Realities rebuilt



When contemplating the notion of realities we must think beyond the traditional dichotomy of the real versus reality. Hence questions like “What distinguishes the real from the virtual?” have become obsolete. The reason for this resides in the notion that the virtual reality, just like the digital, sonic or any other reality, have become integral parts of one reality. This reality should not be understood as an ever-growing accumulation of realities but rather as a constituent whole; a constant flow of potentiality. Facing reality today means confronting multiple realities which spread across a wide spectrum of everything imaginable and beyond. The forms and effects with which these realities manifest themselves have both local and global outcomes. It is our existential interdependence within the reality of an organismic world that leaves us with a relative autonomy of behaviour. Consequently, these realities provide challenges and opportunities for change, enabling us to alter the conditions and modes of our being. Furthermore rebuilding realities, be it on a collective or individual level, is neither a case of mere adaptation nor of plain adjustment but rather an emerging mutual development. The current TEDx investigation called 'Realities rebuilt' is just that: an exploration of the various realities and contexts in which they can be rebuilt. The more we get to know the various realities surrounding and emerging from us, the better we learn to be/live in them. Rebuilding realities in this way is a constant motion in and of an interconnected world that keeps easing itself into its state of becoming.



  • Bright Simons
    Bright Simons

    Bright B. Simons’ interests are in technology, development, political economy, and how these phenomena intersect to create large-scale change. His work in these areas has been channeled through the mPedigree Network (www.mPedigree.Net); as well as through the public interest organisation, IMANI (, a research institute ranked among the world’s 20 most innovative think tanks. He invented the mPedigree mobile phone anti-counterfeiting system, which is already contributing to the fight against counterfeit medicines, a cause of death for an estimated 2000 people around the world daily. Bright is an Ashoka Fellow, TED Fellow, Archbishop Tutu Fellow, Tech Museum Laureate, and a member of the Crans Montana Forum, and the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Councils, Risk Response Network and Technology Pioneers Communities. Bright is regularly consulted as a resource person by such organisations as the World Bank, the West African Health Organisation, the African Union, UNECA, and the Commonwealth. He has in the course of such professional engagements addressed many of the Fortune 100 CEOs and been cited in such influential media as the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, New York Times, Guardian, Financial Times, Asian Times, and the BBC, where he is a frequent commentator on the intersection between business trends and social affairs.

    Twitter: @BBSimons | Website:

  • Peter Seeberger
    Peter Seeberger

    Peter H. Seeberger studied chemistry at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Colorado in 1995.  After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York City he became Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in January 1998 and was promoted to Firmenich Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2002.  From June 2003 until January 2009 held the position of Professor for Organic Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, where he served as chair of the laboratory in 2008. In 2009 he assumed positions as Director at the Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam and Professor at the Free University of Berlin. Since 2003 he serves as an Affiliate Professor at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, CA.

    Peter H. Seeberger is the Editor of the Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry and serves on the editorial advisory boards of seven other journals. He is a founding member of the board of the Tesfa-Ilg “Hope for Africa” Foundation that aims at improving health care in Ethiopia in particular by providing access to malaria vaccines and HIV treatments. He is a consultant and serves on the scientific advisory board of several companies.

    The research in professor Seeberger’s laboratory has resulted in two spin-off companies: Ancora Pharmaceuticals (founded in 2002, Medford, USA) that is currently developing a promising malaria vaccine candidate in late preclinical trials as well as several other therapeutics based on carbohydrates and i2chem (2007, Watertown, USA) that is commercializing microreactors for chemical applications.

    Twitter: @peterseeberger | Website:

  • Michael Trautmann
    Michael Trautmann

    Dr Michael Trautmann has been active in field of branding from various perspectives. As Director of the Marketing Foundation at the University of Augsburg, he was involved in marketing research and received his PhD in 1993. He worked as Manager of the international top management consultancy Bossard Consultants and in 1997 joined the advertising agency Springer & Jacoby, where, from 2000 onwards, he acted as founding president of Springer & Jacoby International and member of the agency's Holding Board.

    After holding the position of Global Head of Marketing for AUDI from 2002 to 2004, Michael Trautmann founded the advertising agency kempertrautmann with André Kemper in 2004.

    Michael Trautmann was personally responsible for Germany¢s biggest social marketing campaign ever (“You are Germany”), which was supported by more than 30 of the biggest media companies in Germany. Together with partners from various backgrounds, Michael Trautmann and his agency kempertrautmann are trying to register the ².hiv² top-level domain and enable every company and every user on the web to participate in the fight against AIDS.

    Twitter: @MTrautmann | Website:


  • Thomas Auer
    Thomas Auer

    Trained as a Process Engineer at the Technical University in Stuttgart, Thomas is a partner and managing director of Transsolar GmbH, a German engineering firm specialized in energy efficient building design and environmental quality with offices in Stuttgart, Munich and New York.

    Thomas collaborated with world known architecture firms on numerous international design projects and competitions. A specialist in the fields of integrated building systems and energy efficiency in buildings, Thomas has developed energy and building services concepts for projects around the world noted for their innovative design and energy performance – as integral part of signature architecture. Among his projects in Germany are the Hochtief Prisma naturally-ventilated atrium building in Frankfurt, the new spa in Bad Aibling, and the KfW Westarkade in Frankfurt.  The office tower for Manitoba Hydro in downtown Winnipeg, Canada - is considered one of the most energy efficient high rise buildings in North America. Masdar city, a carbon neutral urban development in Abu Dhabi where Transsolar was responsible for the energy concept, was featured on the NY Times cover, Sept 27th 2010 edition.

    Outside of Transsolar, Thomas is teaching at Yale University and was a visiting professor at the ESA in Paris and other Universities. He speaks frequently at conferences and symposia. In 2010 Thomas received the Treehugger “best of green” award as “best engineer”.

    Website: | LinkedIn: Thomas Auer

  • David Flanders
    David Flanders

    David F. Flanders like so many in his generation is obsessed with creation: the simple power to imagine something and then build it.  |This is perhaps due to over enthusiasm in Lego as a child, model airplanes as an adolescent and code as an adult.  He has now combined all of these passions into 3D printing.  What is 3D printing?  Well, it is printer that prints real objects.  Yes any object, if you can imagine it, the 3D printer can print it.  In fact the printer that David works on is a self- replicating printer called RepRap; that’s right, it prints its own parts so it can print children printers!  David also helps organise “Print Parties” which are organised under the tag PIF3D – where those interested in printing their own 3D printers are given the parts and then shown how to build printer all while having a geeky party of building stuff (this goes back to the simple childhood joy of building things with your friends).  Best of all is what David is hoping to accomplish with the growing 3D printing community: “We could all decide to build a Ford Model T, with each of us printing up a part using the Fordian process”.  Anything is possible, just imagine and print!


  • Jörg Reckhenrich
    Jörg Reckhenrich

    Jörg Reckhenrich is jointly Professor in Innovation and Creativity at the Lorange Institute of Business, Zürich and Antwerp Management School. He is also visiting faculty at London Business School and the European School of Management and Technology Berlin. He was recently named as one of the ‘Top 25 Management Thinkers for 2009’ by the management journal ‘Business Strategy Review'.
    He has developed, with his background as artist, an approach for executive learning that brings the creative principles of fine arts into the corporate field. He has published widely on this approach, and his book, titled ‘The Fine Art of Success’, was published by the business publisher Jossey Bass in Winter 2010. In his artwork Jörg bridges the two worlds by creating paintings series like the one ”Organisational Drawings”.
    Joerg has worked with various international companies, including Bombardier, Deutsche Bank, Mercedes Benz, Deutsche Bahn and British Petroleum. He recently developed a Management Appraisal Format evaluating creativity of top-level management in cooperation with Egon Zehnder International.


  • Joost Holthuis
    Joost Holthuis

    Joost Holthuis is co-founder of the Service Design Network Netherlands (SDNN) and design director at the Amsterdam office of Edenspiekermann. Joost helps organisations develop service concepts that are relevant for customers and deliver on the brand promise, thus building lasting brand relationships.

    Joost started his career in 1987 as a graphic designer at design agency BRS Premsela Vonk in Amsterdam, working primarily on corporate identity programmes. In de mid-nineties Joost decided to specialize in interaction design. He designed large websites, online forms and applications, always with a user-centric approach. Broadening his expertise over the years toward designing services, Joost has become one the Dutch pioneers in the emerging field of service design.

    Twitter: @joostholthuis | Website:

  • Christian Wiebe
    Christian Wiebe

    Christian Wiebe is the press officer of Viva con Agua, an internationally operating NGO with its roots in Hamburg-St. Pauli, Germany. The aim of Viva con Agua is to sustainably improve drinking water access and sanitary facilities in developing countries and to provide a global social platform, where everyone can make his or her contribution! Mr. Wiebe was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, studied political science in Hamburg and is now on a mission to raise everyone’s awareness on the global topic of water!

    Website: | LinkedIn: Christian Wiebe

  • Friedrich von Borries
    Friedrich von Borries

    Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries is an architect and teacher of design theory and curatorial practice at HFBK Hamburg. He is also the curator of contemporary design at the Hamburg Museum of Art and Industry. He studied architecture at the Berlin University of the Arts, the ISA St.Luc Bruxelles, and graduated from the University of Karlsruhe (TH) in 2004. From 2001 to 2003 he taught at TU Berlin, and between 2002 and 2005 he was a collaborative researcher at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, working on the »Shrinking Cities« project. From 2007 to 2008 von Borries was a guest-researcher at ETH Zürich and MIT Cambridge while simultaneously acting as a guest-professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nürnberg. Between 2003 and 2009, he co-led the Berlin 'raumtaktik' office with Matthias Böttger. He is a research Fellow at Goldsmiths College in London, and also a Fellow of the Junge Akademie of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In 2008 Borries was the commissary general for Germany's contribution to the Venice Architectural Biennale.


  • Gerald Hüther
    Gerald Hüther

    Born in 1951, Gerald Hüther studied Biology and graduated in Neurobiology at the University of Leipzig. He worked as a brain researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine and is now the head of the Neurobiological Research Unit at the Psychiatric Clinic. His major research interests are the use-dependent modulation of brain structure and brain function, the influences of stress and the role of emotional reactions. He is author of several scientific and popular books and of many research articles, member of several scientific organizations and of the editoral boards of scientific journals.

    Twitter: @GeraldHuether ‏ | Website:

  • Matthias Oelmann
    Matthias Oelmann

    Website: | LinkedIn: Matthias Oelmann

  • Linda Polman
    Linda Polman

    Linda Polman is a Dutch freelance author, columnist and journalist.

    She studied at the School for Journalism in Utrecht and for the past 20 years worked for international radio, TV and press. She is a contributor to Dutch national newspapers, as well as The Guardian and The Times in London, and GEO in Germany.

    Since 2000 she lived and worked in Sierra Leone and Liberia as a correspondent for several years.She currently resides in Holland. She is a guest lecturer for the School for Journalism and for military academies in Holland, as well as for universities and academies in Italy, Norway, and the UK.

    Her latest book, "The Crisis Caravan - What's Wrong With Humanitarian Aid?" was featured in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It appeared in 7 languages.

    Website: | LinkedIn: Linda Polman

  • Elisabet Sahtouris
    Elisabet Sahtouris

    Elisabet Sahtouris, PhD is an internationally known evolution biologist, futurist, author, professor and business consultant, a member of the World Wisdom Council and a fellow of the World Business Academy. After a post-doctoral NIH fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, she taught at UMass and MIT, worked on the NOVA/Horizon TV series and was a UN consultant on indigenous peoples. Born in the US, she lived extensively in Canada, Greece and the Peruvian Andes, discovering solutions to social and economic problems in Earth's ecosystems and indigenous sciences, and now resides in Spain. Her venues have included The World Bank, EPA, Boeing, Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, Tokyo Dome Stadium, Australian and Netherlands National Govts, Sao Paulo's leading business schools, University of Malaya, State of the World Forums (NY, San Francisco and Brasil) and World Parliaments of Religion. Her books include EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution; A Walk Through Time: from Stardust to Us and Biology Revisioned (with Willis Harman).

    Twitter: @sahtouris ‏ | Website:


  • Alin Coen
    Alin Coen

    „You want more of it, you want to hear it on repeat constantly!“ – „Her voice is addictive.“ This is the way fans frantically talk about the delicately melancholic but at the same time self-confident songs of German Singer/Songwriter Alin Coen. The German Music Magazine „Melodie&Rhythmus“ describes it as follows: „Some feelings peel off of you like a useless burden and some others are practically thrown into the light.“ Her songs tell of stories of hope and defeat, of loving and letting go. Her music is rooted in folk, wanders through pop and heads straight for your heart.

    Alin’s current album is entitled „Wer bist du“ and was released in August 2010.

    Twitter: @AlinCoenBand | Website:

  • Stefan Keller
    Stefan Keller

    Born in 1974, Stefan Keller studied Music with a focus on oboe and composition in his home town Zurich, at the Konservatorium Utrecht and at the Hans Eisler college for music in Berlin. As a composer he has received, amongst others, several study prices of the Swiss composer's association, the 1st price with the competition of the SJSO 2002, the composition price of the capital of Stuttgart 2004, 1st prices with the Hanns Eisler price in 2005 and 2006 as well as the startup price of the friend’s association of the HfM Berlin. Since 2006, Stefan Keller has a teaching assignment at the HfM Hanns Eisler in Berlin. In 2008 he was awarded with a scholarship of the Berlin senate for the Cité of the Arts in Paris and currently holds a scholarship from the Contemporary Arts Alliance Berlin. Upcoming premieres will take place in autumn 2011, in Paris by the ensemble Intercontemporain and in Frankfurt by the Ensemble Modern.

    On his first trip to India in spring 2005, Stefan Keller got involved with the North-Indian classical music and has since then learnt to play the Tabla with Prof. Dr. Gert-Matthias Wegner. Up to now two own compositions have originated for Tabla.


9am - 10am Registration
10am - 11.30pm Session 1
Stephan Balzer Welcome
Bright Simons mPedigree
Peter H. Seeberger Carbohydrate Vaccines
Mick Ebeling TED Video
Michael Trautmann .hiv
Thomas Auer Green and sexy
11.30pm - 12.15pm Coffee Break
12.15pm - 2pm Session 2
David Flanders 3D printing -- this century's most disruptive innovation?!
Jörg Reckhenrich The Power of Art Thinking
Alin Coen Performance
Joost Holthuis Service Design
Morgan Spurlock TED Video
Christian Wiebe Be Clear Like Water
2pm - 3.30pm Lunch Break
3.30pm - 6pm Session 3
Friedrich von Borries WZGÜZSK
Deb Roy TED Video
Gerald Hüther The Contribution of Brain Research to Male Self-Understanding
Stefan Keller Performance
Matthias Oelmann SoVIET - Combining Video and Social Networks
Linda Polman What's Wrong With Humanitarian Aid? A Journalist's Journey
Elisabet Sahtouris Celebrating Crisis




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