TEDxKrakow: The New Normal

The second edition of TEDxKrakow will take place on October 20 at the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology in Krakow.

Over the last eight months, the TEDxKrakow team have been working away on plans for this year’s event, the theme of which is: The New Normal. The 20 or so invited speakers have been asked to ponder how life is going to change, once the dust settles from the current global recession, the financial crisis and the various geopolitical changes happening around the world. They will explore what this ‘new normal’ will look like and what we’re going to have to get used to, particularly as new technologies become more embedded in our everyday lives. What makes it a particularly interesting event is that speakers will have no more than 18 minutes to get their idea across and in keeping with the TED format, there are no panels, Q&As, discussions or waffling.

The speakers have been drawn from the worlds of education, technology, culture and business and the talks will be in English and Polish (with simultaneous translation). They include journalist Edward Lucas, International Editor of The Economist who will be speaking about the end of Eastern Europe; Marcin Strzelecki, lecturer at the Academy of Music, composer, programmer and music critic on how technology is changing our understanding of what it is to be an artist; engineer Tal Golesworthy who invented a revolutionary heart implant, of which he was the first recipient; Jerzy Vetulani, a neurobiologist who will speak about what is going on in the brains of politicians; and designer Matt Marsh, former studio head at design and innovation experts IDEO, who will talk about designing products and services for real human beings.

The conference partners, which include ABB sp. z o.o., Krakow Technology Park and the Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe, will be bringing along technologies from some of the region’s most innovative companies for attendees to test out.

Conference attendance is free, but since space is limited, attendees will be selected on the basis of an application. Registration is open until October 13 and more information about the programme and the registration process can be found on the TEDxKrakow website: tedxkrakow.com. The conference will be streamed live online and the TEDxKrakow team is also planning a number of viewing locations around the city where people can get together to watch the livestream together.

TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, two major TED conferences are now held every year (in California and Edinburgh) where the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in no more than 18 minutes. The talks are recorded and then made available for free at TED.com. As of June 2011, these 900 or so TEDTalks have been viewed over 500 million times.

Over the years TED’s activities have expanded and now include a number of supporting initiatives such as the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organised events around the world; the TED Open Translation Project, which organises volunteer translators to create subtitles for the TED Talks in many languages (all the TED Talks now have subtitles in Arabic, and over 700 now have Polish subtitles); and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

TEDxKrakow is part of the TEDx programme and its initiatives include TEDxKrakowCinema, held on the first Monday of every month; TEDxYouth@Krakow, an event by and for Krakow’s young people; and TEDxKrakowLive, which offers the chance to watch a live transmission of one day of the TED and TEDGlobal conferences.

The TEDxKrakow website: tedxkrakow.com

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