The final full day of TEDGlobal 2013 comprised three jampacked sessions. “State of the Nations” included insights from China, the Middle East, and thoughts for fixing the dysfunctional global system of governance. “Forces of Change,” curated by TED Senior Fellows Erik Hersman and Adrian Hong, introduced us to fresh thinking about Africa, and provided a harrowing, personal tale of escape from North Korea. And “Imagined Beauty” included cloud painting, the body as canvas, poetry and much, much more. As always, all three sessions included musical interludes to take the edge off the intensity. Here, an entirely personal, totally subjective look at some of the day’s standout moments.
Joseph Kim told us of life during the Great Famine in North Korea of 1994. His father died of starvation, his mother disappeared, and his sister, who left to find money and food, never returned. In a quiet but enormously powerful talk, Kim described the process of making a new life for himself in the United States, and his gratitude to the foster family who took him in. Spellbinding and poignant, this talk reduced many of those in the auditorium to tears — especially after his onstage message to his sister, calling for her to get in touch if she’s still alive. Read more about Joseph Kim’s talk >>
Gavin Pretor-Pinney is the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. Cloudspotting, he told us, “is a pointless activity, which is precisely why it’s so important.” In a delightful talk, he showed us some rather evocative photography of clouds, and reminded overachieving TED attendees that having your head in the clouds is actually no bad thing. Read more about Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s talk >>
Andras Forgacs is growing leather. Which is weird, and awesome, and potentially planet-saving (not to mention animal-saving). He showed off some of his latest home-made samples, and it was brilliant. Read more about Andras Forgacs’s talk >>
Arthur Benjamin talked to us about the loveliness of Fibonacci numbers. But even he was clearly taken aback when the audience burst into applause on first mention of them. This mainly only proves that TEDsters are a bunch of nerds, but nerds are cool, so no harm done. Read more about Arthur Benjamin’s talk >>
Stephen Burt read poetry aloud, beautifully. Read more about Stephen Burt’s talk >>
Radi-Aid: Africa for Norway: During the Forces of Change session, curators Hersman and Hong played a truly hilarious video that made everyone who remembers Live Aid (any version) hang their heads in shame. Brilliant video, wonderful moment. Share it: