Invitation: TEDxDanubia 2013, Budapest, 22 March

  • 14 Mar 2013 2:55 AM
Invitation: TEDxDanubia 2013, Budapest, 22 March
We would like to introduce you an unconventional conference, the TEDxDanubia. This is the first official, independently organized TEDx event in Hungary based on the legendary TED conferences. The goal of the conference is to bring together the most exciting, most innovative and most inspiring thinkers and creators of the region and cross the lines of our everyday lives.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our events are called TEDxDanubia, where x stands for an independently organized TED event. At our TEDxDanubia events, TEDTalk videos and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in our neck of the wood. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

Why Danubia?
In July 2009 at TEDGlobal in Oxford, Parag Khanna was revealing his theories about the geopolitical map and challenges of the globe. His research led him to a conclusion that we could build a better, more effective world for ourselves should we focus less on the lines that signify borders on the map and more on lines of infrastructure and geography that go across these borders and connect people. This very same principle may be applied just as well - as for our geopolitical realities - to the borders of disciplines, areas of expertise and channels of communications crossing their comfortable borders... This is the reason why the conference has been named Danubia and why it intends to create the cross-border and interdisciplinary infrastructure of conversation, exploration and thinking together.

TEDxDanubia 2013 – Crossing the Line

We live in a world characterized by opportunities and connection, by an abundance of choices and stimuli, by great wealth and freedom… But we also live in a world defined and constrained by lines we do not cross: the lines of the impossible, the lines of differences, the lines of fear and the lines of poverty, the lines of mistrust and intolerance, the lines of ignorance, doubt and indifference… Lines that seemingly and rarely protect, but more often imprison us.

This time it is about crossing the line where there should be no lines… It is about facing real and profoundly important issues in a meaningful way with an open and solution focused mind… It is about learning from mistakes… It is about opening our eyes and seeing our world in new ways… But it is also about creativity and new ideas… New ways of combining what we already have, about finding new harmony and new ways of solving old problems… It is about breaking our well accustomed, comfortable, but ultimately toxic old patterns that do not work for us any more, and finding new ones that actually do… It is about genuinely accepting and facing our challenges and about finding better ways forward…

Who should be interested?

We are expecting and inviting those interesting people who are also curious, who have ideas to share, those who care and dare to make change that matters

TEDx Danubia is inviting people who:

• are curious, who strive to have a better, deeper understanding of themselves and our world, who enjoy and see the value in looking beyond the borders of their immediate area of expertise, even more, know that this curiosity is the ticket to success in the 21st century

• think ’possible’, who focus on how we can do it as opposed to why it cannot be done, who – despite the current state of affairs – believe that it is worth the effort and it is possible to create a better world based on common sense and sensible cooperation

• know the joy to be derived from design and creation, who understand that creating value through our work and personal life is a vital part of our quality of life and happiness, who understand and mind the difference between living and „just” making a living

• feel the need and the urgency for change and real solutions, who know that we are facing structural problems that cannot be solved by simply putting band aids over them, who dare facing the challenges of real transformation and new paradigms, who see that we need a deeper understanding and new ways to cooperate to get out of the mess we have created.

2013 TEDxDanubia program

Session 1: EXPLORE
• Joey Ellis – craftsman: Set in Stone
• Benjamin Allanach – theoretical particle physicist: The Micro Frontier
• Paul Lacourbe – international trade and geopolitics expert: The New Silk Road
• Mark Bartha – musician: Out of the BeatBox
• Hesna Al Ghaoui – war correspondent: Fear and Dignity
• Szilvia Gyurkó – criminologist: Luke, I am your father

Session 2: WONDER

• György Sárvári – psychologist, executive coach: Breaking Patterns
• Aubrey de Grey – biomedical gerontologist: Undoing Aging
• Blaise Zerega – media entrepreneur: The End of the Road
• Zsolt Erőss – Himalaya climber: The Hard Way
• Duo Nimirum – piano-cello duo: Dream New Dreams
• Nermeen Shaikh – writer, TV journalist: Translating Words
• Koert van Mensvoort – artist, philosopher, scientist: Next Nature – The Nature Caused by People

Session 3: CREATE

• Tsakopoulos Kounalakis – US Ambassador to Hungary: …
• Lee Cronin – inorganic chemist: The Stuff of Life
• Attila Bodnár – architect: Water Alchemy
• Margaret Heffernan – management thinker: Willful Blindness
• György Bolyki – musician, producer (featuring the Bolyki Soul&Gospel Choir): Finding Our Voice
• Brian David Johnson – futurist: Vintage Tomorrows

About the speakers

Joey Ellis creates works that explore the possibilities of individual self-expression within the boundaries of culture and politics. He is the first American graduate of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, living in China and working in various mediums combining craft, technology and language to address issues of globalization and cultural exchange. His interest in bridging Eastern and Western concepts of materials and authorship is reflected in his works, exhibited throughout Asia and North America. He was recipient of the TEDGlobal Fellowship in 2010 and was selected by The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum as one of 40 Under 40, a major exhibition highlighting the work of forty artists born since 1972.

Benjamin Allanach is a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge. He has realized a life ambition by working at the European particle physics lab CERN for two years as a research fellow. His work is focused on providing tests of theories of fundamental particle physics and the early universe and interpreting the data itself. In particular, a mathematical symmetry called supersymmetry that allows the Higgs to remain light is a focus at the moment. Supersymmetry predicts particles that could be dark matter, and they might be produced in the collisions at CERN.

Paul Lacourbe is Associate Professor of Operations Management at CEU Business School. He holds a Ph.D. from INSEAD in France, and he served on the faculty at ESSEC in France before joining CEU Business School. Currently, his research and teaching deals primarily with the management of new product innovation and supply chain. He is particularly interested in the psychological aspects in product design and in managing supply chains for East-West trade. His chapter, "The Role of Hungarian Railway on the New Silk Road," appeared in the book, ''Managing Supply Chains on the Silk Road: Strategy, Performance, and Risk''. He is also a member of the faculty team at CEU Business School that oversees the new entrepreneurship incubator at CEU founded by George Soros.

Márk Bartha is interested in exploring the possibilities of human voice as the basic element of musical composition. He likes to use his own voice as material to build intricate and complex patterns of rhythm, noise and harmonies. His works have been featured not only as compositions and individual pieces at international music festivals, but as elements of dance and collaborative performances as well. His current studies at the Electronic Music and Media Arts program at the University of Pécs inspired him to expand his work towards using electronic sound, algorithmic composition methods and constructing interactive musical systems.

Al Ghaoui Hesna  is an award-winning journalist and editor. She has reported news for the Hungarian Television from more than twenty countries, among them several war zones. Her work has received Hungarian and international recognition, among them the Prima Primissima award for excellence. She has made documentary films about investigating child mortality in Uganda and the challenges of international aid programs in Afghanistan. Her book In the land of wars details her experiences in the front lines. Hesna has a background in legal studies and she is a regular speaker at conferences and universities as well as a jury member at international television festivals. Her latest reportage show entitled Babel - the world with Hesna explores surprising and exciting life stories around the world.

Szilvia Gyurkó Director for Children's Rights at the Hungarian National Committee for UNICEF, got her law degree at the Faculty of Law of Eötvös Loránd University. She still teaches children's rights and judicial skill development at the University’s Center for Professional Practice that she founded. Her research focuses on children's rights, violence against children, and the possibilities of turning the judicial system more child-centric. Her goal is to represent children in the media properly and to change the common opinion about children. After all, she'd be still happy if there were less abused children in the world.

György Sárvári PhD is a psychologist, executive coach and the CEO of Neosys Organizational Development Consulting. He has been an instrumental figure in developing the coaching profession in Hungary. As a consultant he has worked at several large companies in Hungary and internationally and has taught at universities on coaching theory, organizational development and experience-based learning. The practice of martial arts is a defining element of his life and he has been leading training sessions as a master for years. György Sárvári completed his PhD in psychology at the Kossuth Lajos University of Debrecen. His dissertation entitled Metasteps was published in 1999. His second book, The Way of the Inner Fighter - Coaching Handbook spent a long time on the top of business book lists after it came out in 2009.

Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist and the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. His research targets the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair or obviate them. His comprehensive plan breaks aging down into seven major classes and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.

Blaise Zerega is CEO of, the web’s leading destination for videos on the people, issues, and ideas changing the world. has been featured on the top website lists of TIME and the U.K.’s Telegraph. Prior to joining, Zerega served as deputy editor of Condé Nast Portfolio, where he played a critical role in the launch of both and the magazine. Zerega was also the managing editor of WIRED, helping the magazine earn numerous prizes. Additionally, he was the editor of Red Herring magazine and the news editor of Forbes ASAP. Zerega makes frequent media appearances and has been on such programs as Today and The View as well as on NPR and CNN. He graduated from New York University and received his graduate degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

Zsolt Erőss is a professional mountain climber, the first Hungarian to summit Mount Everest, and the organizer and peak climber of several mountain expeditions. He has so far climbed nine of the fourteen highest peaks on Earth. He lost his right leg below the knee in an alpine accident. His rehabilitation process and successful return to the Himalayas were followed in a documentary. Disability has taken Zsolt closer to understanding the basic values of human life. He is a proponent of active lifestyle whose example inspires facing our lack of exercise in daily life, acting as an ambassador of healthy living on events, publications, lectures and film screenings.

Duo Nimirum - The two talented young Hungarian Music Academy students, Janka Jámbor (cello) and Míra Nagy (piano) are still at the beginning of their careers, yet together they already have several years of chamber music performance behind them. They share their time amongst Vienna, Berlin and Budapest. They have already given evening sonata concerts at the Hungarian Music Academy and at the Bertalan Székely Hall of the Opera in Budapest. They have been awarded fellowships by the Friends of the Music Academy and by Erste Bank. They have also recently won a special prize at the 19th International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria.

Koert van Mensvoort - MFA MSc is an artist, designer, writer & engineer. His work revolves around the idea that humankind, in its attempts to cultivate nature, causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Among his works are the Datafountain (an internet enabled water fountain connected to money currency rates), the documentary ‘Daddy! The Woods smell of Shampoo’, the essay ‘Real Nature is not Green’, the Fake for Real memory game (on the tensed relation between reality and simulation) and the NANO Supermarket. Furthermore he directs the Next Nature Foundation in Amsterdam and Next Nature Lab at Eindhoven University of Technology.

Nermeen Shaikh is a broadcast news producer and weekly co-host at Democracy Now! in New York City. She was previously managing editor at the Asia Society. She has interviewed hundreds of figures from the academic, foreign policy, business, activist, and arts communities. She has also worked at nonprofit organizations in London, Islamabad, and Tehran. She has an M.Phil. in politics from Cambridge University, and is the author of The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power published by Columbia University Press. She currently serves on the editorial board of the Rome-based journal Development.

Lee Cronin FRSE is one of the world's leading researchers in inorganic chemistry. The focus of his work is understanding and controlling the self-assembly and self-organization of inorganic molecules and the engineering of complex systems leading to the emergence of system-level behaviors. His work has received many prizes and awards, and his collaborations span over several countries and universities. Cronin's group is also developing technological applications including flow reactors, solar fuel cells producing liquid fuel and 3D-printing ‘wetfab’ for the democratization of chemistry e.g. synthesis of drugs important for the developing world as well as counterfeit drug sensors. He is the Gardiner Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow.

Attila Bodnár is an architect and the co-founder of Organica, a combination of new wastewater treatment technology with a new architectural genre. Organica plants are highly efficient facilities in which engineered ecosystems process the waste stream in odorless greenhouses with the look and feel of a botanical garden. Processing waste in such settings with the help of thousands of species provides new opportunities for cooperation between artificial and natural forces. Also, building ‘water reclamation gardens’ in different cultures and geographies presents several social and psychological issues and lessons with practical and philosophical insights. Prior to venturing into the water space Mr. Bodnar practiced architecture in the New York metropolitan area.

Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, author and CEO. After working for the BBC as a producer, she started and run five media and high tech businesses and now writes books, blogs and plays about how we work. She is a passionate believer in honesty, creative conflict and courage which are needed to overcome our fears and help us widen and enrich the people and ideas we were prepared to engage with. As a speaker and mentor she speaks about finding and managing high-achieving talent and innovation in organizations and the role of leaders in this process. She is Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Simmons College in Boston and Executive in Residence at Babson College, and sits on the boards of several councils and private companies.

György Bolyki musician and producer. As a cellist and jazz singer he has performed in the largest concert halls of USA, Europe and Asia. Together with his brothers they form the Bolyki Brothers acapella band. At one of the world’s most respected competition (the Vokal Total- Graz) they won 5 of the top 6 prizes, claiming the title of the most successful group in the history of the competition. Since 2010 he has been the director of Kaposvár International Chamber Music Festival. Besides his artistic work in 2008 he co-founded the INNOVATOR – The People Development Company where he holds musical trainings with his self-developed method. The Bolyki Soul&Gospel Choir was formed a year ago. Balázs Bolyki, a member of the Bolyki Brothers, uses his own methods to teach members singing that goes beyond professional development, improving personal integration and harmony as well as interpersonal relationships. The positive interference of effortless presence and excellent sound multiplies the intensity of the experience for the audience.

Brian David Johnson - The future is Brian David Johnson's business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation, his charter is to develop an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called "future casting"—using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels. He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.

1088 Budapest, Rákóczi út 21‎.


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