The Big Bang Event

SCALA and AudienceThis year, 2 000+ TEDx-sters descended on Bozar and 20 000+ tuned-in online for another great edition of TEDxBrussels.  Just like the theme, it kicked off with a BANG!  Steve Wozniak gave the opening speech, Scala and the Kolacny Brothers graced us with their angelic voices, and, one after the other, amazing speakers shared unexpected stories!  Just brilliant.

If you’ve been following the progression of TEDxBrussels over the last 4 years, you will have noticed a subtle shift from “sharing ideas” to doing them.  This was made more visible this year’s with the REMIXit! campaign, which enabled TEDx-sters to participate in the creation of ideas… and this is only the beginning!  Next year we are planning to bring a greater variety of disciplines to TEDxBrussels by inviting philosophers and social scientists!  Plus, we are going to help TEDx-sters meet each other and network.

TEDxBrussels is becoming a more influential platform to launch ideas.  Last year, TEDx-sters witnessed the first British Paraorchestra.  Just a few months ago they supported Cold Play at the Paralympics!  This year, the talk that’s on every journalists radar is by Dr. Alan Greene on optimizing umbilical cord clamping.  It received a standing ovation from TEDx-sters, clearly winning their support and it appeared in headlines the following day.

Also, right after TEDxBrussels, members of the European Commission and industry met with TEDx speakers for TEDxEU, to see how they could incorporate these big ideas in technology, health, and education policy.  The conference led to very interesting discussions that peaked the Commission’s interests.

Evidently, TEDxBrussels is evolving into a significant platform with a pro-active community – you are probably part of it.

If however, you were unable to watch this year’s inspiring talks, here are my highlights to get you started.


Mitch Altman, yes, the crazy haired jet-setting inventor who made the remote that can shut off TVs in public spaces… just for fun, gave an energizing speech on Hackerspace.  No idea what that is? Hackerspace is an open source community designed to support the individual (you) and help them flourish in their techie endeavors.   They are a “magical combination [of] creative expression plus community, and brings them together to make dreams come together!”

Interested?  With 1106 of them around the world, there’s bound to be one near you.


Zoe Laughlin, under-cover material scientist at the “Institute of Making and the Materials Library Project”, gave a fascinating talk about materials.  Zoe takes you on a wondrous journey, looking at scale, structures, and the properties of materials such as aerogel, metals and jet-engine blade crystals.  Chemistry 101 not necessary.


The neuroscientist who can turn cockroaches into beat bopping puppets, Greg Gage, gave a seriously cool talk on bringing the “neuronrevolution” to schools and getting kids excited about neurons.  Now you will look at creepy crawlies and think how they can be choreographed for a musical.  (His talk was just before lunch too…)

In the future, don’t be surprised if your kid comes home and says “I want to be neuroscientist”… or tries to hack the cat to see how it’s brain works.

GENES – Must see & Must share

Alan Greene is a pediatrician with a message that will change the lives of children around the world and reduce the number of chronic diseases.  As Dr. Green says, he “rings a bell that cannot be unrung” and I completely agree.

His talk aims to tackle some of the world’s biggest health problems with TICC TOCC; ensuring newborns receive enough oxygen and iron at birth during the “golden minute”, which will increase their health and intelligence.  How?  Request Optimal Cord Clamping and share this message with everyone you know!

BANG- Made in Belgium!

Xavier Damman, cofounder of Storify, questions how social media is changing the news.  Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough journalists on earth… but there is a way to cover this shortage and humanize the news; making it empathetic and uncensored.  It is you.  We are the media and it is your responsibility to speak up.  So lift up your smartphone, your weapons of truth and share!



Because I like controversy and the clash of ideas, here is Andrew Keen’s thought provoking talk on “Digital Vertigo”.   The dark knight of the digital world, Keen challenges our transition as individuals to being just data and information, due to the internet and social media.  The line between our public and private life is blurring and he asks, where is the mystery?

Bang Bang, I shot you down… but you’ll live.

See you next year! …  Bazinga. 🙂

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