As those of you that follow me on twitter already know, I attended TedX Cape Town this Saturday, and I had an absolutely amazing time.
I have decided to write a series of posts in order to share my impressions of the proceedings, while they are still somewhat fresh in my mind.
If you are interested in reading the rest of the entries, you can find them here:
The videos for the talks will be released on the 5th of May, and the talks are all available already as a free podcast from iono.fm.
So, I will start with the talks in session 1. These are the talks I remember, and if I have left any out, please let me now in the comments.
Session 1 was mainly dedicated to young ideas, that are still in their early stage of development, and the talks were very short, lasting a couple of minutes each.
After the introduction, the first speech should technically go to Bruce Lee, as the organisers played the following clip, in order to set the tone for the rest of the talk.
Richard Palmer – water:sewer:power:food
In this talk, Richard spoke about how water, sewage, power and food supply are treated as separate systems, which, while they may be individually efficient, may still produce inefficiencies through their interaction. He proposed a new system for urban areas, in which the four systems were interlinked. It was an interesting speech, and I really felt that the short time did not do the topic justice.
Joseph Wamicha – Improving the future of Wireless Communications
This was the first of the technology sessions, in which Joseph spoke about rethinking the design of antennas, in order to increase the range and capacity of current wifi and radio networks, which would go to some length towards making the net more accessible throughout the world.
Justin Alvey – A water-well Inspired Approach to Sharing Power in Rural Areas
An interesting idea, and the first time one of the recurring themes of TedX Cape Town was mentioned, although in passing, which is of the importance of mobile communications in Africa, and the developing world in general.
The basic idea is simple, and in my opinion, very practical. Justin proposes that each village have an ‘electricity well’ (my term, not Justin’s), a central generator, powered by renewable energy, and that each household should get a large ‘battery’, which they could recharge at the ‘well’, and use the power at home for their needs.
Peter Janse van Rensburg – 10 Nifty things YOU can do with Nanotechnology
In this highly interesting presentation, Peter took one particular example of nanotechnology, a spray that coats a surface with a water replant layer, allowing the water to slide of. He then went one to propose ten different uses for this technology, ranging from world shaking to silly. I found it an interesting and highly amusing presentation.
Ricky Lee Gordon – Inspiring Ourselves to Inspire Others to Inspire Change
This was a pre-recorded speech, in which Ricky explained his approach to art, and the various projects that he has been involved with to pretify areas around South Africa.
It was one of those presentations that I struggle to find something to say about, since the main impact was in seeing the amazing work that Ricky and his team do.
Phindile Mangwana – The Role of Environmental Education in Tackling the Urban Water Crisis
Phindile talked about the fact that water and conservation are problems that are best tackled at the level of community, and by looking for solutions from with the community.
Lise Pretorius – A New Generation of Wealth
In this speech, Lise spoke about her experiences when she had the chance to live in a small village without water or electricity, and how the scarcity of water and other resources lead to them getting treated as precious.
Ntombiza Lingani – The Wilderness Experience
For me, this was one of the most powerful presentations of the first session. In it, Ntombiza talks about her experience of solitude in the mountains, and how that allowed her to get in touch with her core, and helped her to get clear on what she wanted out of life.
I think the reason why I found this so intriguing is because I have always been fascinated by the idea of solitude, having spent my whole life in cities and surrounded by people.
Bernelle Verster – Musings of a Water Maverick
Bernelle, one of the organisers of TedX Cape Town, toke the last presentation of the session, and she spoke about “For Love of Water”, and the important work they do in spreading awareness, and in looking for solutions to the current water crisis.
Bernelle’s presentation was very good, but by this stage I was already feeling a bit overwhelmed by the firehose of the ideas I had been exposed to by then, and I did not give it the attention it deserved.
That was it for the first session, I will try to do a write up for the second session soon as well.