Wednesday, February 27, 2013

TEDActive Day 2. Hmm...

Well, here you go folks. Another daily musing from the TEDActive conference care of my friend Frank Van Rooijen. One of the 700 lucky bastards who are there. Enjoy.

TEDActive Day 2
"We need to learn to unlearn"

Today started off with breakfast at the La Quinta Resort and since it's TEDActive, one is destined to meet some interesting people and this morning proved to be no different...

In the queue for a cup of tea my eye falls on a button that reads "talk to me about prosopagnosia" and since i have no clue what the hell this means i strike up a conversation with the girl that wears the button and learn that prosopagnosia (also called face blindness), is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired. My quest for word of the day has been championed.

After assembling my Spanish breakfast i sit down next to TEDActive attendee Oonie and find out she is the co-founder of makelovenotporn.tv


The time is 9:00 in the morning and i find myself having an enlightening conversation about the website that is specialized in video's of couples making love in a non sleazy but rather meaningful way. We conversed away about the relevance and need of "erotic video's with a message" over food that resembled soft burrito's. I'm also being informed by Oonie about the low profile TEDxxx event that will take place late on Wednesday night at the poolside. What's in a breakfast...

After the educative morning, i walk over to the main conference venue.


Before the first TED talks commence, some members of our TEDActive group take the stage and show off some of their talents. Indian dances, Cha Cha Cha moves and backflips ensue. We were ready for the talks!
Since there were over 16 talks in today's sessions i shall only highlight some of the most interesting moments.

Erick Brynjolfsson (Innovation Researcher) talked about the development of technology but also took some time to reflect and asked himself where it all went wrong, perhaps best summed up by him stating that "we always dreamt of flying cars but all we got was 140 characters"...

Nilofer Merchant in her talk stated that "sitting has become the smoking of our generation" and had now decided that all her meetings were taking place during a walk rather than in stuffy, uninspirational boardrooms and she encourages everyone to do the same thing.

U2's Bono proclaimed himself a "Factionist" and delivered some astonishing facts. Nowadays 7256 fewer children are dying on a daily base being one of them. He also mentioned that if we continue our world aid the way we have been doing so far, we shall reach the zero zone (which means that no person in the world will live under the $1,50 poverty line) by 2028... which, according to Bono, was only about 3 Rolling Stone farewell concerts away.

Stuart Firestein (Neuroscientist) stated that learning nowadays has digressed into a bulemic method and that rather than blindly puking out learnings , the emphasis should lie more on the intellectual evaluation of the learned knowledge.

One of my personal favorite talks of the day came from multimedia artist Phil Hansen who had learned to "embrace the shake" and learned to turn the disadvantage of his jittery hand into an advantage. "We need to be limited first to become limitless". He literally challenges himself to create art with very limited resources or set limitations. One of his most amazing artworks is a portrait of Bruce Lee which he literally created by only "karate chopping" the paint onto the canvas which at the end of the process resulted in a bruised wrist. 


Please do yourself a favor and visit his website (www.philinthewhaaat.com) where you'll find more of his work and you will also be challenged yourself to participate in some creative exercises.

Another one of my personal highlight talks of the day was that of Richard Turere, a 13 year old Maasai who lives in a wilderness area of Kenya. The young inventor invented "lion lights", a smart way to protect his family's cattle from lion attacks.

And last, but certainly not least... The TED prize 2013 which went to Sugata Mitra with his amazing wish to help him design the future of learning. According to Sugata, schools as we know it are obsolete and what might be an even more disturbing fact is that "knowing" might very well become obsolete too. We now live in a world where we can just search for what we don't know but need to know in under 2 minutes via Google. We need to come up with different ways to engage a child's mind to encourage them to think more richly about our world.

In short Sugata says it's not about making learning happen, but about letting learning happen. He calls this "SOLE", Student Owned Learner Engagement.


I highly encourage everyone to read up more about this amazing project on ted.com/sugata Needless to say he got a standing ovation and members of the TED audience immediately reached out to help and support the project.


After a packed day of talks and absorbing new knowledge It's time to hit the party now! And here at TEDActive we do as Dr Dre and Tupac state: California, knows how to party... We keep it rocking... we keep it rocking...

Signing off from the TEDActive conference at La Quinta resort in Palm Springs California,

Frank van Rooijen
(Creative Director of Trinergy Brand Connectors)

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