The 9th TEDxHamburg ended Sunday (June 25, 2017) in Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle under the theme “Rock the Boat” and focused on the challenges of a constantly changing society. Burning issues on the agenda included tackling such challenges intelligently and using the latest pioneering innovations to make the world a better place. Caren Brockmann, organiser of TEDx and Stephan Balzer, TEDx ambassador, presented many international keynote speakers including academics, designers, social entrepreneurs and economic experts and their inspiring ideas.
Encouraging future-oriented thinking
Sören Stamer, 45, co-founder of Hamburg’s international software company CoreMedia, said he is fascinated by both cultural and technical change. Disruption is not a question of whether, but rather “when and where”. At present, he is considering strategies for handling profound and rapidly advancing change across Europe. Stamer wants to rekindle passion for Europe and presented “Europe with heart and soul” as “the next big thing” requires more courage and emerges from crazy ideas. Objectives should be tackled with the same courage, speed and zest as digital transformation. Rethinking an intelligent social economy also takes courage. An unconditional basic income could cushion the loss of jobs when computers and robots take over tasks performed by human beings in the dawning era of artificial intelligence. “Hamburg is a wealthy city and could take the helm of this movement and experiment with ideas,” Stamer proposed. Young people should also be taken aboard, he stressed, adding, “We need more dialogue with those already living the future – digital natives!”
Drone technology for saving lives
Other speakers at TEDx are also eyeing young people. Bernd Roggendorf, Manager of the Berlin-based EIDU and his team are establishing a learning platform to let poor children teach themselves skills such as reading, writing and maths. Social entrepreneur Temi Mwale, 21, witnessed inequality and injustice growing up in London and decided to study law and launch the 4Front project to help youths from impoverished regions. Her commitment met with great response at TEDxHamburg. All kinds of languages were spoken during the intermission and reflected the many international speakers such as the Afghan-born Massoud Hassani. He and his brother Mahmud have developed a drone that uses sensors to locate landmines and uses controlled explosive actuation. The drone is 20 times faster than other available technology and is also 200 times less expensive. Hassani expressed hope of “freeing the world of mines in ten years”.
Hamburg ideal for TEDx
The idea for the Technology, Entertainment und Design (TED) conference originated in the United States under the theme “Ideas Worth Spreading”. TED events are held throughout North America, Europe and Asia and offer live streaming of talks on research and practice of science and culture. Speakers have 18 minutes maximum to expound on their ideas. Since 2009, TED has permitted independent organisers to hold TEDx events. Hamburg places great emphasis on innovation, talent, technology, education and design and is predestined for such a famous, innovative conference, Brockmann and Balzer agreed.