TEDx never fails me. My seduction of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro (informally abbreviated as Rio+20) as a 20-year follow-up to the ground-breaking 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development hosted in the same city, officially began at the independently organized, TEDx Rio+20 event. TEDx orchestrated a thought-provoking production of fully planned unique content and design at the Rio de Janeiro headland Forte de Copacabana on the 11 and 12 of June. The highlighted event on Human Power ended on the luring topic “Chaos to Order”. The Hungarian born and Canadian physician, Dr. Gabor Maté, who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction, took us through the intricacies and complications of an addict and noted it is a myth that drugs by themselves are addictive.
This post is in reflection of the first day of TEDx Rio+20. My experience with Ted Talks so far is, admittedly, quite limited. In fact, it is limited to viewing videos of classic talks by the likes of Hans Rosling and Esther Duflo. Viewing these videos online of course allows you to pick the ones you are most interested in. On the other hand, you might miss out on great performances by lesser known presenters.
The second edition of TedxRio took off today 11th June at the picturesque Forte de Copacabana. The first session, entitled “From Blindness to Perception”, focused on human consciousness and sensibility. In a rather frightening vision of the future, José Luis Cordero promoted the accelerated adoption of technology as the way forward for sustainable development. His transhumanist, if not singularitarian views were not to everyone’s taste, and it was thus rather comforting to have following speakers elaborate on less controversial topics, such as sustainable design or the power of self-transformation (without technological help). The venue of the Rio+20 talks was embedded in an unconventional scaffolding structure that was erected for Humanidade 2012, hosting a whole set of exhibitions, workshops, conferences and other activities during Rio+20.
A quick heads up about the TEDx Rio+20 conference prior to the Earth Summit Rio+20 and before the student reporter team arrives on the 12th of June. TED conferences are usually not associated with UN conference formats. Still some Cariocas thought it might be a smart move to organize a TEDx Rio+20 conference, taking place on the 11th and 12th of June, before the official Earth Summit events start on the 13th with the 3rd preparatory meeting. The x represents the independence from the two annual TED events taking place in San Francisco and Oxford. TED is among the most known event formats, and even academics strive to spread to shine on a TED stage.