TEDx is a kind of outsourcing of the TED-Event series and functions basically according to the franchise concept. For different locations licenses are awarded, with whom groups can organise and stage their own events independently. Off course certain rules are to be adhered to, to ensure qualitative standard. Events of the series are thematically very flexible. So events on themes like, the possibilities of reality’s constructions, role of the individual in the modern society and also for special occasions like Independence Day jubilee or events without any special focus, like a stage for new ideas, have already taken place.
Sustainability may also have style
The recent edition of the series dealt with the energy question. Though, by all means the energy concept is very broad to define. The completely professional organisation of the event, with well known sponsors, does not let at the first glance believe even in a classical Indie-Project. Designer furniture in an industrially brushed setting, vegetarian buffet and a renowned automobile manufacturer as the main sponsor, do not really attest the outcome of a student workshop. The Berlin organizers at the “red onion” communication agency and their boss Stephan Balzer, who also headed the event, have put together an upscale edition of international standard on its feet.
The majorly integrated gastronomy communication was used as regards to sustainability: innocent smoothies, unscrupulous yoghurt-sweets and spring water filled with lots of love, were available for the participants. The audience also followed a certain phenotype of the fashion conscious Neo-Ecos. So, many smartphones twinkled between the sitting rows and the horn-rimmed spectacles keenly followed the power point presentations. Next to it, lacquered fingernails also looked for EasyJet flights. But that is also at the crux of the matter with climate protection. The personal comfort shouldn’t suffer due to it.
The relation between comfort and sustainability was also one of the presented themes. Altogether 20 international speakers shared, some also in the form of recorded videos presentations, their visions with the audience. The presentation themes were strewn over a broad range in their content, correspondingly the type and manner of stage presence was as much varied. While Younicos founder, Alexander Voigt presented his work on energy efficiency and better storing technologies rather soberly, Nils Lindell, who gave tutorials on practical tips for zero CO2 footprints, could clearly sway the audience more. In addition there was a progress report from Mount Everest and an Austrian designer duo displayed their functional art, which was based on the concept of tree rings. Philosophical business deals and music performances took place side by side with presentations on energy efficiency and professionals from criminology.
Idea Slam for the do-gooder
The presentations were so to say only conditionally related to each other, however gave a lot of inspiring things to think about. Yet a strong measure of framed contextualisation and integration in the energy context could not have harmed the understanding. The one’s expecting personal debates with sustained fuel supply were in for disappointment. A colourful potpourri of innovative, witty and effective ideas was passed around instead. Ideas, which are worthy enough, to be spread.
Considering the surplus of profound information to the topics, maybe an alternative should be taken into consideration. The organizers are also of the opinion of “expansion of horizons’, "networking" and "exchange" - TEDx is a kind of Idea Slam for the do-gooder.
And also, if the spirit of the energy revolution did not just sweep through the foyer, this year's TEDx organization was a further step towards social sensitization for a new economic order and sustainable way of thinking and life.
By no means, a new topic, but the recently disclosed, record rise in CO2 emission, speaks for itself. The new challenge in the battle against climate change and its effects could consist of a dangerous combination of increasing reception fatigue and a sinking readiness to act. A public oriented scientific communication in an effective and entertaining manner could be the appropriate remedy.
(Teaser: Sebastian Gabsch)