I love TED talks! It is amazingly cool to see very interesting people casually talk about what they are up to. And I especially love the sciency talks, where you get instant insights into cutting edge research, without having to be emerged into that particular community and without having to deal with the technical talk. However, I also appreciate the enormous breath of different speakers. You get to hear about stuff you never even knew exited.
I can't even say what my favorite TED talks are, because there are so many I like. If I would have to pick, I would choose these talks:
- Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight
- Amy Purdy: Living Beyond Limits
- Hans Rosling: Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen
Adding the xTED grants licenses to third parties to organize independent TEDx events internationally. As of October 2012, more than 19'900 talks have been given at more than 5'088 TEDx events in more than 137 countries (source). This really gets the community thing going and inspires a distributed and global effort to share "ideas worth spreading".
TEDxZurich 2012In 2010 the first TEDx event was launched in Zurich. On the 25th of October 2012, the third edition was organized. It was a fun and eventful day and my favorite talks can be categorized as follows.
- Charles Eugster, at an age of 93, on having a beach body at 94 (see also these TED talks on longevity and multiple sclerosis)
- Enrique Steiger on balancing a life as a plastic surgeon in Zurich and as a trauma and reconstructive surgeon in war zones
- Christoph von Toggenburg on humanity in action
- Bradley Nelson on bacteria-sized medical robots
- Davide Scaramuzza on autonomous flying robots
- José del R. Millán on mind-controlled machines
- Stelian Coros on replicating locomotion
- Eleanor Tabi Haller-Jorden on avoiding gender stereotypes (see also Mahzarin Banaji's talk, or test your biases yourself at Project Implicit)
- Ellen ‘t Hoen on making advanced medicines available to the world
- Mikael Colville-Andersen on modern urban bicycle culture
- Jorge Viñuales on a tax on bottled water
Finally, this is the talk I gave about complex systems, economic networks and the study, The Network of Global Corporate Control:
More information can be found here:
- The list of power-holders
- The study
- The New Scientist article that went viral, as it happened to be published in the exact week the Occupy Wall Street movement went global
- An article I wrote for the Montreal Review
- The slides can be found here
- For corrections on the things I said wrong, see the description of the video I re-uploaded to my youtube channel here
- My TEDx and ETH page
Sometimes TED is accused of being an elitist thing. Indeed, when I applied to attend TEDXZurich 2010 I was rejected;) Now, on the one hand, there are only so many seats to fill and of course in Zurich the demand is way too big, forcing a selection process. On the other hand, it was a real pleasure to meet the really nice TEDxZurich crew. I experienced them as being modest and highly dedicated people, who really enjoy organizing this even, without seeking the spotlight or giving the event an air of superiority...
The guys from TED.com picked up the talk and featured it: