Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My first visit to the TEDx event "Brave New World" by Saxion University

So let's talk about my first visit to a TEDx event, but if you first want to know what the difference between TED and TEDx is, click here to learn more about the TEDx program.

This event was hosted by Saxion University in the Schouwburg in Deventer, The Netherlands. The theme this year was "Brave New World". This is obviously a reference to the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932), as the theme is all about our future world and how we could envisage it.

Photo of the stage of TEDx SaxionUniversity
The hostess Dorothée Loorbach did an amazing job in introducing the speakers and to energize the audience. Well done! The topics were broader than expected, which I found very nice and refreshing. It went from envisioning a future in living on Mars, to an Anon inspired dance, to growing algae in solving world food resources and a skilled musician utilizing multiple instruments. But also from inspiring speakers in forgiving and love, even after a terrorist attack, to immigrating to the Netherlands and achieving amazing results in education, to learn to feel happy even while being incarcerated.

Four talks inspired me in different, but for me fundamental, ways. One of which was a video of a TED.com talk.

The first talk was that of Dorothy Oger with "Let’s change the world, one poem at a time". The talk she had was about a friend being killed in a terrorist attack in Brussels in 2016. The way she could inspire the world to give love, even in the worst time a person can experience in life, was breathtaking inspiring. After the poem was said by Dorothy it was spoken in several other languages. One of which was Vietnamese. Although I do not speak Vietnamese yet, my fiancé does. Hearing words of love in the mother-language of my loved one touched me deeply.

The second talk was that of Pamela Nicoletatos with "Future Beyond Earth". I recognize myself in her words about being drawn to the universe, the endless curiosity in what's out there and what it would be like setting foot on a planet much different from Earth. I am no way near being a pioneer as her though, so many props for that! The human species becoming a spacefaring species is my dream also, and I often let me take into other worlds through science fiction in books, movies, series and games.

The third talk was that of Wouter Kroese and Willem Herter with "Future of Healthcare". This talk really got my attention due to my profession as an Information Security Officer and my work experience at a health-insurance company. I believe we, as a society, have become a bit to protective over our medical data (although for good reasons) and I too agree that merging Big Data capabilities with medical research can greatly benefit overall healthcare while decreasing costs or at least stabilizing them. The privacy concerns need to be considered, but approaching this question with a "yes, when..." instead of a "no, unless..." can spark innovations while keeping the checks and balances.

The fourth talk was a video from TED.com by James Veitch with "This is what happens when you reply to spam email". You just must watch the video, because it is hilarious what can happen if you reply to scam email. It makes me think the next time I receive such an email. And for the Information Security Officers watching the video, although it is attempting to learn people through awareness campaigns to reply to spam, let's agree we stay away from that!

Overall an amazing experience which gave me new insights, a fun time, and inspiration to be on that red dot some day too!