Regina Saphier: Really Big Understanding with Larry Page

Larry Page (co-founder and CEO of Google Inc.) lost his voice due to a viral infection that attacks his thyroid. His left vocal cord paralyzed after he first got ill, and his right vocal cord was paralyzed in 2012. The vocal cords pass the thyroid so his voice loss is almost certainly related to his Hashimoto thyroiditis, but his doctors keep telling him, that the cause of his problem is unknown and there is no cure. (I might add, that in my opinion he got ill after contracting mononucleosis 14 years ago… mono is very common in the US among young people… the virus that causes it remains dormant in nerve tissue, causes the thyroid to slow down, due to inflammation, reduces energy, and can later in life cause severe health issues, including different types of cancers… but he did not mention that in his public statements… I don’t know if he knows how dangerous that type of virus is… especially in people with a particular genetic configuration…)

Ted 2014 Conference, Vancouver Convention Cent...

TED2014 Conference Venue (Photo: L. Lawreszuk)

Imagine if such a smart and rich person is unable to find help and sufficient information in one of the most developed countries, sitting on top of unimaginable amounts of google data: What happens to you and me when an illness disables us… especially in a less developed nation, with a terrible healthcare system and extreme stress day by day…? We are so fragile, even the strongest and healthiest among us can unexpectedly become ill and families suffer! It would definitely help all of us if our anonymous medical records were globally available to the medical community and citizen scientists to find the cause and the cure for our illnesses. Imagine your public data being analysed, compared, and imagine having a medical social network where one day your solution would pop up based on big data, global analysis and (as Richard Saul Wurman, founder of TED likes to say) “big understanding” …

I would definitely join this movement, if the tools were in place. If we all share, we all gain something that has never been seen before. Not only could this help you get healthy, but it could help you prevent illness. Imagine this on a global scale! From tragic events that happen to rich, famous and smart people come amazing changes. I hope he will find his solution for his medical issue and live a long, healthy, satisfied and productive life. I hope this story brings health to millions or even to billions of people globally. Here is his latest public appearance, at TED 2014 in Vancouver, BC, Canada a few days ago. I was fortunate enough to watch live:

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Regina Saphier TED Global 2012 Day 4

Imogen Heap - Ellipse

Imogen Heap – Ellipse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday, June 29, 2012

9:45 – 11:15

Session 11:

Taking Another Look

Maurizio Seracini

Art Diagnostician

See what is below the surface… very interesting. Discovering the deep layers of paintings… We get to see an app that helps you find hidden details of paintings at exhibitions…

Becci Manson

Photo Retoucher

Giving back photo memories to people in Japan after the tsunami…

Mina Bissell

Cancer Researcher

How come Obama‘s trillions of cells know what to do? Why does his nose not turn into his foot…? Context and architecture… the micro environment is what matters… inject one cancer cell into an embrio: no cancer… inject the same cancer cell in a chicken: and you get cancer growth. Milk production is the same… the cells forget to produce milk when taken out of context… Restore tissue architecture… what is structurally wrong with the cells and their environment… This is a wonderful and hope giving talk… especially to me… because my mother and father are cancer survivors… my mother is still in the process of fighting… I wish medicine advanced faster… and at the same time I see wonderful new discoveries, like the one Mina and her students are working on.

A short audience talk:

Ryan Merkley… popcorn video

Imogen Heap


Interesting and fun performance: make your music with your body. Imogen is wearing a dress and gloves that help her to compose music while singing and moving around on stage.

John Wilbanks

Data Commons Advocate

Clinical studies and informed consent… We need to connect clinical studies’ data to be more innovative… build commons of our medical data… share your data voluntarily… like: lifestyle, food, genome, illnesses in the family … don’t be patient!

For breast cancer research:

12:00 – 13:45

Session 12:

Public Sphere

Kirby Ferguson

Filmmaker and Remixer

Everything is a remix. – he says and shows us several examples, like Steve Jobs and his ideas… Steve used to present inventions as his own… as his company’s… but truth is, many of those technologies were around before he got to know about them… he loved to take from others and pretended it was his, but hated when other people took ideas from him…

Michael Anti


How 300 000 million tweeting Chinese people, a number that covers the US population, change Chinese society… Due to the language, Chinese regard tweeting as a true media… it has more content there, because Chinese is a very complex language, giving you lots of context. For Chinese people censorship and working around it is: normal. I think Michael has a lot of courage…

Andrew Blum

Network Author

Andrew showed us how physical the internet really is. He even showed us a picture where a man walked out of the ocean with a fiber optical cable and we got to see how this extremely long cable was connected to the cable network on land… The internet is not weightless he says… it is not a virtual thing… it is very physical and it connects you and me physically, even if also by the power of electricity, light and the like.

Margaret Heffernan

Management Thinker

Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril

Childhood cancer rates growing… Why? 1956 research finding… Mothers in affluent families got x-rayed while pregnant in high numbers. Only 25 years later was the practice eliminated. Openness is not enough to make the change. Allison and George… (sorry, but did not get the full names…) The point is: Allison was sure she was right about her discovery because her research partner, George had this approach: he tested her hypothesis and findings by trying to show that she was wrong. And since he could not show that she was wrong, their professional argument made the results really powerful. But still it took the profession decades to get it, because they were not open for the truth.

Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril [Hardcover]
Margaret Heffernan (Author)

Most organizations are not thinking. They can not think… they are too afraid to face conflict. 85% of officials are unable to face and manage conflict, so they avoid meaningful confrontations. (Like Chris at TED…) Solution: see conflict as thinking, learn to argue and become very good at it. Margaret tells us a story how one person can find others in an organization who have the same concerns and so as a group they can break the silence, confront the leaders, and make the change together. The CEO usually has NO idea what is going on… It is true! Face this truth. Become a leader.

Stand up to authority. The truth will set us free when we develop the talent and moral capacity to stand up for that truth in front of other people, but with a working strategy. Openness is the beginning. First make sure, that you are right, get equipped with tools of arguing, learn to face social pressure and speak up. Organizations must also learn to embrace these people and these opinions. This approach makes organizations safer.

Well Chris Anderson did not award my truth telling! So, TED: open up! Hire Margaret to teach you a thing or two about facing conflict within or regarding TED and face difficult truth to grow. Stop ignoring, silencing, uninviting and disregarding people who help you build the image of TED as volunteers and who have the courage to tell you the truth when you screw up. It is easy to embrace the uncritically enthusiastic followers… but it is hard to listen to people like me. You know what I am talking about Chris…

However, I have to say, this TED Global was wonderful! 🙂 Thank you! I am sure you can take in that opinion. Thank you TED people, I can live with the fact that you are humans, lightness and darkness… we all are. 🙂 During the closing remarks Chris was trying to say how the TED Global audience was wonderful this year and Bruno kind of told him on stage that what he wanted to say was: the TED Global audience was better compared to the TED Long Beach audience… that was an awkward moment for sure… but one thing is definitely true: Bruno is a more reliable, more even tempered curator… This time I did not have the feeling that TED was in a content crisis.

Daria Musk

Web Music Sensation

Daria is telling and singing the story of her wonderful Google+ HangOut stardom. She is singing You Move Me! 🙂 while her hangout friends are on screen in the background. This is so special and so representative of what is going on in the world today in my global network. And this connectedness is growing every day.

How a lonely girl earned 1.6 million friends: Daria Musk at TEDGlobal 2012

Clay Shirky

Social Media Theorist

In this age, you can no longer get away with being stupid… You will be exposed if you are a narrow minded public servant or politician for example.

Brilliant game changer, Linus Torvalds is mentioned… LINUX… Get a GitHub account… collaboration without coordination… Expect not to be censored and use technology to speak up and influence society and politics… It is your world. Make it better as you can. And yes, you can!