TEDxDanubia 2011 – The Power of Imagination
We will explore and experience the power of imagination, try to understand what it is, how it works, why it matters so much... yet we cannot stop there. If we want to explore and experience its power, we need to venture beyond just these narrow confines and see it in action. We will look for the most intriguing examples in all corners of our lives. For without imagination there is no art, no science, no innovation. We cannot access the realms of the big, the small, or the hidden. Without imagination there can be no empathy. We need it to have an idea of any reality other than our own. We also need imagination to render anything new, to go beyond what and how our world already is. We need it to create visions and without it we cannot discover hitherto undetected connections and relationships. Without imagination there can be no hope, and finally, above all and simply put, we need imagination to lead a life worth living... The conference will take you on an adventure of the mind, an intellectual and emotional journey through five consecutive sessions:
8:50-10:40 Exploring Within
• Tamás Freund – neuroscientist: Brain Waves and Creativity
• Julian Treasure – sound designer: Conscious Listening (in English)
• Keren Hanan – pianist, painter: Music in Colours (in English)
• Péter Csermely – biochemist, network researcher: The Tao of Talent (in English)
• Bruno Giussani – TED’s European Director and Curator for TEDGlobal (in English)
• Lakshmi Pratury – host of TEDIndia 2009 and INK: What the West Can Learn from the East (in English)
10:40-11:40 Conversation Break
11:40-13:20 Connecting the Dots
• Vilmos Csányi – ethologist: The Nature of Beliefs
• Carolyn Steel – food urbanist: Sitopia – how we can think through food (in English)
• Antal Kelle – creative artist: ArtFormer
• Zsuzsa Szvetelszky – social psychologist: The Art and Science of Gossip
• Péter Papp – programmer mathematician: What a Software Designer Dreams Of…
• Tomicah Tillemann – international relations expert: Creating Change in a Changing World (in English)
13:20-14:20 Lunch Break
14:20-16:10 Extraordinary Journeys
• László Kiss – physicist, astronomer: Almost Nothing
• Zoltán Galántai – futures scientist: The Glasses of Time
• Gábor Korom – instinct management researcher: Ariadne’s Thread
• Carin King – fashion consultant: Style Without Mirrors (in English)
• Róbert Mandel – musician, organologist: Instruments Ago…
• Stuart Schulzke – new media entrepreneur: Detrivializing a Twitterized World (in English)
16:10-17:10 Conversation Break
17:10-19:00 A New Beginning
• Gábor George Burt – strategist, innovation/creativity expert: Re-engaging Your Childhood Creativity (in English)
• Gábor Karsai – philosopher, spiritual diplomat: The Origin of the Beginning
• Nic Marks – statistician: The Happiness Manifesto (in English)
• John Foppe – motivation expert: Within Reach (in English)
• Balázs Havasi – pianist, composer
19:00-20:10 Dinner & Drinks
20:10-20:30 Special Evening Session: Dream Bubbles
• Viktória Szépvölgyi – director, producer: Negative Varieté
20:30-23:00 Drinks & Party
• Live Concert by Óperentzia in the TEDxDanubia - Telekom Lounge
• Wine Tasting: the first red wine from Tokaj
Since we will have an international line-up of speakers and attendees, simultaneous translation will be available as usual both to and from Hungarian for all TEDxDanubia talks.
We reserve the right to change the program or venue should circumstances force us to do so.
is a men's fashion and style expert, writer, speaker, producer. Founder and CEO of Purple Eagle, a dress sense agency for men. She started working in the fashion industry during her time at university and very soon after created her first PR and lifestyle agency for international fashion and design brands in Germany. Later, she was involved in the creation of a second, award winning company in the customer care industry, one of whose major clients was the British government. Subsequently she returned to her ‘first love’ by creating Purple Eagle, an academy offering bespoke classes to high powered business men in how to dress to impress. She has arranged many high profile events, worked as a journalist and in more than 150 television shows.
is an architect, lecturer and writer. Food is a shared necessity - but also a shared way of thinking. Looking at food networks offers an unusual and illuminating way to explore how cities evolved. Steel’s chief interest is in exploring the inner lives of cities, and her work has focused on developing a lateral approach to urban design that looks at the everyday routines that shape cities and the way we inhabit them. She has run design studios at the London School of Economics, London Metropolitan University and at Cambridge University, where her lecture course ‘Food and the City’ is an established part of the degree programme. In her book “Hungry City” she traces food's journey from land to urban table and thence to sewer.
is an ethologist, author, professor. He has written forty-one books, including the university textbook on ethology and published around 200 scientific articles. The ethology department in Hungary grew out of his research. His recent academic career has focused on questions of human ethology, specifically the period of human evolution preceding spoken language, for which family dogs proved ideal studies. Many of the world’s leading research laboratories have adopted his methods and the study of dogs has become a rapidly growing branch of cognitive ethology. In recent years he has published literary fiction: short stories and novels, six volumes so far.
is a biochemist and professor at Semmelweis University. He is the chairman of LINK-group, an interdisciplinary group formed by researchers and research students to map the topology and dynamics of networks from amino acids to social networks and ecosystems. Not content to only research networks, he actively creates them too. He launched KutDiák, which helped more than ten thousand talented high school students from Hungary and neighbouring countries to take part in the most advanced research projects carried out in Hungary. He is chairman of the Hungarian National Talent Support Council and he was a member of the Committee of Wise Men, a think tank founded by the former Hungarian president of the Republic, László Sólyom to suggest solutions to fight corruption and improve education. His blog at www.csermelyblog.hu had received more than 200 000 page hits in its first year.
world renowned neuroscience professor, winner of the prestigeous Bolyai prize. Dr. Freund is director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, head of the Department of Neurosciences at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest and a former president of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies. His main area of research is the organisation and structure of the cerebral cortex, brain oscillations that are the basis of cognitive and memory functions, as well as the role played by chemicals produced by the brain in the development of anxiety. His papers have been cited more than 17 thousand times in international scientific publications.
is an expert on strategy, innovation, creativity and business development. As a speaker, Gabor aims to provoke his audiences to overstep perceived limitations and mental boundaries that limit the growth of their business. He is actively involved in shaping strategy with a diverse group of international clients spanning from top multinationals to successful start-ups. Gabor has been featured in the book ‘Radical Action for Radical Times,’ hosts a nationally broadcast radio show, and his website was selected as a top online resources on innovation. His forthcoming book ‘Slingshot’ presents an entertaining and practical framework on re-engaging our childhood creativity for success in business and adulthood.
is a futures researcher and writer. He published more than twenty books in the field of futures studies and the history of science and technology. As well as literary works and science fiction novels, he published a monograph about the cultural history of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and a textbook on the global history of economics. His main research area is the distant future through which he examines, fo example, how a change in scale changes the conditions, and what are the chances of an intelligent race to build a civilization on the time scale of our Universe.
pianist, composer, innovator has studied the profession of classical music, the lives and works of all the different masters for 30 years. He graduated from the Hungarian Academy of Music and spent several years teaching at the Conservatory in Budapest. He has been guided by one concept all this time: following in the footsteps of geniuses of the past, how to find a new musical language to communicate with the audience? Not to copy, not to imitate, not to replay the concepts of others. Rather to create a new style in which his classically trained style is mixed with the musical inspiration of the modern world around him. To reinterpret the possibilities and dust off the concept of piano concerts that has solidified over the course of centuries.
is a motivational speaker who was born without arms and has had to re-think every aspect of day-to-day life. He learned that the inability to do something did not rest on the lack of resources or vision. Instead, it has more to do with one’s subconscious perception to meeting a challenge head on. He has developed a variety of solutions to help individuals and leaders overcome their exasperation and translate their visions into outcomes. John’s insights on how the biggest vision can be derailed by the smallest bit of reticence are now being used around the world. John’s work has taken him to 15 different countries, to pro-football organizations like the Miami Dolphins, and to Fortune 500 clients such as Boeing and GE.
studies sound and advises businesses on how best to use it. He wrote the book “Sound Business”, a complete introduction to harnessing the power of sound in business, from branding and marketing to the telephone, the web and physical spaces such as shops, restaurants, offices and reception areas. He is also the chair of the Sound Agency, a firm that advises worldwide businesses - offices, retailers, hotels -- on how to improve sales and brand value by using sound effectively in every aspect of business, from corporate reception areas to marketing to retail spaces. Treasure keeps a blog called Sound Business that ruminates on aural matters (and offers a nice day-by-day writeup of TEDGlobal 2009).
is a philosopher, former rector and teacher of Tan Kapuja Buddhist College Budapest. Karsai was CEO of KOGART Holding Plc until its merger, becoming Deputy CEO of Bankár Holding Plc, the management group behind the wide ranging business interests of businessman Gábor Kovács, ranging from healthcare to art. Karsai is also the director of KOGART House and the onetime Pauline-Carmelite Monastery at Sopronbánfalva that will operate as a centre for education and meditation from the end of this year. Karsai describes all of his former and current endeavours as permeated by promoting spiritual-mental development in society.
examines the human reactions to and reflections changes through the medium of art. His works of art cannot be understood as only visual objects, they also have philosophical messages. Analogies can be suspected in the periodic circle of curiosity-cognition-alternation (or acceptance), which is essential for our everyday survival. He spent a year and a half in India on a fellowship studying the changing needs of city-dwellers and the possibilities of art and design in the 21st century. Antal lectures at universities around the world and his works have been exhibited from London to Turin and Yerevan to Dessau’s Bauhaus. In Hungary he had solo exhibitions, amongst others, at the Museum of Applied Arts, Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery.
concert pianist, painter has given concerts in such culturally diverse locations as Israel, New York, Boston, Cyprus, Italy, London, Budapest, Vietnam and China. In order to gain a deeper understanding of art she lived in several countries around the globe. This multicultural background enabled her to overcome barriers and keep exploring new ways of self-expression with undying passion. In her works Keren studies the relationship between music and painting. Having been familiar with both artforms since early childhood her works are the authentic imprints of the intertwined existence of music and fine art. It is often hard to explain the origin of an idea, but it is wonderful to experiment with inspiration borrowed from other forms of art.
an omnivorous romantic cosmologist, in his own words, was born and raised in Szabadka in the former Yugoslav Republic, narrowly avoided fighting in the Serbian-Croatian civil war and chose to explore physics and astronomy instead at university in Szeged, Hungary. Later he spent years at Sydney University researching giant red stars and star pulsation. In 2009, he returned to Hungary where he now teaches and continues his research at the research institute for astronomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has published 80 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and upwards of 200 articels for popular science.
studies the relationship between people and dogs. Together with his colleagues he is the creator of a new paradigm in dog training called the Mirror Method, made possible by the development of human consciousness. Through the Mirror Method, dogs attain a high level of cooperation and overcome rigorous intellectual challenges, whilst the owner can achieve a more harmonic relationship with nature and the living environment by exploring his or her own instincts through the instinct-driven self of the dog. The reputation of the school and its new approach has reached far and wide, its “A Doggy Christmas Surprise” video becoming one of the most watched pet videos on YouTube.
a medical doctor, cancer researcher and co-founder of Hungary’s first institute of applied pharmaconutrion, the Albert Szent-Györgyi Institute for Pharmaconutrition. Studies have concluded that 80 - 85% of Hungarians die of 'chronic degenerative diseases', including heart and coronary diseases, cancer or diabetes, which shows a direct correlation to diet and lifestyle. Dr Ládi has been studying ways to turn this trend around, observing that these diseases are not only preventable, but at an early stage can even be reversed using the methods of pharmaconutrition, a new scientific discipline that could save millions of lives.
is the co-host of TEDIndia 2009 and founder of Ixoraa Media. Lakshmi began her business career at Intel, and then moved to a VC firm, where she focused on connecting India's legendary software-development community with US tech. She began to focus more strictly on relationship-building with her move to the America India Foundation, where she founded the AIF's Digital Equalizer program, offering technology education to thousands of children and teachers in India. She combined her accomplishments as a business leader, social entrepreneur and a cultural catalyst of change to form Ixoraa Media, whose mission is to strengthen the ties between the United States and India through sponsored corporate, cultural, and media events.
musician, musical instrument maker and historian, a specialist of Renaissance and Baroque instruments. He made his own instruments as faithful replicas of original museum pieces. He received a scholarship from the German Music Council to study musical instrument restoration in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum’s world famous musical instrument collection. He also spent time in the Paris Conservatory of Music to study original 18th century vielles (hurdy-gurdy). Credited as the re-discoverer of this instrument, Mandel was the first person to tour with his vielle in the USA, Australia and Israel in the early `80s. His main fields of research are 18th century French chamber music, 19th century musical instrument inventions and 20th century electrophones.
thinks quality of life is measurable, and that true contentment comes not from the accumulation of material wealth but from our connections with others, engagement with the world, and a sense of autonomy. As the founder of the Centre for Well-Being, he is particularly keen to promote a balance between sustainable development and quality of life and in order to investigate this, he devised the Happy Planet Index, a global index of human well-being and environmental impact. The results made headlines. People in the world's wealthiest countries, who consume the most of the planet's resources, are not on the top of the list in terms of well-being, which raises the question: What purpose does unfettered economic growth serve?
is a programmer mathematician, Chairman of kancellar.hu, Hungary’s leading IT security company, Honorary Associate Professor at Zrínyi Miklós National Defense University and owner of Hacktivity, the largest hacker conference in Eastern and Central Europe. His passion for IT and IT security started at age 13, using a ZX Spectrum, which his parents smuggled into Transylvania. He later went on to graduate as programmer mathematician from Eötvös Loránd University, which came to define his life. He believes that IT security represents danger and opportunity in equal measure. His dream and his day to day job focus on making Hungary a world leader in IT security.
narrowly avoided a legal career with a timely turn into new media. As co-founder and Director of Content Development of FORA.tv, a fast growing innovative new media enterprise, he has played a lead role in developing FORA.tv's partnerships and building a video library that now holds over 10,000 hours of the world's most compelling conversations on issues and ideas. Stuart holds two graduate degrees from the University of Oxford and worked on the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. His exhaustive research on anti-corruption strategies and the rule of law in post-communist states has been published in multiple languages. He views the FORA.tv mission somewhat religiously and believes that it, and media like it, will be pivotal in democratizing public discourse and the ideas that make it vibrant.
musician, architecture critic, writer and a member of the new generation of theatre directors. Her work focuses on an interdisciplinary approach and explorative ways of expression and communication. Her first major piece as a director is called Negative Varieté, a silhouette performance, which blurs the boundaries between fine art, dance, photography and film, was based on a forgotten screenplay by László Moholy-Nagy, The Dynamics of the Big City written in 1922, the same year Moholy started making photograms. Viktória composed the Negative Varieté as an experiment with light using the same techniques of experimenting with shadows and silhouettes. The work’s premiere was followed and recorded with great interest by Reuters news agency among others. Passport to the Bauhaus, in the enchanted language of 8 bodies!
is a social psychologist and gossip researcher. She studies and analyzes the informal networks within communities and companies and the dynamics of spreading networked information, beliefs and stories. Her scientific and applied research includes uncovering self-organising hierarchies, processes and goals; the comparative study of professed and followed values, and the representation of the “norm of breaking norms”. She has written a monograph on the nature of gossip, and her articles on the theory of gossip research have been published in international journals of physics and evolutionary psychology. She lectured on the value of gossiping at ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University) and Szegedi Tudományegyetem (University of Szeged).
serves as the Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, prior to which he worked as speechwriter to the Secretary. Tomicah spent four years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as the principal advisor on European and Eurasian affairs to former Senator Joseph Biden. He also facilitated the work of the Senate's Subcommittee on European Affairs, then chaired by Barack Obama. Tomicah's other professional experience includes work with the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, Security, and Human Rights, the White House Office of Media Affairs, and four U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. Tomicah is co-holder of four patents on advanced clean technologies and co-founder of IRIS Engines. He has helped to found and lead numerous civil society groups and served on the board of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.