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TED Global: Day Two by Ann Treacy
July 13, 2012, 3:13 pm
Filed under: Edinburgh | Tags:

I’m realizing that deciding to type up all of mu notes from TED is sort of handicapping me from adding any notes – so I’m going with highlights.

The day started with a couple more TED Fellow and TED University talks. Jill Blakeway spoke about the placebo effect in acupuncture – and how she learned to embraced the idea that acupuncture might be a placebo. I like that idea – mostly so long as something does no harm I’m all over any effect, placebo or otherwise! Then Margaret Stewart gave a wonderful demonstration on sabering champagne bottles. I wont’ say too much as I plan to perfect it once I get home (and can buy champagne with dollars) and impress everyone.

Then the Big TED event began. I have to start by saying that all of the speakers were wonderful. I think choosing favorites is really a matter of what topics interest you. And the following interested me…

Raghu Dixit – an amazing musician from India. He got everybody up and clapping – if not actually dancing.

James Stavridis, – NATO Supreme Commander – yup no typo there, that’s who he is. He spoke about open source security. The idea being that building bridges will be more effective than building walls but that it requires public-private partnership. Nice to hear someone from NATO promoting that idea. I loved the grouping of speakers – but in retrospect, his talk really fit in well with Jason McCue’s talk on terrorism.

Massimo Banzi – creator of Arduino. If I were a coder I’d be all over this and the idea of taking open source to such a degree as to make everything available to be improved upon. The whole idea of open source is such a game changer in terms of how economy works.

Lee Cronin – print your own medicine. Wow! This was a recurring theme both at TED, Dublin Science Gallery and other things I’ve been reading. The idea that you can create custom chemicals through these printers is amazing. Take it a step further and since you’re creating small batches, it opens the door to creating personalized medicine. So maybe I get a special aspirin that we know won’t react poorly to my eye medicine. Or on a broader scope – imagine the possibilities to thwart the danger of viral diseases.

Daphne Koller – open access to education – allowing anyone to take online (real time) classes from top universities https://www.coursera.org/ – this might shift the goal of education from getting the degree to learning the lessons – never mind the opportunity to level the playing field – for anyone with the broadband to take advantage of it.

Eddie Obeng – one of my favorite speakers! He spoke about reacting to a world that no longer exists. The problem is that we have our regular ways of doing things – from education to running a business. Unfortunately the rules in which those ways were created have changed entirely (see Arduino above) and we’re not changing with them. We need to break away from the regular way to create new ways that take in account the changes that are happening. He speaks about the smart failure!

Karen Thompson Walker – the idea was that fear is intellectual story – we need to learn to read our fears – but the story she told was gripping. Look for her talk when it comes out!

The night ended with a great party at the Scotland Museum, which was very fun. I met some super friendly guys (Rob and Richard) so I had folks to hang with. And we headed to the After Hours event which starred the TED performers Raghu Dixit in a place called The Caves, because it appeared to have been built into caves below the castle.


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