It was in a friendly and warm atmosphere that the third TedX Luxembourg City took place on 28 April. From inspirational talks to the organiser’s cheerfulness, remarkable performances, surprises and even a delightful buffet, “Uncaging Possibilities” was undeniably a success.
Photo: Magaly Piscarel
Neumünster Abbey rolled out its red carpet for the third edition of TedX Luxembourg City last Saturday. UBI University students organized everything down to the last detail. Attendees were welcomed in a venue decorated with red banners, speakers’ pictures, elegant high tables, an old Volkswagen van used as a photobooth, and a grandiose buffet. Sponsors and partners took the opportunity to display their products, including demonstrations of 3D pancake printing, a tasting of authentic drinks, a multitude of free magazines, and an opportunity to try VR glasses or sit in futuristic cars.
First speaker Bastiaan Degroot set the bar high with his revolutionary project. He explained how light bulbs could contribute to a sustainable environment, while saving money. He explained how, for example, Barclays had the idea of installing sensors in their offices so that they could see which meeting rooms or desks were not being used, thereby reducing the surface area of the office and saving money on rental. However, he added that it would be too costly to install these sensors everywhere. His solution? Installing them in light bulbs to create Smart Cities--something that is already happening.
Next speaker Genna Elvin has researched a link between human behaviour and successful leadership, determined that the best way to face risks is to “trust your guts.” Designer Robert van Embricqs demonstrated his incredible wood furniture, which is inspired by bone structure, and explained how architecture is inspired by nature.
After a lunch break filled with succulent pies, salads, donut-burgers and fruit salads, the audience witnessed the beauty of acapella with Crush?!, the first all-vocal band in Luxembourg. They performed an interpretation of ‘Human’ by Rag'n'Bone Man and told the story of how they were formed.
Staying with the theme of music, Patricia Abdelnour had the most interactive talk with the audience as she required everyone to sing and dance to ‘Mi Cuerpo’. If the audience was hesitant at the beginning, everyone eventually participated. Her point was that even if spectators did not know each other, the audience came together. This is what music does, she claims. “Now, imagine if we did this three, four, five times a week. We would create a community with a sense of belonging,” she said, adding that group rehearsals help children within all communities to feel more important.
Next speaker Peter Stibrany took the audience on a trip to space with his vision of cities created in our galaxy and the feasibility if such ventures.
Despite an array of incredible speakers, the highlight of this TedX was 16-year-old Atreyam (Leo) Sharma who delighted the audience with his dynamism and humour. Tired of the negative image adults have on the “iGen” generation, Sharma pointed to multiple examples on how adults have left the younger generations with problems to solve, and why it is important that leaders leave their place to youngsters. “1.2 billion tons of untreated garbage every year, toxic waste from incinerators everywhere, thinking that ‘oh, the iGen will solve this!’, or their children will solve this. They don’t think clearly and solve our problems for us,” he complained.
Then, Samuel Sieber, who works with Médecins sans Frontières, demonstrated the importance of research and how researches are only the beginning because what we do with the information they gather is most important. Finally, BMX freestyle world champion Viki Gomez offered a thrilling show in which he also vented on the merits of having some freestyle in our life and of taking risks to progress.
An ecstatic Dirk Daenen spoke to “Delano” at the end of the conference. “It was joyous. Really, it was just a fabulous event and I’m just inspired by the feedback from the audience, and I think it’s all about the audience to take those ideas and do something with it,” he said. Ever the optimistic, he added, “I’m absolutely 100 percent sure that the next TedX Luxembourg City will happen.”