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Long Term: Session 7 at TEDGlobal 2012


Click to watch the session-opening animation

The balance between “long-term” and “short-term” has become a critical focal point of discussion in many fields, from the economy to the environment. In fact, accusing someone of short-term thinking is probably the quickest way to start a brawl. In this session, we attempt to focus on the far-off, to imagine the implications and consequences of some of the decisions we’re making now. Yes, we’ll be talking climate change, but others are set to provoke contemplation in entirely different ways, too.

In this session:

Vicki Arroyo is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown University Law Center. She’ll be talking about the need for adaptation, not as a substitute for far-reaching innovation or behavioral change but as a critical tool in our efforts to evolve and survive as environmental change continues to reap effect.

Bioengineer Jonathan Trent established Global Research into Energy and the Environment (GREEN) at NASA. Together with his team, he’s looking to develop systems to produce carbon-neutral feedstock for the biofuels of the future. To listen to some of his thoughts on the topic, check out this talk, Fuels and Tools for a Sustainable Future, filmed at TEDxSantaCruz in 2011.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore leads the Developmental Group at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Her group’s research focuses on the development of the adolescent brain, and she’s here to share her research and insights into that often-unfathomable creature, the teenager.

When her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1992, Susan Solomon vowed to try to find ways to help research translate into cures. In 2005, she co-founded the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a non-profit focusing on the potential of stem cells that has to date raised nearly $100 million for research. Solomon will talk about the impact of genetics on the drug business, and present the ramifications of the growing move towards ever more personalized treatments.

Finally, two wonderful musicians will take the stage to set our feet tapping and jaws dropping. Preston Reed has recorded 13 albums since 1979, and continues to tour with his astonishing guitar playing. TEDGlobal Fellow Usman Riaz, meanwhile, is a pianist and percussive guitarist from Karachi who’s been deeply inspired by Reed’s work. The two will perform together for our delight.