• Sweden edition
 
TEDxStockholm: a review
Brains, bands, and Alexander Bard at TEDx

Brains, bands, and Alexander Bard at TEDx

Published: 24 Oct 2013 12:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Oct 2013 12:41 GMT+02:00

With all the hugs, songs and talk of Gods, one could forgive a stranger accidentally venturing inside the Stockholm Rigoletto cinema on Monday for assuming some new-age religious movement was talking place. No, it was just a TEDx event.

Over 300 TED fans gathered in the foyer of the newly renovated Rigoletto, eager for a day of inspiring "ideas worth spreading" - the TED catch phrase. TEDx is an offshoot of TED, a popular non-profit organization that brings together speakers from technology, entertainment and design, at conferences held all over the world. The theme for this year's TEDxStockholm was "Uncharted Waters", how we confront the uncertainty that accompanies our challenges, ambitions and our lives.

SEE ALSO: TEDxStockholm dives into 'Uncharted Waters'

Gustaf Josefsson, the colourful host, began by asking the audience to stand up, pair off, stare intently at the equally uncomfortable stranger in front of them, and then warmly embrace them with a hug. At that moment, each of us had just navigated our own "uncharted waters", that being the personal space of the person opposite us.

Swede Lena Maria Klingvall was the first of ten speakers and her story was the highlight of the day. Klingvall was born with no arms and only one healthy leg. She met each challenge posed by her disabilities with determination, creativity, and the love and support from her family.

"Society didn't adapt to me, so I had to adapt to society," Klingvall told the audience.

IN PICTURES: Scenes from TEDxStockholm 'Uncharted Waters'

Klingvall became a world champion swimmer, participating in both the Paralympics and Special Olympics, launched a highly successful singing career (she's "big in Japan"), is a painter and also an author.

With her one good leg, Klingvall is able to write - calligraphy no less, dress herself, and drive - she left the event early to drop her assistant at the train station.

In discussing how to eat using chopsticks she quipped:

"It's surprisingly easier with your feet."

Her only limitations? The same as us all.

"Time."

Klingvall closed with a rendition of "your raise me up" which was met with a standing ovation from the crowd.

Up next was physician and author Katarina Gospic. The former neuroscientist explained how our human brains are biologically "wired to be cautious", followed by astrophysics and cosmology researcher Rahman Amanullah, who depicted our universe in a fish bowl - that's expanding.

As long as you went in with an open mind and a willingness to consider new ideas, TEDxStockholm delivered. And pretty much every speaker that took to the stage on Monday managed to captivate the audience, much to the delight of the TEDx crew.

"We had a couple of glitches before the event started but otherwise it was perfect," event organizer Valentino Pacifici told The Local.

Music was also on display at TEDx Stockholm, with mash-up DJs skillnicker, riffing on the fallacy of original music and "stealing as the creative process".

The evening closed with Alexandar Bard, the eccentric and outspoken songwriter, producer and author perhaps best known for serving as a judge on Swedish Idol.

The Army of Lovers founder spoke about the dangers of "generationalism" - the discrimination of older generations by younger generations who "overrate their intellectual ability".

He then warned about the dangers of living in a "hyper-cynical age" where the myth isn't the existence of "a utopia" but our "non-belief in a utopia."

"What if God is to be in the future rather than the past?" he asked.

If the goal of the TEDx organizers was to show off Stockholm and Sweden, they certainly succeeded. Every speaker was just as interesting and thought-provoking as the last, a clear validation of that everyone managed to navigate the "uncharted waters" with aplomb.

“Our vision is to create a vibrant creative community where people from all walks of life come together to share knowledge, get inspired and take part in an active conversation about our shared future," event director and TEDxStockholm founder Carl Bärstad explained.

"We believe Stockholm is a city worthy of such a recognition."

While Monday's "Uncharted Waters" event was meant to be the last TEDxStockholm event of the year, organizers surprised the TEDx faithful by announcing another event is in the works before 2013 draws to a close.

"The theme is very interesting, its embracing failure," Pacifici revealed to The Local.

"We are looking for amazing stories of people who have failed and can give insights on how to face such a moment."

Appropriately, the event will take place in the the former headquarters of Razorfish, a dotcom that went bust in spectacular fashion in 2002.

Be prepared for "embracing failure" to succeed.

The next TEDxStockholm event takes place at 5pm on Thursday, December 12th. Click link below for more information.

Josh Liew

Follow Josh on Twitter here

Related links:

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local List
Ten false friends in the Swedish language
Photo: The Uppsala Koala

Ten false friends in the Swedish language

Never, ever take the Swedish language at face value. This is a language where "puss" means "kiss" and "kiss" means "pee". And that's just the beginning... READ  

Sami museum hit in suspected tear gas attack
Permanent exhibition on the life of Sami nomads. Photo: Bengt Oberger/Wikipedia

Sami museum hit in suspected tear gas attack

The Sami museum in northern Sweden had to be evacuated after two attackers sprayed an unknown substance which left several people violently ill. READ  

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Emir Selimi: The winner of the 2014 Raoul Wallenberg Prize. Photo: Charles L. Sjölander

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize

A Roma man has been hailed as "inspirational" after scooping this year's Raoul Wallenberg Prize for setting up an organization to help stamp out racism against the community. READ  

Goverment keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Goverment keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Nato will soon be able to deploy forces to Sweden, with the government likely to sign an agreement with the military alliance this week, but an expert told The Local that full membership remains unlikely. READ  

Beggar hit in exhaust fume 'attack'
Exhaust fumes. Photo:Shutterstock.

Beggar hit in exhaust fume 'attack'

A beggar in southern Sweden was forced to flee in terror after she was enveloped with thick black smoke, part of an apparent attack that was captured on video and spread via social media. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden opens the gates for election voting
Don't forget to vote. Photo:Shutterstock.

Sweden opens the gates for election voting

If you're busy on September the 14th, or simply can't wait to have your voice heard, Wednesday morning marked the opening of the polling booths for early-bird voters. READ  

Whooping cough alert after two infants die

Whooping cough alert after two infants die

The Swedish Public Health Agency has urged parents to be aware of the dangers of the infectious whooping cough disease after two babies have recently died from the illness. READ  

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize
Chuck Berry performing in Oslo in 2007. Hakon Mosvold Larsen /Scanpix Norway

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize

The Polar music prizes were handed out in Stockholm on Tuesday night, with Chuck Berry and theatre director Peter Sellars sharing one million kronor ($153,000) in prizes. READ  

Swedish store scraps high heels for toddlers
The shoes pictured are indeed the shoes in question. Photo: Joakim Loamotte/TT

Swedish store scraps high heels for toddlers

UPDATED: A social media storm has seen a supermarket chain recalling its heeled children's shoes. The man behind the storm says other countries could learn from how seriously Sweden takes equality. READ  

My Swedish Career
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Scarlet Vikarby and her husband Jimmy. Photo: Private

'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'

American Scarlet Vikarby owns a home theatre installation business. She talks to The Local about owning a company, how being a woman can be a game changer, and how to overcome reserved Swedes. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

724
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se