TEDx Geneva: Guillaume Massard, Michael Doser, Bruno Giussani, Jill Bolte Taylor [en]

Guillaume Massard — Industrial Ecosystems – beta version

*(steph-note: not sure if Guillaume is the person giving the talk, or if he’s the guy being replaced because he went to Copenhagen)*

Industry and biosphere are separate. Let’s bring the inudstrial system down to earth. How could the biosphere inspire the economy?

Nature has created a system where there is no waste. It just doesn’t exist. How about applying that to industrial systems?

Strategy in four goals: circularize, minimize losses, dematerialize, decarbonize.

Re-use things more locally. Not a new idea. E.g. The Symbiosis Institute (1996). Get companies to collaborate in order to save resources. Eco-industrial networks and parks, all over the world!

The rebound effect: when you introduce a new technology, you’re sure it’s more efficient/better/etc. But 10 years later, maybe you realize that you’ve created a huge new impact on the environment. E.g. the computer, everybody thought we would go paperless, but actually computers generate more paper. Is efficient really efficient?

A classical example (UNIL research, Roman Näegeli): Toyota Prius, from 8 to 4.3 litres/100km, so you save fuel and money. But if you didn’t have a car before, you’re not being good for the environment by buying it, because then you travel more, it’s another car on the road, etc. So is this green technology more efficient, if it makes car-less people buy cars? What about the money he’s saving on fuel? Travel, restaurants, more consumption (if he did have a car), raw material consumption increase.

Heretic question: should we favor inefficiency, and prohibit low consumption vehicles? 😉 and therefore encourage other types of energy consumption?

Michael Doser — If apples fall down, do anti-apples fall up?

We don’t live in a symmetric universe. Matter and anti-matter are not created in equal quantities. *(steph-note: did I get that right? can’t hear him very well — mic fail)*

Question mark: is antimatter really just matter with opposite charge and identical properties? In 1996, experiment to try and produce anti-hydrogen atoms. But that’s only the first step, because once you have the atom, you want to study it. That first step took 5-8 years. Step “trap anti-hydrogen” started about 3 years ago. “cool anti-hydrogen” will likely take another 5-8 years. We’re not there yet! *(steph-note: and all this in Comic Sans…)* Measure light emitted by antihydrogen… in 10 years maybe?

A detour might be shorter and more scenic… let’s try again.

How about measuring the fall of antimatter? Bring gravity into the fold of particle physics. So, let’s use the limitations of the previous experiment (the atoms are moving) and form a beam of anti-atoms.

Bruno Giussani — Ideas About Spreading Ideas: Inside TED

With the internet, more and more people are having access to the best teachers in the world, to learn and be inspired. Important phenomenon when it comes to how ideas spread: before this, the reach of these inspiring teachers was much more limited.

TED is a very broad platform devoted to spreading ideas: videos, fellowship, events, all year around.

Some less-known aspects of what TED does.

1. TED Open Translation Project

Talks free to the world… not exactly true if they’re just in English. Now there are many languages in which subtitles are available for TED talks. 59 languages in 7 months. Community. Started out with professionals.

2. TEDPrize

Has to do with past achievements and future potential of people. Express a wish and ask the TED community to help them realize it. 100’000$. Example: XDR-TB awareness campaign (extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis).

Other example: Charter for Compassion.

3. TEDx

Delocalizing. Allow anybody to organize a conference “à la TED”. The license is free, there are just a dozen rules, e.g. not to charge for entry. There have been more than 250 TEDx events to this day, all over the world, from NASA to Kibera, a shanti-town in Africa.

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight (video)

I hadn’t seen this video. Do watch it if you haven’t.

Right hemisphere: present moment, sensory collage, connexion to the world as a whole perfect human being (parallel processor)

Left hemisphere: thinks linear and methodically, about the past and the future, details, thinks in language which connects my internal world from my external world, and it says “I am”, separates me from the energy flow around me, and from the others.

When she had her stroke, she lost her left hemisphere, basically. Perceives her body as some weird external thing, walks across the living-room in a very rigid, mechanical way. Loss of distinction between self and outside. Then brain chatter stopped. Felt at one with all the energy around here, blissful Lala-land, no distinction between her and the world. Peacefulness, all stress gone, as well as 37 years of emotional bagage.

At one point she realises she’s having a stroke “OMG! so cool! how many brain scientists get a chance to study their own brain from the inside out?”

Couldn’t recognize if she was looking at her business card or not.

Stroke in waves, moments of clarity, on off, on off… Matches the shapes of the squiggles on the card to those on the phone to dial the number. She didn’t know that she couldn’t speak or understand language until she tried.


Wakes up shocked to be still alive. Feels so huge she can’t imagine fitting back into her body. Nirvana, and still alive. Clot the size of a golf ball. Took her eight years to completely recover. We have two minds, and we have the power to choose who and how we want to be in the world. We can choose to step into the consciousness of our right hemispheres… or the left.

The we inside of me. Which do we chose, and when?

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