Baruch hosts first ever TEDx event
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 20:03
On Saturday, March 10, TEDx, an independently organized TED event, organized their first event at Baruch College. It was held in the Baruch Performing Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and featured several video and live speakers. The TEDx event also included music and dance performances.
The first speaker was Sophy Bot, who discussed how the Internet has changed the way we form our personal and group identities.
Andrew Sispoidis, the second speaker, also mentioned the Internet . He talked about cyber attacks and the vulnerability of our private information, then pointed to statistics on the amount of cyber attacks against the United States and how they have multiplied exponentially. He also addressed the new privacy policies of Facebook that allow more people to access users’ personal information.
After a short break, musician Khaled Dajani , accompanied by Kelly Donovan’s dancing troupe, treated the audience to a performance. The musical piece performed by Dajani was called “Motion of the Dancers,” which, according to the TEDxGramercy website, describes the “chase or dance that occurs between two lovers upon their first connection and the journey that connection endures.”
Jean Tang, a lawyer turned journalist, was the next person to speak. The theme for her discussion was “Declaring war on bland.” She argued that too many corporate websites feature boring descriptions of themselves with no real passion or captivating message.
The next speaker was Andy Burnett, a creativity consultant. Burnett researches what environments allow people’s creativity to flourish. With the help of computer graphics and the Internet, Burnett and his colleagues performed an experiment where people designed their own personal offices to express their idea of a creative space using a virtual reality commuter program.
Burnett also showed images of unorthodox office spaces used by some of the renowned companies in the world, such as Google. These offices proved to be a lot more productive than ordinary cubicles. Unfortunately, very few companies can afford to build those kinds of facilities.
TEDx also took advantage of numerous videos of other TED events on YouTube to show footage of two other TED events meant to inspire the audience. The first one featured Bobby McFerin, best known for the smash hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” using audience participation to demonstrate that the pentatonic scale is universal. The second video featured Shawn Anchor, a Harvard professor of psychology, who delivered a lecture on positive psychology.
The last two speakers to take the stage were Marshall Bergmann and Stavros Michailidis. Bergmann is a consultant who uses games and simulations to help businesses plan out their strategies. He admitted that he often received condescending comments for being so involved with video games at his age. But Bergmann argued that games can be very helpful when it comes to helping people learn and gave the example of his daughter learning several important lessons of economics from the game “Rollercoaster Tycoon.”
According to Bergman, the future of gaming does not belong to games whose only selling points are better graphics, but rather games that try to teach people lessons.
The last speaker at the podium, Michailidis, who specialized in creativity, amused the crowd by telling a story of his father, growing up in a village in Greece. Apparently, his father rolled a snowball until it was so big it picked up all the trash and placed it in the city center for months.
The entire TEDx event will soon be on their YouTube channel for anyone interested to take a look.