So TEDx this year had the theme of HumanKind and over 5000 humans of all kinds were in attendance. An inspiring and immersive event throughout, with my (hard to choose, but don’t want to bore you), favourites as follows: Eddie Woo kicked off with a passionate and thought to provoke journey through the world of mathematics as a way of making sense of the world. In showing how geometry and patterns are present in nature, in everything from lightning to trees and blood vessels, I was left with a new sense of awe and respect for numbers and maths.
If you haven’t heard Tom Thum, human beatbox, check out his 2013 TEDxSydney video. This time rounds he had a camera inserted down his throat and we saw how is throat and vocal chords behaved as he made these mad sounds. Awesome!
Nicole Gurran requested a rethink of housing as a vehicle for investing in the community and pointing out the reduction in affordable social housing citing a reduction in public sector involvement from 20% in the mid-80s, to 2% now. She also outlined how “the financialisation of the housing into money-making assets has resulted in a reduction in own home ownership and affordability, with homelessness rates also increased. With high value workers such as nurses and teachers often priced out of the market, she called for a shift to inclusionary planning and a fundamental rethink of where and how we house our population.
And finally, Dr Thomas Oxley blew my mind with a device the size of a matchstick that could allow paralysed patients to walk again. The first human trial is to be conducted later this year, whereby a stentrode will be implanted into a blood vessel next to the motor cortex and from there it will pick up brain signals and allow movement through thinking alone.
“The stentrode can record brain signals from within a blood vessel next to the brain. These thoughts are captured, decoded and passed wirelessly through the skin to enable control of an exoskeleton.” Read more
And TEDx is also about more than speakers. My top picks are:
- Music: KAiit
- Short films: Theo and Celeste and Meet Sara (for a clever take on Siri’s relationship with her more knowledgeable sibling Sara).