We are thrilled to share four more powerful talks and a memorable performance from our 5th annual TEDxToronto conference.
In Buddhist teachings, a focus is often placed on transcendence and enlightenment. In his TEDxTalk, Michael Stone speaks about his struggle with this focus, discussing his concern with how this takes attention away from the material world. He expresses how he wants to be OF the material world, engaged in and embracing of both urban life and natural environments, arguing, “we need to be more materialistic.” He postulates that the road to reconciling transcendence with the material world is not through the old model of “vertical transcendence,” but rather through “horizontal transcendence,” or transcendence through relationships with one another and the material world.
Specializing in functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells and robotics, Dr. Mendez’s technical demonstration addresses the use of remote-presence robots for medical care in neurosurgery. He confronts the idea that quality medical care should not be the sole purvey of those who live in big cities; many people live in areas of the world that are remote, if not inaccessible, at certain times of year. These people face the reality that medical care may not be available when they need it. And in this technical demonstration in which Dr. Mendez takes us to Labrador, Saskatchewan and California, he shows how long distance telementoring neurosurgery is changing this harsh reality — and could continue to better the lives of rural inhabitants all over the world in the near future.
As the first talk of our day, Ti-Anna Wang set the stage for a thoughtful TEDx defined by personal stories abstracted into greater theses imbued with meaning. Speaking about the Chinese arrest and imprisonment of her father, Wang Bingzhang, this reluctant activitst challenges us all to do what is right instead of what is easy, and asks us to rethink our respective persectives on politics, human rights, and civic engagement.
One of the last and greatest mysteries of our world lies buried within the walls of our own cells. Along with his team of researchers at the University of Toronto, Dr. Brendan Frey seeks to reveal how the genetic codes within our DNA determine the fates, sometimes good and sometimes bad, of the cells in our bodies. Watch as Dr. Frey takes us on a journey into this uncharted territory, explaining how he and his research group are beginning to decipher these genetic “recipes” and how they are responsible for diversity between cells, individuals and species. Moreover, listen as he describes how the potential decoding of this information may lead to treatments for genetic diseases, piquing our curiosity about how far science should go.
Closing the show, Canadian rock icon Matt Good took the stage for a combined TEDxTalk and memorable performance. Watch as Matt speaks about the subject of mental health through a personal lens. His Talk recognizes the idea that our society wants to foster creativity, but at the same time, artistic genius can sometimes be accompanied by illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Unless we recognize that gifted performers may be facing struggles, we may fail to recognize these talents altogether. Finally, listen as Matt closes the show with a haunting and echoing performance of “Strange Days,” in which his voice and guitar alone captivate and stir the audience.
Stay tuned – additional TEDxToronto 2013 talks will be posted up on our site soon.
-The TEDxToronto Organizing Committee