

Quantum “levitation”… quantum locking with magnetic field and super conductors… not levitation… and of course Sapphire is also part of the phenomenon… 😉

Video: http://worldsciencefestival.com/videos/introducing_quantum_levitation

Keith Chen

Behavioral Economist

Chinese language does not divide tenses… it rained yesterday, it rained today, it rained tomorrow… so, if present and future are the same for you, it is easier to save. At least this is Keith’s theory and the numbers and data analysis suggest: he might be right. Future-less language speakers are the best savers. They have a continuous existence.

Hungarian is a “futured” language, unfortunately, so perception of time is divided. Hungary’s savings are just under 25%.

Future-less “nations” and their people are more likely to be healthy, play it safe and save. Do I feel so out of place in Hungary, because I started to adopt German at 17 and English since 24? No… I just simply feel out of place here since… since I was born…

And when I assumed my day was over, I find this article on BigThink with a funny Hungarian stamp as an illustration:

Obese? Smoker? No Retirement Savings? Perhaps It’s Because of the Language You Speak

http://bigthink.com/Mind-Matters/obese-smoker-no-retirement-savings-perhaps-its-because-of-the-language-you-speak

“No Retirement Savings? Perhaps It’s Because of the Language You Speak”  – “Illustration: 1958 Hungarian postage stamp of a (perhaps strong-FTR speaking) grasshopper partying away for the summer while the (maybe weak-FTR-speaking) ants prepare for winter. Hungarian, by the way, is a strong-FTR language.”

And here is the working paper under review:

The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from
Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets
M. Keith Chen∗
Yale University, School of Management and Cowles Foundation

Hungarians are bad at saving... are they cut off from their future due to language?

Figure 2 shows average total savings rates, accounting for both private and government consumption. Data
from before 1985 are included in the regressions below but excluded here to normalize time periods across
countries. Both Switzerland and Belgium have significant within-country FTR variation; for simplicity they
are shaded according to their majority-FTR status. Difference in means are computed using a OLS regression
where observations are clustered at the country level.

Hannah Brock

Guzheng Virtuoso

Regina Saphier TED Global 2011 Day 3

Thandie Newton at the 2007 BAFTAs

Image via Wikipedia

Thursday, July 14, 2011 11:00 – 12:45
Session 8: Embracing Otherness


Pat Mitchell

Media pioneer

She is the host of this session.


Thandie Newton

Actor

Thandie tells her own story of otherness and how dancing and acting helped her understand that oneness and suspended self is the key, and that she should respect her own self instead of being ashamed of it or changing it constantly… but not live in her self, rather aim to reach oneness. It was such a beautiful TED talk, that I will not attempt to retell it, rather ask you to please, listen to it as soon as it will be online. And I have the feeling that it will be up very soon.


Yang Lan

Media mogul, TV host

Yang introduces us to the hopes, problems and needs of Chinese youth.

Nadia al-Sakkaf
Journalist

Nadia shows us pictures and tells the story of how people, especially women and girls in Yemen live today.


Jarreth Merz

Filmmaker

Jarreth tells the story of Ghana living up to the expectations of democracy. He says, yes, we Africans can!


Vertigo

Dance company

Well, they dance…


Bunker Roy

Educator

Bunker, who had the best education and a privileged life in India, decided to go to a village 45 years ago and started the barefoot college for the poor a bit later, in 1972. He says: listen to people, to the poor people and for example train the grandmothers of poor communities to make fundamental changes. He spoke of women being trained via sign language to build solar tools and how these women went home and changed their villages in several countries. His talk included so much genius that I recommend you to definitely watch this talk on ted.com as soon as it becomes available. Wonderful story!

2:15 – 4:00
Session 9: Living Systems


Alain de Botton

Philosopher

Alain suggests atheism 2.0 🙂

We need help, guidance, assistance, because as religions say, people are children… while universities assume we are adults in need of information, and that is all. Well, I am sure you see the right way in the middle, and get a “church ceremony meets university lecture” kind of education for life: The School of Life. Religion: repetition, calendar, structure, rituals, oratory skills, branded multinational institutions… so: lone individuals of the mind, like poets and educators, must group together. Learn from religion. But NO leader needed, because it is a wiki kind of project. 🙂 I feel that Alain’s new TED talk is somehow unfinished…


Erik Hersman

Blogger

Erik says, innovation is equally distributed in the world, and Africa is no different.


Paul Snelgrove

Marine biologist

Paul is cataloging marine life and he shows us some stunning images. My favorite was the Yeti Crab. 🙂


Pavan Sukhdev

Environmental economist

Pavan works to end the economic invisibility of nature. Recognize natural capital.


Pauline Chen

Surgeon, writer

Doctors can cure people and also help the dying and their relatives. Pauline advocates for empathy in medicine. Humanize the medical profession.


Charles Hazlewood

Conductor

And finally music with explanation of the conductor’s job and that music should not be an elite phenomenon in the “West”. Charles says we should make music as freely as Africans do. 🙂 He is starting a para orchestra in the UK for disabled people. And finally he shows us how Haydn explained the importance of trust to one Prince Esterházy in Hungary (the particular Esterházy prince wanted the musicians to move out of his household, so to make his point, Haydn composed a piece during which the musicians leave the stage in pairs until the piece is played by only two people who also walk out finally while still playing).

5:00 – 6:45
Session 10: Feeling


Alison Gopnik

Child development psychologist

Alison says: to be a learning baby is like being in love in Paris after drinking three double espressos. Babies are super learners, they also run unconscious or conscious “statistical calculations” while learning. What they find hard is focusing.


Paul Bloom

Psychologist

Paul says we want to own original artworks because we need to believe that real, hard, skilled work, effort, creativity and history is behind that particular collectible or even music. This gives us deep pleasure. When we learn that the object of desire is not original, we lose interest, because we lose the history we assumed initially and we lose the feeling of pleasure.


Paul Zak

Neuroeconomist

Poor countries are low oxytocin nations. This hormone is the trust molecule. It increases empathy and it makes us moral. It connects us. Dr. Love says: 8 hugs a days will make you happier. And the more people hug each other, the better place the world becomes.


Todd Kuiken

Biomedical engineer

Todd develops highly flexible and functional prosthetic arms with nerve connections and his patients surprised him saying that they have tactile input and so they feel different surfaces and textures.

Mr. Tempest, the magician performed again, and today he impressed me. 🙂


Abraham Verghese

Physician and author

Another medical doctor with empathy telling his story. Don’t just look at data, the computer, but listen to your patients, look at them, hear them and examine them directly. It is an important ritual that people need.

Regina Saphier TED Global 2011 Day 2

Cover of "The Rational Optimist: How Pros...

Cover via Amazon

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 8:30 – 10:15
Session 4: Future Billions


Niall Ferguson

Historian

Niall says: “Killer apps” of wealthy nations are: Work Ethic; Competition; Scientific revolution; Property rights; Medicine; Consumerism. Any society could adopt these and now, instead of the US, it is China that uses these as a world leader while also using the IT killer apps downloadable by millions globally.


Yasheng Huang

Political economist

Yasheng says China develops faster than India, because the Chinese government does not have to take into consideration the public opinion. Also the literacy rate and education is much better in China. Chinese women are approximately twice as literate as Indian women, and while in China you are literate if you are able to read and write hundreds of characters, in India you are called literate if you are able to write your name.


Tim Harford

Undercover economist

Tim says: move away from the God Complex and try: trial and error. People find it hard to be challenged, they like to be in their little “know it all” bubble and they must be shocked out of that bubble. It is very difficult to make good mistakes. I really like his way of presenting this idea.


Robin Ince

Comedian

Robin is making fun of life and science and I know this kind of twisted and funny thinking, because we make jokes like his with my best friend all the time.

JR is back to give us an update on his TED wish.

John Danner speaks about Robert Owen’s New Harmony, Indiana plans… His socially innovative business thinking was remarkable.


Josette Sheeran

Anti-hunger leader

Josette shows us what kind of damage hunger causes in the brain. She says we have enough food to feed all people in the world and tells us about the tools of eliminating hunger in the world. School feeding raises girls’ and boys’ school attendance by 50%. Brazil is the most skilled at eliminating hunger.

11:00 – 12:45
Session 5: Emerging Order


Matt Ridley

Rational optimist

He is now the curator of this session, he is not presenting a TED talk today.


Svante Paabo

Geneticist

We are all recent emigrants of Africa… Right, I knew that. Our differences come from genetic variations of a very similar genetic set.


Mark Pagel

Evolutionary biologist

Mark says: words are sometimes dangerous, you can be killed for saying the wrong one. Now words are also the basis of social learning, the skill that made humans so successful. Social learning is visual theft. Language was developed to manage human cooperation. Languages also isolate from other groups. Can we afford so many languages in our interconnected global and virtual 21st century? We have to confront the idea that we have to become one world with one language. (Are you sure?)


Elizabeth Murchison

Cancer researcher

Elisabeth talks about the Tasmania Devil‘s contagious cancer, that threatens the entire Tas population. This population is the ultimate cancer. All cancers on Tasmanian Devils’ faces have the same DNA… Sexually transmitted dog cancer is similar all over the world. Tens of thousands of years old, coming form wolfs. There was a research involving humans and human cancer cells (they were injected into humans), and in a few cases it can spread…


Cynthia Kenyon

Biochemist, geneticist

Cynthia says: DAF-2 gene mutation not only makes the C. elegans live longer, but also live better and look younger. It acts via hormones, similar to insulin, promoting nutrient uptake by cells and IGF-1, promoting growth. Genes are instructions to make proteins that do something and the DAF-2 gene encodes cellular DAF-2 hormone receptors. When the DAF-2 gene is normal, it contains the instructions for normal receptors, and normal, faster aging. It is speeding up aging. When this gene actually is less active (because it is damaged), the individual has a better and longer life… Aging is controlled by hormones. This has now also been tested in flies and mice and they also live longer. It might also work in people. Studies show, that Ashkenazi Jews who live until 90 or 100, they also have a mutated DAF-2 gene, as do some other populations in the world. Why do they live longer and better? Because in such mutant individuals many protective genes are switched on (antioxidant, caregiver, DNA repair, immune system related genes, encoding relevant proteins) that repair the cells and extend the lifespan. The FOXO protein turns on longevity genes. These people are less likely to have cancer or Alzheimers and might live beyond 100. When the DAF-2 gene functions normally (encoding a normal DAF-2 hormone receptor), it prevents the FOXO protein from entering the cell and so the individual lives a shorter life, because the FOXO protein is unable to turn on many protective genes (that encode protective proteins) and the cells store more “food” (we all know that too much food is bad for you). It is actually stress that might damage the DAF-2 gene, and so it turns on the FOXO protein and that turns on the longevity genes (and so the longevity proteins). FOXO has variations. She is trying to come up with a human FOXO related medication to make people healthier and live longer, but this medication would not change the genes, it would only bind to the proteins and change their activity. If you stop taking the drug, the protein returns to its normal activity. Actually changing these genes at birth might make you very ill, because these genes are key to your energy production and normal development. So fine tuning is a better option. This process is really a form of youth extension, it won’t make you live forever, but imagine the possibilities! Cynthia is a really sweet, smart, and excellent speaker. She has humor, she is scientifically brilliant, and her parallel examples were very clear.


Joe Castillo

Sand artist

As Joe says, there are more talented Sand Artists in the World, like this Hungarian man:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferenc_Cakó

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_animation

Vivaldi Four Seasons Autumn Sand Animation Ferenc Cakó: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCEB4v3o-50


Karol Boudreaux

Poverty economist

Karol talks about community based national resource management in Namibia.

2:15 – 4:00
Session 6: The Dark Side


Misha Glenny

Underworld investigator

Misha introduces young cyber criminals with Aspergers (high functioning autism) and other disabilities who learnt their hacking skills early and lost their ways in the real world. They are brilliant minds who should not be in prisons he says. It is due to their extreme IT abilities and also extreme social disabilities that they ended up convicted.


Mikko Hypponen

Cybersecurity expert

Mikko shows us the 25 year history of PC viruses and how we went from the harmless first Pakistani virus to organized crime and dangerous viruses. He says it is important to create the InternetPol. Really good talk!


Eddi Reader

Singer/songwriter

It is always nice to listen to Eddi. 🙂

Pamela Meyer
Lie detector

We all lie, Pamela says and she is right. Go from lie detecting to truth seeking. She gives some useful examples.


Ben Goldacre

Debunker

Well, pharmaceutical companies also lie… But we knew that already.

TEDx update.


Karen Tse

Anti-torture activist

Torture in countries happens because of broken down legal systems. Karen developed a program to make sure, people get to see a lawyer to be defended.

5:00 – 6:15
Session 7: Bodies


Daniel Wolpert

Movement expert

I spent the time trying to convince the TED tech team that we can not hear the talks properly and the central volume should be turned UP! Could not hear the talk, sorry.


Sheril Kirshenbaum

Biologist and writer

Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin rises while kissing and most people tilt their heads to the right. Women kiss to test the men. Women, as it is well known, prefer men with more diverse and different genetic makeup, to have healthier offspring, BUT women on the pill prefer the opposite. (Is it not possible that many illnesses are caused by this latter issue?)


Péter Fankhauser

Roboticist

Nice robo-dance. 🙂


Marco Tempest

Techno-illusionist

Some graphic trick on stage…

Jae Rhim Lee
Artist

Jae says we should accept death, stop embalming with toxic materials and use special mushrooms to decompose our dead bodies to reusable compost. Become a decompinaut.

Alice Russell
Singer

Good music on stage. 🙂

6:30 – 7:30 Live recording of BBC World Service‘s “The Forum”

Regina Saphier TED Global 2011 Day 1

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Image via Wikipedia

I started my TED Global 2011: “The Stuff of Life” webcast day number one with a nice, self made breakfast, with my regular 15 minutes of sunbathing for vitamin D (D hormone) production at 11:00 am (NO sunscreen!) and with some flash non-fiction writing:

I have a spider in residence. It is living between two red shelves and rebuilds its external web weekly after I clean the apartment. It neatly places the dead leftovers in front of the two shelves, right outside the little gap where the spider lives, so that I can easily clean up the insect skeletons. We have a good cooperative relationship. It is a medium sized fat spider, very accurate indeed and has been my spider in residence for many months. We never bother one another. It lives in the niche of my home economy, since I never eat small insects.

I believe the above paragraph reflects a TEDster like attitude about living together with people, nature and our own self. Welcome to my regular TED live conference blog. I am going to be posting notes all day, until Friday as usual. I always edit my notes after sessions so there might be a slight delay in posting. Times in the program are all Edinburgh time (British Summer Time). TED Global takes place in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland this year, instead of Oxford, England where facilities were not ideal for the event. Lets see what TED Global has in store for us this year.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 11:00 – 12:45
Session 1: Beginnings

Lee Cronin
Chemist

Lee is trying to create inorganic and non carbon based life. He might just succeed within two years.


Annie Murphy Paul

Science author

Annie explains the reason why I love cucumber salad with sour cream. Its because my mother had no choice but eat that while on holiday during her pregnancy in Poland. In Hungary we do not normally eat cucumbers with sour cream, but we all take it for granted in the family that her temporary diet change influenced my preference for this kind of salad. 🙂 Fetuses learn and prepare for their culture and environment specific lives while in the womb and their entire lives are influenced during the 9 months.

Researchers found the biological marker for PTSD susceptibility in babies of 1700 WTC pregnant women after 911. They passed on PTSD vulnerability to their kids.

Chris remarks that women who attend TED while pregnant give the best possible start for their to be born kids. He also says something like this: no extra charge for fetal attendance at TED. People laugh. 🙂


Rebecca MacKinnon

Media activist

Rebecca speaks of the complex question of balancing citizen voices, internet usage and government activity. How should we constrain the power on the internet. Or how can we hold power (people) accountable on the internet.


Danielle de Niese

Soprano

Unfortunately Danielle’s performance is not enjoyable via the web cast. Not even via high speed… my laptop is too old.


Richard Wilkinson

Public health researcher

Richard says: If you Americans want to live the American dream, move to Denmark. Social evaluation threat raises cortisol permanently (a stress hormone) in people living in highly unequal societies. (Note: This stress hormone influences DNA expression and normal functioning of the body!) In other words it is judgment that ruins people’s health in unequal societies. Chronic stress from social sources is highly damaging. Make bosses accountable for employees. (And may I say: make parents accountable for their children, because constant emotional stress causes life long mental and physical illnesses when kids grow up…) Pay attention to the psychosocial health of societies. It is highly relevant in Hungary, a very ill and unequal society in huge economic trouble.


Phillip Blond

Political theorist

Philip says: we need to revive the culture of good groups that produce good people. In other words, lets move beyond extreme individualism and extreme collectivism. Move beyond leftism and rightism. Relationships are the basis of a healthy and normal existence. He says it is access inequality that causes the biggest problems. So money that goes to large corporations today should go to smaller local groups. He is talking about the UK…

It is time for me to make lunch.

2:15 – 4:00
Session 2: Everyday Rebellions


Hasan Elahi

Privacy artist

Hasan has a wonderful sense of humor to digest the century he is living in. He has been interrogated after 911, so he decided to post key info on a website about what he is eating, purchasing, when he is traveling, which airport he is at. He says: I am more able to watch myself that anyone else. And he also says, he is no longer special, because now everyone else is doing this with smart phones (if you have one… I don’t).


Maajid Nawaz

Anti-extremism activist

Maajid says evil, not only good, went global on the internet. He was a member of an extremist organization, so he should know. He says extremists are unfortunately more successful social media users than democratic groups. Extremists build on the grass roots opportunities, from the bottom up. So, advocate for democracy on the same grass roots level. Use counter-narratives in the relevant societies.

Justin Hall-Tipping
Science entrepreneur

Justin tells us about flexible and transparent carbon on the nano scale and how he will help us make clean and free self generated energy with nano carbon window shields and how this project will lead to the ability to beam energy with no grid (energy can be saved by making electrons inactive until the energy is needed), and in turn how it will solve the world’s lack of drinkable water by desalination…


Yves Rossy

Jetman

Jetman is a phenomenon, you have to see him flying.


Asaf Avidan

Singer/songwriter

Amazing voice on the TED Global 2011 stage! 🙂 You should listen to Asaf singing.


Julia Bacha

Filmmaker

Julia is spreading the news about under reported non violent resistance in Budrus in the West Bank and in other places. It works if you give them attention in the media.

5:00 – 6:45
Session 3: Coded Patterns


Geoffrey West

Theorist

Cities, according to Geoffrey, are networks of creative human interaction. Double the size of a city and you get a 15% increase of all specific indicators, like wealth, universities, income, crime, police, and so on. Cycles of innovation are necessary to avoid collapse of cities.


Shohei Shigematsu

Architect

Shohei says, sometimes think in the box.


Kevin Slavin

Algoworld expert

Kevin somehow mesmerized me as I was listening to him (I liked him even before I listened to him, by just looking at his face in the program guide… it is some subconscious thing), so I have to say, I do not know what exactly he was saying, but it was about a superb future for algorithms and the loser presence of slow algorithms. 🙂 Oh, and he mentioned a Hungarian scientist with whom he traveled and had a conversation about the many physicists in finance…


Allan Jones

Brain scientist

Allan is telling the story of human brain mapping.


Balazs Havasi

Pianist, composer

Balázs is Hungarian. And actually it is all I know about him. I have seen him at TEDx Danubia this year, but he did not make a huge impression on me. He is now doing the same “classical encounters rock” scenario… People at TED Global like it, so it is good PR for Hungary.

This is an interesting TED Global 2011 + TEDx Danubia related TED blog link, informing us about Csaba Manyai, TEDx Danubia host talking about Urania Scientific Theatre (where the Hungarian event normally takes place) at TED University: http://blog.ted.com/2011/07/11/the-urania-scientific-theater-or-ted1899/