Global Issues

From silent conductors to manta rays: Highlights from TED@Johannesburg

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TED Talent Search: TED@Johannesburg

This spring, TED headed on the road, visiting 14 cities across six continents on the hunt for untapped talent. The idea behind the sweeping search: to let you, the TED community, weigh in and vote on which speakers you’d like to see ascend the stage at TED2013. After holding one-night salons in Amsterdam, Bangalore, Doha, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Tunis and Vancouver, we couldn’t help but notice that every city’s event had its own unique flavor. And so we’ve asked one audience member from each stop along the tour to share their memories.

Today, we asked audience member Ithateng Mokgoro of Johannesburg, South Africa, to tell us about his experience at TED@Johannesburg, which took place on May 3.

Ithateng, what three adjectives would you use to describe the event?

Uplifting, eye-popping and illuminating.

Who were the must-see speakers of the night, who you hope TED fans will watch on the TED Talent Search website?

Ludwick Marishane: My award-winning invention, a bath without water
Ludwick Marishane’s talk was about his award-winning invention, the waterless DryBath. The product’s far-reaching potential will be of use to people in many different types of desperate situations.

Andrea Marshall: An up-close look at the majestic manta ray
Andrea Marshall gave us an up-close look at the manta ray, and her passion and enthusiasm for the threatened species was infectious.

Yvonne Mokgoro: One woman’s constitutional right to rule
Yvonne Mokgoro’s talk was about how the South African constitution continues to turn around centuries of tradition and injustice, and in the process, transforms the lives of the ordinary South Africans.

Lesley Perkes: Making a bed the whole town can share 
Lesley Perkes showed us how creativity and art can help transform neglected public spaces into rich commons that lift the quality of life in cities.

Simon Ratcliffe: What radio astronomy can tell us now and in the future
Simon Ratcliffe is a very good speaker and very comfortable on stage. So comfortable in fact, that he delivered his talk barefoot! The talk itself was centered on the upcoming Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope, the largest in the world.

What was the best moment of the night? 

The audience dancing to the Silent Conductor and the Melodi Music kids performing.

TED Talent Search: TED@Johannesburg

Which speaker from the night do you want to be your new best friend? 

Josh Ginsberg, who gave the talk “How I mapped my own memory.” He doesn’t forget anything!

Stayed tuned for more audience impressions of TED Talent Search events, coming at you over the next month.