Day 3: Let the Sessions begin!

This morning I woke up to a beautiful sunny scottish day. I didn’t have much time so I decided not to go for a run and instead prepare for the day ahead.

I took a shower, organized my bag and began my walk over to the University Lyceum for our second TEDUnivsersity session. In the TEDUniversity sessions attendees take the stage and share their insights.

My favorite talk was given by Francesca and Roberto D’Angelo. The talked about Francesca’s difficult pregnancy, which required an 8 month bedrest. After giving birth the first couple weeks went smoothly until they discovered that their son Mario had had a stroke. This stroke had killed the right side of his brain, which meant he couldn’t move the left side of his body. Therapy taught them methods such as using mirrors to help Mario visualize the use of his right hand. As they worked with Mario they become increasingly aware that as parents they were his mirror, which caused them to reevaluate how they approached this ‘problem’. Now they take Mario along with them on their journeys, hoping to open his mind to possibilities and provide positive role models for his mirror that is the world around him. (I almost cried at the end of this talk, it was truly a TED moment)
After this we played a game of Mass Multiplayer Thumb Wars! It was lead by Jane McGonigal, and if you havent seen her TED talk on superbetter I highly suggest you follow this link:

Today’s game of thumb wars connected the entire audience, we literally had a chain that included every attendee in the room! I managed to with both the games I was playing and have therefore become a legendary grand master! (according to Jane)

We then concluded the session y hearing from two speaker on technological advancements. The first was the BRCK, which is a small device that can tap into other networks so that during blackouts you can still access the internet in remote areas. The second was aerodynamic advancements that will make travel more comfortable, by creating parts of planes that mimic the structure and lightness of bones. Using 3D-printing technologies to construct these parts it has now become a viable option and allows for more creative innovation.
Leaving the Lyceum we walked over to the EICC. The was security lined up on the streets, as TED was expecting protestors who were there to demonstrate against George Papandreou.

We had about 30minutes until the doors of the main hall opened, and loud trumpets began playing over the speaker system announcing that it was time to head into the conference room. Once inside the stage was magically lit and decorated. Everyone sat down, I quickly introduced myself to my neighbor and then the lights went down and TEDGlobal 2013 officially began its first session. A scottish carynx was played to commence the conference. You can get a quick update on all the highlights of the day here:

I have about 13 pages of notes I’ll add to this blog post once I get back home and scan them. For now though since it is getting late again I will have to make it short.

The rest of the day was just one incredible talk after the next. I can honestly say that there was only one speaker that faced extreme nerves and forgot what she wanted to say. Regardless, the crowd was supportive and she finished her talk successfully. It was nice to see that even the big events have their glitches, and that it is all just a matter of how you handle them.

Each ession was followed with a one hour break, and session three concluded with Natasha Bedingfield preforming three songs, one of which was played for the very first time on the TEd stage, titled “I like you”. Her last song was “Unwritten”, which I now view and understand in an entirely different way from when I had played it on repeat at the age of 15!

After this we all went over to the Sheraton where the oficial opening party was held, there was fantastic food and great conversations and I got to meet some of the speakers, including Natasha Bedingfield herself, who is of course very down to earth and immensely interested in psychology. I also coincidentally bumped into Hetain Patel’s wife Eva standing alone at one of the tables. When I expressed my fascination with his performance and the very delicately eloquent way they were able to convey inherent truths about our human nature and identity, she thanked me for expressing their vision so beautifully. I have promised Eva that I would write out what I have verbally expressed to both herself and Hetain.

However, it will have to wait for a while, as it is once again 12pm and time for bed. There is still so much i want to share and I havent even gotten to the highlights really.

One last thought! Watch this video, I will be playing with these robots this week, but what they have been able to create is truly remarkable!


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