Monday, November 30, 2009

Notes from the TEDx Bosphorus event

First TED related event in Turkey, TEDx Bosphorus was held on Monday, November 23rd at Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (better known as Istanbul Modern). The event was organized by Istanbul Digital Culture & Art Foundation.

If you're not familiar with TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences you may visit for more information.

At TEDx Bosphorus 12 speakers shared their knowledge & experiences from environmental issues to nanotechnology, medical appliances to arts & philosophy etc.

TED's motto "Ideas worth spreading" created high expectations among the audience. Nevertheless, I got the impression that attendees were not at all satisfied with the presentations. Speakers made us go "Hmmm..." but not "Wow!".

On the other hand, I know it took a great deal to organize an event like TEDx in Turkey. Kudos to the organizers! I am happy that I was a part of it. Apart from the talks I had chance to meet my former colleagues there, chat with people with similar interests & enjoyed Istanbul Modern's fantastic Bosphorus view.

Here's a short list of my notes from TEDx Bosphorus, I think you may also be interested in:

1. Recycle now! Don’t throw away the banana peel. Bury it in to your garden. It fertilizes your plants.

* In 2015, 18 % of global production will be based on nanotechnology.

* Quantum computers can be used as powerful weapons against a country’s computer systems.
* Scientists at NASA worked on growing plants in greenhouses on Mars.
*  Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha has a wearable motorcycle/exoskeleton concept Deus ex Machina.
* US food flavoring company McCormick has a Flavor Forecast. Smoked paprika & Agave nectar anyone?
* There's actually a Web Trend Map, obviously mapping the trends in web...

* Not even Bismuth 209, thought to have heaviest stable nucleus of any element, lasts forever.

* 100 million sharks are killed each year for their fins, most of which due to the demand for Shark Fin Soup.

* Turkish underwater photographer Alptekin Baloglu has won an international award for his extraordinary pictures of "Bosphorus by the Sea".

* World & nature suffer from Anthropocentrism or Human Supremacy.
* I am nothing, but I'm everything. ~ Turkish painter Bedri Baykam.

There were some friends from Twitter among the TEDx audience & we managed to hold a impromptu Tweetup (i.e. real world meeting of Twitter users) right on the spot! (Left to right: @culturepockets @thandelike @rosedeniz @taraagacayak @yazarc & me @sinanyuzakli)

Last but not least, one of the best moments of TEDx Bosphorus was "Doğa için çal!" (Play for nature) video. Enjoy!


  1. Thanks, Sinan, for your nice roundup of TEDx! I like how you shared the most essential message of each of the speakers. And it was great to have an impromptu Tweetup! There was good energy at TEDx, and I see many more projects and events using this one as a tip-off for inspiring programs.

  2. A nice summary Sinan. I'm so glad that we got to meet at TEDx. Hopefully the next event will not just leave us with "wow" instead of "hmm", but will inspire, motivate, and change us like TED talks are designed to do. Thanks for post.

  3. Dear Rose & Tara, thanks for your nice comments. It was good to be a part of a TED event anyway & our Tweetup was great. Let's hope next events will be more inspiring & motivating than our Tweetup's:)

  4. Thanks for the engaging wrap-up Sinan!

    By the way, I believe there are no keynote speakers in TED events, everyone is equal and their 18 minute talk is meant to be self-contained within the conference's theme.

    What will make the next TEDx in Istanbul more inspiring? Simply put: a far better understanding of what makes TED special in the first place. A better use of the location's own character (like the underwater photographer, the musical segment -- add to that Istanbul's diversity, deep history, and position at the crossroads of the world) and pushing the envelope on what is locally expected from people who take the stage.

    I wish we Tweeters had had more time to spend together, it was wonderful to meet so many of you in person!

  5. Thanks for the 'keynote' correction Anastasia:) I edited it. I agree with you on using location's character more effectively. And it was also great to meet you. Until next time...

  6. Hmm not wow. That sums the whole event up really. It's a step in the right direction but there's a long path ahead.

    Next time I hope there are a few more female speakers and more innovative talks. And more time to meet with Tweeters!


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