TEDxArendal 2013 speakers and their talks

The speakers at our first event came from all over the world. But in some way, they all had a connection to our region. This was imperative to the TEDxArendal initiative! We want to show the role our region plays in the world – by bringing in talent from abroad, but also by giving our local thinkers a stage for their ideas and stories.

Erik Reinert

Financial crisis, massive youth unemployment, unfair distribution of wealth in the world – and all this topped with climate crisis. Is there a way forward?

Erik S. Reinert, one of the world’s great economic thinkers (The Worldly Philosophers), is challenging standard thinking and offers inspiring thoughts on the way ahead.

Erik S. Reinert holds a PhD from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard. He is the founder of “The Other Canon Foundation”, a network for an alternative economic thinking which acknowledges innovation and unpredictable behavior as essential in economic development – as opposed to the present ruling mechanistic economic models.

Alfredo Zamudio

Alfredo holds an MBA in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He has worked as a humanitarian aid worker in missions to Darfur, Timor-Leste, and Colombia, with the Norwegian Refugee Council and the UNHCR.

Alfredo was born in Chile in 1960. When his father was arrested under the military coup of 1973, Alfredo became a homeless child, surviving with the help of good people and his own efforts. After 3 years in prison, his father was set free at the airport of Santiago, where he was reunited with his son just before boarding a plane which brought them to Norway as refugees in 1976.

Audun Myskja

Writer, author, musician, and Ph.D. of Medicine Audun Myskja has over thirty years experience with working and researching within the field of integrated medicine. Audun has been a strong and important voice in the traditional academic setting, seeking to create simple practice-based methods to connect science and the fields of the common human experience, expanding the context of traditional Western medicine.

He is especially known for innovative use of musical elements in rehabilitation of dementia and Parkinson patients, and for creating systematic tools for empowerment in persons with chronic illness.

His presentation will show how song, dance and music can give therapeutic aid in dementia care.

Hans Christian Medlien

Writer and doodlephilosopher Hans Christian Medlien runs the company «The tower of unthought thoughts», U8 Ltd, from his self-created Land of wonder and imagination, located in the free state of Lucky Næroset.

Medlien leads a centre for insight and reflection, where the idea is to rediscover there is always inspiration to be found in everything and everyone. Medlien, a humorous speaker, talks about the doodle-philosophy – the organic way of turn dark dots to bright lights. Because you are the lighter.

The speech is inspired by his latest book «Times have come»; how imagination can help us to write new fairytales for a better world.

Irene Nygårdsvik

Irene terminated her PhD studies at The Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, and instead started «Spekulatoriet». She then launced her own research «Researching innovation in the friction between art and business – an explorative study in light of dialogue and play theory».

Through over 60 interviews with artists and businesses she found more similarities than expected. The common denominator between artists and businesses was their creative instinct. Based on these common features she worked on developing an economic philosophy called «A Humanistic Economy based on Generosity and Dignity – creativity at the core of economics».

Linnar Viik

Linnar Viik is Estonia’s Internet guru and innovation advocate. He is one of the founders of Estonian «Tiger Leap» Foundation, which in 1996 started massive computerization of schools in Estonia. He started also a network of open Internet access points all over the country and leaded countrywide Internet awareness and training campaigns. I 2000 Viik helped Estonia become the first country in the world to adopt a system of e-governance, changing its cabinet meetings to paperless sessions.

Currently he is a lecturer and a member of the board of the Estonian IT College, member of the governing board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, member of the Advisory Board of the Nordic Investment Bank, member and of the Research and Development Council of Estonia.

Mike Troxel

Mike Troxel is heavily involved with youth related action cultures. He has started Vision Skatepark and Flipside Camp in Norway.

His core value is to release (or unleash) creativity and talent in youth subcultures by creating spaces where their passions are taken seriously. By doing so we will tap into that which can change our world for the better.

Britt Miree Abrahamsen

Britt Miree is a Norwegian writer, artist and wushu (Kung-fu) practitioner who has spend all her adult life travelling, studying and working abroad, mainly in the ex-Soviet-union, Middle-East, and China – where she has been practicing wushu for the last five years.

Britt Miree has one belief; «Everything is possible – and where there is will, there is a way». She aims to gather inspiration from the unpleasant happenings in life, like one does from the more happy ones, and also tries to pass on this energy. She enjoys trying out the fine balance between incurable optimism vs. foolhardiness – though when people say: «You can not do it», she will be absolutely determined to try it out.

Philippe Rekacewicz

Radical Cartography is challenging conventional views on international politics and economics, environmental issues, and conflict-related conditions.

The French journalist and cartographer Philippe Rekacewicz has been at the forefront of cartography as a journalistic genre, and a form of expression that (de/re)constructs categories from which to understand the world and the structures of power that inhabit it.

Rekacewicz’ practice uses data as a means for social awareness and involvement. Philippe teaches at universities, works for the French newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique, and for many years was the head cartographer at GRID-Arendal.

Ragne Sigmond

Ragne Kristine Sigmond is a professional photographer who finds her inspiration in materials from everyday life. Where others see things for what they are, she sees new potential in materials that have run their course and are to be disposed of. She transforms those objects into innovative photographic props in the creative image process.

Combining her technical skills with influences from art, she works with an increasing focus on series for exhibitions. Besides teaching photography at Media College Denmark, she is a renowned lecturer, both nationally and internationally.

Mira Svartnes Thorsen

The past 15 years have brought turmoil to the music business. As a result of the digitalization and new ways to distribute music, some must die, so others can prosper. In times of commotion, new connections are made, new opportunities are being revealed and new businesses emerge.

Mira Svartnes Thorsen is an entrepreneur, partner and owner of Karmakosmetix Music. She is also a writer and columnist with background from music industry, politics and journalism. Thorsen runs a forum for public debate called “Ordskifte”, addressing topics related to the foundations of society, such as politics, finance, culture and environment.

Yannick Beaudoin

We designed its «software» 100 or more so years ago with barely an update since; we taught it that people are always rational in their choices and behaviours; we even programmed in something along the lines of nature being infinite.

Bill Clinton remarked: «It’s the economy, stupid!» – the voice society uses to speak with nature; so why are we screaming at the natural world we depend on?

Fortunately an economic software update has started. By learning from our desired future, we can collectively enable that update before the hardware itself goes «blue screen».

Gunhild A. Stordalen

Gunhild A. Stordalen is the founder and chair of Stordalen Foundation and GreeNudge, which initiate and promote research on behavioural measures to mitigate climate change.

Stordalen is a medical doctor and holds a PhD in pathology/ orthopedic surgery and she focuses her work on the link between climate and health. Dr. Stordalen serves on the boards of the European Climate Foundation and the Zero Emission Resource Organization.