• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
TEDxStockholm: a review
Brains, bands, and Alexander Bard at TEDx

Brains, bands, and Alexander Bard at TEDx

The Local · 24 Oct 2013, 12:41

Published: 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.

Story continues below…

"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:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Missing Swedish billionaire found dead
In the early 1980s, Ericsson was known as the ’Golden boy’ of the west coast. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Swedish entrepreneur and billionaire Christer Ericsson, who went missing during a fishing trip two months ago, has been found dead on the west coast.

Sweden Democrats try to woo pensioneers
The party says the minimum pension ought to be raised by 10 percent. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Sweden’s far-right party on Saturday vowed to fight for the elderly, saying it will only support a government that is prepared to significantly hike pensions for those who struggle financially.

Swedish hikers found after missing for six days
The only trace is currently a mobile phone found in the area and which is believed to belong to one of the men. Photo: Henrik Montgomery /TT

Swedish police on Saturday found two elderly hikers who went missing in the Abisko mountain range six days ago.

Winds leave thousands of Swedes without power
The winds are also expected to blow away the warm weather that the Swedes have been blessed with in the past few days. Photo: Peter Arwidi / TT file picture

Strong gusts, forecast to reach up to 21 metres per hour, left thousands of people without power in Sweden’s northern regions on Saturday.

Migration agency ’to get rid of LGBT experts’
Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

An internal report looking at ways to make Sweden’s Migration Agency more efficient has proposed the agency gets rid of specialists dedicated to LGBT-related issues. The move has prompted the country’s main gay rights group to see red.

Sweden's Spotify hits 39 million subscribers
Spotify is gaining listeners. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Spotify has grown by nine million paying subscribers in five months, fending off competition from rivals.

Prosecutor wants asylum stabber convicted of murder
Prosecutor Linda Wiking. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The man was convicted of aggravated manslaughter for stabbing a worker to death at a home for young refugees in Sweden.

Old Swedish cash worth billions still in circulation
Old Swedish money. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Hand in your invalid Swedish bills to the bank by the end of the month.

Sweden moves to battle high rate of drug deaths
Sweden has among Europe's highest drug-induced mortality rates. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB/TT

Sweden has among the highest number of drug-related deaths in the EU despite its zero-tolerance policy. The government wants to find out why.

Human skeleton found on abandoned farm in Sweden
Police at the farm in Hörby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect human remains found in a well on an abandoned farm in rural Sweden belonged to a man who was murdered.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,370
jobs available