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TEDxEutropolis, or how ideas can make borders fade!
Some highlights from our reporter at last Saturday´s Tedx conference about the Eutropolis, the so called European Meuse-Rhine region
Over the centuries quite a few people have specialized in smuggling products like alcohol, tobacco and weapons across borders. Yet probably the most valuable goods one can traffic is knowledge and ideas. When knowledge and ideas are shared and spread borders fade. This is the premise of TEDxEutropolis, an independently TED event that took place Saturday the 4th February in the city of Hasselt, Belgium.
TEDxEutropolis with its focus on the European Meuse-Rhine region, which comprises, amongst others, the cities of Hasselt, Maastricht, Aachen and Liège, is symbolised by an imaginary, cross border, subway system connecting all the cities in this transnational region. That map represents an area, rich with Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED), with near to 4 million people speaking in on average 3 languages. At the TEDxEutropolis event that richness was proven by the ideas shared.
talked about shifting your perception from problem to opportunity and street-style wisdom by pointing out that each shoe shine kid is, and should be treated as, an entrepreneur. They don't need pity, but good incubators and a bit of venture capital.
Co-founder of ´Hack the government´called out for techies to change the world for the better by learning to code, hacking and by fighting the control of the web by Governments. Program or be programmed.
After a great official TED video on Doodling as a useful form of knowledge processing it was time for the Atelier für Sonderaufgaben. The AfS are two brilliant Swiss brothers who with an amazing combination of entrepreneurship and playful rebellion, founded the Null Stern hotel, an art installation in a Swiss nuclear bunker turn into an "eco-luxury" hotel.
With the original Null Stern Hotel now converted into a museum, the founders are looking to expand with the concept in other locations. I loved the concept even if the industry have not embraced it yet. You can book a visit here if you want.
Dutch design was represented by the Open Structures project, a modular construction model where everyone designs for everyone, based on a standard geometrical grid. Perhaps after adding SketchUp and 3D printing in your home this might really take off.
Most touching was Anton Kuster story, a photographer who spend two years with the Yakuza in Japan capturing the intimate moments of this dangerous and powerful “mob” on digital film, without loosing a finger. According to Anton good gear and photography skills are basics, but more important is how his entire life had been a, quite random, preparation for this project and became an asset. Who thought being good at golf and a small, silly tattoo would get you in with Japan's best known crime family?
The final lesson I've taken from this TEDx event is from Jihyun Ryou. That there's a nice symbiosis between apples and potatoes, that peppers don't like a chill, that carrots are horizontally challenged and prefer to be stored tip down, leafs up. Jihyun Ryou´s design project is based on sustainability as much as grandmother's knowledge and good old-fashioned common sense.
These are a few of the light-bulb-on moment talks I chose to highlight. All during the event there were many great talks, both inspiring and mind-challenging and definitively worthy to spread across borders. If we all, French, Flemish, Wallon, Dutch or German, had to default to English, so what? As one participant put it “I might have only made myself 90% clear, I'm sure everybody got the idea a full 100%”. And yes, we did.
Did you participate or have views on it, please have your say!
#TED #TEDtalks #tedxeutropolis #TEDx #Technology #Design
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TEDxEutropolis – Ideas make borders fade – 4th of February 2012 Muziekodroom, Hasselt
Eutropolis is an everchanging utopian vision for the Euregion Meuse-Rhine. It connects more than 10 middle sized cities in this international region by imagining a crossborder subway system. This visi…