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Thursday, 24 November 2011

TEDx Comes to Brussels

Over 2,000 people attended
TEDx Brussels 2011
Where else but a TED event could effortlessly blend androids, futurologists, entrepreneurs, free-thinkers and statesmen together into a fabulous cauldron of ideas?  I was very fortunate to attend this year’s TEDx Brussels event sponsored by our client .eu at the Palais des Beaux Arts, where such illustrious figures as British statesman Paddy Ashdown, Geminoid DK inventor Henrik Scharfe and physicist Jacques Vallee enthralled the audience with their robots, poetry and visions of the deep future.

Set to the theme of ‘A Day In The Deep Future’ (2061, in fact, 50 years from now), some 32 speakers from all over the world were crammed into a day-long programme of riveting talks (and a couple of wonderful dance and musical performances) about how unrecognisable the world of tomorrow will be from what we know today.  If you have ever baulked at the idea of delivering a pitch or summarising a concept for an audience in say, 30 minutes, imagine communicating who you are, what you do and where you see the world going in just eight minutes!

Cars that think: Raoul Rojas
introduces one heck of a smart car
Although the demonstrations of cutting-edge science and case studies of real world changers were inspirational, TEDx Brussels was not simply focused on wide-eyed glory for the future and the technological promises it may deliver.  Interspersed among the exuberant entrepreneurs and programming pioneers changing the world one sustainable venture at a time were somewhat more pragmatic observers whose warnings of the inherent dangers and responsibilities which come with living in an increasingly interdependent and technologically interwoven world we would all do well to heed.

As it is an impossible task for me to select individual speakers to highlight, I shall leave you with some memorable quotes from the event and insist that if you ever have the opportunity to take part in a TED event, don’t even hesitate for a minute!
A machine which pollutes is only half-invented” – John Shirley, on a carbon-free future
I learn most when I teach others” – David Cuartielles, on the value of shared knowledge
In the modern age where everything is connected with everything, the most important thing you do is what you can do with others” – Paddy Ashdown’s 'Third Law' on the importance of networking


By Neil Bradley

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