Day 122: TEDx Sydney in points.

Session 1:

-Michael West, one of the stolen generation and a cultural representative of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council welcomes us Gadigal country.
– He holds a message stick which talks about diversity. Its undulating lines represent the journey we’ re all on.

– Verne Grigorov- Bulgarian violinist plays.

– Remo Giuffre- team leader, welcomes us.
– Sydney not known for TED but he feels we can put it on the map for ideas. Engagement of community quite unique. 20000 members of TED Sydney. 2000 people on the waiting list for today, which took 9 months to put together.
– Presented with a message stick by Michael West, in the spirit of reconciliation.

– Ron mccallum- lawyer and human rights activist.
– As a three year old he tried to feel the picture on the page and his Mum told him he’d never be able to feel the print. He didn’t know he’d be part of a revolution to develop this technology. Braille signage now in the lifts of the Opera House.
-When he studied postgraduate in Canada , men at a prison helped him by reading into a tape recorder. In 1990 he had 18 miles of tape. Students, family and friends all read to tape for him.
-First blind computer in 1984 had 84 Kb of data. Now he can scan the latest novel and read it at the same time as his friends . He still loves being read to. – – Many websites can’t be read using JAWS or other technologies. Worldwide standards have now been developed for Internet to make sites compatible for people without vision. Currently not legal to transport Braille books from Spain to Latin America. Global summit on this about to take place.

-‘What inspires us’, Short film.

– Joseph and James Tawadros- middle Eastern inspired music.

– Alice Gorman-archaeologist, usually looked at Aboriginal excavation sites. One night she was looking at the Milky Way and thought some of dots must be satellites, some probably quite old and had archaeological potential.
– She started visiting rocket launch sites and turning up at space conferences. – Australis Oscar V satellite- still in Orbit.
– 1969- Apollo 11 moon landing. No nation can make a territorial claim on space yet a flag was put on the surface of the moon.
– Russians put a lot of energy from 1960s- 1980s into Venus. Venera missions returned first images back to earth, showing Venus as just a brown desert. There are some missions being planned to Venus so maybe the Venera spacecraft will be picked up.
– On the voyager spacecraft are recorded ‘Golden Records,’ containing two aboriginal songs as well as numerous world languages.
– These artefacts are human interactions with the solar system. About public getting involved in space, planets and parts of solar system to which we can send robotic avatars. Many resources in space.

– Jennifer Robinson- at centre of Wikileaks case, defending Julian Assange.
– She feels inspired by courage and dedication of people she represents. Today she is telling the story of Benny Wenda.
– Ten years ago she moved to Indonesia to study during university. She ended up in West Papua instead. Taught about Indonesian occupation and oppression. This week makes fifteen years since Indonesia occupied West Papua. Estimated thousands have been killed in this time. Activists asked her to find Benny Wenda in prison. He was facing conviction for a crime he didn’t commit, after being tortured, all because he fought peacefully for West Papua. Daily his supporters lined the courtroom to show their support, despite consequences of association.
– Every night she received notes he’d written her from prison. In one she saved, he asks her to raise awareness of West Papua in Australia. When she left, his family were in relative safety in refugee camps. Days after she returned she heard he’d escaped from prison and was en route to the U.K. She hopped on a plane and wrote an application for his asylum.
– Foreign journalists banned in West Papua. Indonesian government maintain there are no political prisoners, yet we know there are at least 40. Last year Bob Carr stated the Australian government supported Indonesian sovereignty in West Papua. By the time Australia stepped into East Timor, one third of the population had been killed.
– Standing idly by in face of injustice is unthinkable.
– Benny Wenda comes on stage to request that we tell friends and family about West Papua.

– Greg Sheehan- musical mathematician plays a tune using the Fibonacci sequence and imagery demonstrating its presence across nature.

Session 2

– Simon Jackson talks about the data revolution.
– Not just the amount makes it a revolution- we have tools for gathering and linkage, he had first meeting with a data journalist, statistical analysis and modelling.
– Idea: in God we trust- All others must bring data.
– Every state they thought Obama would win, he did, the one they thought he’d lose, he did. Figured this out using data.
– Internet polling: cheaper, some qualms about legitimacy of Internet polling, yet can see further with more resolution than before.
– Small area estimation ability to get fine grain estimates of public opinion. A national poll doesn’t allow this. Surveys of support for gay marriage for example can give politicians a picture of the opinion in their area.
– ‘it’s your duty to hack’ – to ensure the future of democracy in the data revolution.

– Darren Percival sings a cover of , ‘To make you feel my love.’

– Danny Kennedy, sun-lover.
– A billion people get their lights tonight through burning a candle in kerosene. – – Deepening dependency on fossil fuels to light their home.
– irony kerosene is what we used to replace whale oil.
– To get a message out, you have to tell a story people want to hear.
– This is a life or death matter- campaigner against a coal mine in Thailand killed, as was the Nigerian leader who kicked out Shell peacefully.
– Get better at giving a growing voice to yes, share the How, be the Difference.
– Decide to leave fossil fuels to rest in peace.

– Short film- a study of Sydney in lights. Filmmakers strapped a projector to their car and projected words from lonely hearts ads onto buildings.

– Dr. Lisa Murray: Official historian for the city of Sydney.
– 15 year saga of design of opera house. State records have boxes of plans including original competition drawings from Jern Utzon. Photos from queen Elizabeth cutting ribbon 40 years ago. Today this would all be born digital records- information created in an electronic format. Do we have strategies in place to keep these- no. They’re a digital risk.
– A few years ago Murray wrote a planning history of the recital hall. She could examine the theory that it had fostered artistic development. In the first ten years it changed computer booking systems at least once and there was no complete list of all the performances. Born digital records of just ten years ago harder to access than paper from thirty years ago,
– Social media becoming standard business tool. Critical issues with this. One year after Egyptian revolution 20% documentation had disappeared.
– Archivists convincing governments of urgency of keeping born digital records.
UNESCO recognises this preservation as a global challenge.
– Everyone needs to look at their digital records, delete, back up, reduce redundancy. Become aware of the platforms used to share and store records.

– Bill Pritchard
– Food. According to best estimates, one person in 8 doesn’t have enough energy to sustain themselves. Over last few years progress against hunger has been stalled.
– Failure to meet millennium development goal target = 228 million more mouths hungry.
– Food security is about livelihoods. If we’re serious about confronting problems of world hunger our prime objective should be to understand lives.
– Rural India projects- research has led him to a number of villages and areas.
– Mary Robinson- ‘Challenge to envision things the same way those affected do.’
– India has been called food security enigma- rapid economic growth has only led to a marginal shift in the levels of nourishment.
– People don’t have liberties to pursue the life cycle they might otherwise. This begins in womb if undernourished.
– Food must be understood as a foundational source of deprivation.
– Entitlements- food is a basic human right.
– In a world where progress against hunger is still failing for too many people, solutions need to come from the bottom up.

– Rajeswari Sainath- dance

– Joost Bakker: Applies artistic principles to everyday things.
– Gardener, restaurateur, designer, builder.
– Buildings can easily grow food- sun, water all accessible. Designs buildings that put soil on top rather than digging it up and throwing it away.
– Urine is sterile and loaded with nutrients- urine harvesting of 3000 litres from Melbourne’s food and wine festival in three weeks last year- full of fertiliser.
– Built the Greenhouse in Perth.
– Started doing installations using plants and flowers in Melbourne restaurants- wanted to highlight things such as bulbs being as beautiful as the flower.
– At a dinner for Penfolds he grew the table.
– In 2000 bought land with his wife and decided to build their house out of non toxic materials- straw etc.
– In the greenhouse in Melbourne they picked cucumbers on Flinders Street, plucked 45kg of potatoes from a 1 metre plot.
– CSIRO simulated a bush fire on a prototype house they’d built from straw bales and a soil roof design- first house they’d ever tested that humans would have survived in- maximum inside was 34 degrees.
– Farm by Joost- next project happening on disused office tower roof. Zero waste venue.
– Dehydrator turns waste into 10% volume overnight and makes it sterile.
– Change how we think about houses and communities. Can easily grow enough food just where we live.


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