TEDx Dresden Ideas from Dresden go out into the world

P rogress requires innovation, and progress requires ideas. Ideas require vision, and ideas require doers. Four principles that are the basis of the TEDx conference that will be held in Dresden towards the end of August. We take a look at the underlying concept of this conference and meet some of the experts who have been booked to speak at it. By Florian Kneffel

Christoph is sitting in front of his computer one day, surfing the Internet, when a video catches his attention. A video, in which a scientist explains how a long-term study has shown that it is not so much money, career and power that make people happy but rather interpersonal relationships. The video is not the sort of boring lecture that we are all familiar with from school or university. No, this video was made by TED, an organisation that has grown into a global brand for conferences at which innovative ideas are discussed. A few years later, Christoph finds himself organising such an ideas-based conference – in Dresden!

Speaker Profile – Sebastian Linda

Filmemacher Sebastian Linda


I am Sebastian Linda, film director, skateboarder, artist and much more besides.

I will be giving a presentation on how we learn the most from the things we love.

I will be speaking at TEDx Dresden because I have always wanted to address a TED audience, and I see it as a great opportunity to share my individual experiences with the world.

Together, we can better shape the future by following our dreams and passions and inspiring others.

I want people to come away from my presentation feeling that they have the courage to head off in their own direction.

TED aims to disseminate ideas – affirming the future while never losing sight of the entertainment factor. The intention is to provide a platform for short and concise presentations by leading thinkers and creators that will inspire people and lead them to a better common future. Each presentation lasts no longer than 18 minutes. The special feature of TED is that the full-length presentations will then be made available on www.TED.com free of charge to everyone. In this way, the ideas go around the world and stimulate thinking among people on every continent. The world’s largest TED conference takes place in Vancouver, Canada, and has already attracted speakers such as Bill Gates.

To ensure that TED ideas are disseminated even more widely, TEDx conferences are held. The ‘x’ suffix signifies that these are independently organised TED events. They have already taken place in many cities around the world, and since 2016, Dresden has been hosting them too. Last year, there were 300 applications for a 100-capacity venue. This time, 700 places are available, all of which have sold out in advance.

Speaker profile – Saskia Rudolph and Andrea Horn

Andrea Horn & Saskia Rudolph

We are Andrea Horn, a graduate in psychology and practising psychotherapist, and Saskia Rudolph, who is conducting research into culture and the nature of happiness. Together, we are the founders of Spiegelneuronen GmbH

We impart knowledge and insights gained from Positive Psychology, an innovative science that investigates the factors behind success in life. Our work is scientifically based, comprehensive to the layman and ready to put into practice.

We will be speaking at TEDx Dresden because we have long been enthusiastic followers of the TED concept. We think it is wonderful that TEDx is making it possible to anchor this great idea in the region, telling people inspiring stories, creating emotional moments and sharing highly relevant ideas with the world.

Together, we can better shape the future by not only overcoming crises and problems but also by scientifically investigating the GOOD in the world and fostering it. Step by step, our actions can all contribute to a future in which life is really worthwhile.

We want people to come away from our presentation feeling that they are ready to engage with someone who might be a stranger to them now but could soon be a valuable acquaintance.

Dresden is hosting the largest TEDx conference in the east of Germany and is offering a TED experience of a special kind. None of the speakers will be paid for their appearance at the conference. Indeed, at some of the larger TED conferences, speakers even pay for the privilege of presenting their ideas to the public. Live presentations are combined with TED Talk videos to generate in-depth discussions and the formation of smaller interest groups.
Dresden is often seen as a city of contrasts, in which modern scientific research takes place against a backdrop of historical architecture and artistic treasures, so in this respect, it could not be more appropriate as a venue for such a conference.
The focus is on innovation, projects, aspects of current research – in other words, ideas from all fields of knowledge. No limits are imposed. What really matters is that the topic should be relevant to as many people as possible. The focus of every discussion is not so much the problem as the solution. The organisers work with the speakers in advance to ensure that the presentations do not conform to the tired old lecture format but rather take the topic and mould it in such a way that it takes on the unique TED character.
TED is not just something for tech nerds, as some external commentators might surmise. TED is aimed at all people who are interested in a better and more innovative future. TED conferences are especially popular with students.

Speaker profile – Manfred Hild

I am a neuroroboticist and am conducting research into the interaction between man and machine.

I run a 14-day workshop every year in a remote location with my team and robots.

I will be speaking at TEDx Dresden because research results should belong to everyone and should therefore be presented in a comprehensible manner.

Together, we can make the future better by ensuring that decision making is not left to a clique of politicians or scientists.

I want people to come away from my presentation feeling able to make up their own minds about the issue of robotics.

The focus of Christoph Sträter and his team in Dresden this year will be the future. The banner headline for the event at the Staatsoperette (State Operetta) on 27th August is ‘Embrace the Future’. The 20 speakers will be seeking to inspire their listeners with opportunities to shape their lives. In a multipolar and globalised world, wealth and privilege should be more evenly distributed. Technical progress brings many opportunities, but also risks. Challenges must be met head on and solutions found; this necessitates dialogue. However, any critique must be undertaken in a spirit of optimism. And that is precisely what TEDx aims to deliver. As our knowledge grows, we should use the mistakes of the past to make progress for the benefit of the individual and of society as a whole.

### Update – Visit Dresden Event Livestream ###


The complete programme and all speakers can be found at www.tedx-dresden.de. The event on 27th August is already sold out. Visit Dresden will report live on the conference on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Follow us!