A Review of TEDxBerlin 2012 "Thinking Change" A Review of TEDxBerlin 2012 "Thinking Change"

TEDxBerlin 2012 "Thinking Change"
TEDxBerlin 2012 "Thinking Change"

A "Solarkiosk" designed for off-grid areas; the "earthBeat Foundation," committed to raising awareness for a legal, safe, environmentally friendly and fair gold mining; and a "Groove" to save the world. These and more ideas made TEDxBerlin's last conference a very inspiring event that focused on sustainability and responsibility in environmental, economic and social dimensions.

While the United Nations convened for the Rio+20 conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil, TEDxBerlin "Thinking Change" took place at the Google headquarters in the German capital in collaboration with the UN Germany. TEDx fans came together to listen to ten international speakers whose projects and passions have contributed to sustainable development in very diverse ways.

Ken Yeang, a Malaysian architect and the inventor of the "bioclimatic skyscraper" presented his current work and research. He is a writer best known for promoting green design. He sets himself apart from other green architects by his comprehensive ecological approach.

The chemist Peter Seeberger spoke about a cost-effective and groundbreaking way of creating a malaria drug using the waste products of a plant. "Death estimates vary between 650.000 and 2 million victims per year, whereas mainly small children between 2 and 5 years of age are victims," said the founding member of the board of the Tesfa-Ilg "Hope for Africa" Foundation that aims to improve health care in Ethiopia.

Guya Merkle held another impressive talk on "Digging for gold – difficulties of producing sustainable luxury goods." Guya founded the "earthBeat Foundation," which is committed to raising awareness for legal, safe, environmentally friendly and fair gold mining in order to appreciate people's work. "We have to ask ourselves whether this is real luxury, when people on the other side of the world risk their lives for these pieces of jewellery," she said in her talk after Lars Krückeberg, the founder of the well known architectural firm "GRAFT".

"Might is the possibility to make a difference together"

He shared his ideas on providing electricity for off-grid areas. "Every night, large parts of Africa, Asia and South America are completely dark. The Solarkiosk will enable people to read, study, or simply interact during those hours – instead of just waiting for the sun to rise again," he said as he held the first talk at TEDXBerlin "Thinking Change".

Daniel Klink (The Honorable Merchant), Achmed Khammas ("Sustainable Energy Throughout History and in Future Times"), Jacob Bilabel ("Groove To Save The World") and Werner Aisslinger ("The Plantation Chair") completed the circle of masterminds and pioneers in the field of sustainability.

Last but not least, the German politician Gesine Schwan presented her idea of sustainable politics. "Power is the possibility to remain stupid," she said in German ("Macht ist die Möglichkeit, dumm zu bleiben") and remarked: "Power can also be the possibility to make a difference together. And that is the kind of change that I advocate." ("Macht ist die Möglichkeit, gemeinsam etwas zu ändern. Und für diese Art von Wandel möchte ich plädieren.")

In case you missed it, not to worry: All videos and background interviews with all speakers will be posted on our homepage very soon.