The theme for this year’s TEDx Waterloo was DIS CONNECTED. The conference was split into three sessions, each based on a variation of this theme:
- CONNECTED DIS CIPLINES explored interdependence and entanglement between various branches of learning
- CONNECTED DIS COVERY encouraged us to see the world differently
- CONNECTED DIS COURSE focused on the many ways we communicate – and fail to communicate – with one another
The speakers I’ve blogged about so far were all part of Session #2, but today I’d like to look back at Session #1. The first two speakers represented different segments of the arts community: Scott Chantler is a graphic novelist and commercial illustrator, and Shannon Blake is a playwright and the founder of The Bench Theatre Initiative, which provides street-involved adults with an opportunity to participate in the arts. Both were interesting, but didn’t fascinate me as much as those from the sciences.
In a TED video, Angela Belcher, head of the Biomolecular Materials Group at MIT, talked about using nature to grow batteries. Most of the concepts she described would go over the heads of most of us, but her enthusiasm and passion was very exciting. She actually made me think of the characters on The Big Bang Theory, who also talk about scientific theories in regular conversation, expecting everyone to know exactly what they’re talking about. (I was too embarrassed to say this publicly until I saw The Record make the same comparison!)
Krister Shalm, on the other hand, clearly realizes that your average Joe doesn’t know squat about quantum physics. Instead of giving a traditional talk, he explained the power of a quantum computer with the help of magic and swing dance. Don’t believe me? Check it out!
Come back next week to read my next post in this series!