Category Archives: TEDtalk

TED Talk – by Luis von Ahn – Massive Scale Online Collaboration

Luis von Ahn
Luis von Ahn builds systems that combine humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone.

After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately — all for free.

Yours in CAPTCHA
Angie Rapisarda

What has happened to our Communication?

Wow, I’ve just watched a fascinating TED Talk with the Brio Group Team this morning that really makes you think about what has happened with the backward evolution of our human interaction, communication and lack of personal contact.

Sherry Turkle, author of ‘Alone Together’, explains how todays generation of teenagers have been brought up competing with mobile phones from an early age. She gives examples of that feeling when you get picked up at school and you have that connection with your parent with instant eye contact at first sight and you feel like you’re everything in the world to them. Now all too often kids are greeted by their parents on their mobiles.

Parents have taken multi-tasking to an extreme which is affecting the kids of today. Another example Sherry shares is how a mum is reading a bedtime book in one hand and in the other hand checking her mobile. So multi-tasking has lead to multi-lifing.

We’ve all become so accustomed to instant gratification that we’ve dumbed down our communication online to get quicker responses and in turn less thought is required from all parties.

Even I admit that I prefer emails to phone calls as I’ve become so quick with them at work and I find it effective to keep the paper trail if I need to refer back to it. But not using the phone is almost impossible for me as a Studio Manager / Design Account Manager, not only is that bad customer service but that strong relationship gets lost and watered down.

I have overtime worked out a method that best suits my heavy workload and that is batching my work in zones; so I can be my bubbly happy self on the phone and on the other end of the scale I can zone out and do the serious stuff that also keeps my clients happy like quoting, research and invoicing.

I found Sherry’s talk pretty deep but also very true! Watch this TED Talk and let me know your thoughts and share what you’ve taken from it.

Are you going to become aware of your behaviour and possible change it for the next generation?

Yours in Communication,
Amber van Sloten

TEDxYouth Brisbane

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending TEDxYouthBrisbane at The Edge. The speakers were diverse and I loved the revised 10min talk format. It kept the pace of the day just right and you never felt like your attention was drifting.

A firm favourite was Harrison Saragossi, a local photographer who was this year named as the Walkley Young Australian Photographic Journalist of the Year  for his work documenting the Valley Nightlife. Harrison’s photos show raw, real and disturbingly human moments in the familiar “Valley Nightclub” right of passage many travel through in Brisbane.

Some of the “sound bytes” I jotted down from the day include:

Lisa Kingsberry
“Push the boundaries when no-one will give you an answer”
“If you can’t do it differently you shouldn’t be in the industry. Always question why you’re doing something.”

Scott Sneddon
“Make something bigger than yourself in a small moment”

Meg Cooper
“I always attract I need. Always be aware of your thoughts.”

And the heartwarming video from Benjamin Zander was a delightful accent to the day:

Yours in TED-inspiration,

Green School – Monday TED Talk

The story of John Hardy and tbe Green School in Bali is an inspriring one.  Having recently come back from a business course in Bali where we had the opportunity to visit the Green School and be personally shown around by John.

John started The Green School in Bali to give students a relevant, holistic and green education. He wanted these students to understand and, from a very young age, be ready to make positive changes to how we live our lives.

I left our visit feeling inspired to have heard John’s vision for the school and the difference he is making through the school to our next generation.  The attraction that John has at the school is amazing. For example Richard Branson on a recent visit to Australia dropped in to visit the Green School, Bali on his way home and sponsored one of the main bamboo poles in The Heart of School building.  Brio Group also sponsored a pole and feel incredible privileged to help John achieve his vision.

If you have the chance drop by and join one of the two weekly guided tours of the school, you too will be inspired and touched by the efforts of this incredible man and the team he is attracting around him.

Yours in making a difference to the next generation,



Monday TED Talk: The rise of personal robots

The Brio team started the week with this TED Talk by Cynthia Breazeal on the rise of personal robots. The Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) founded the Media Lab’s Personal Robots Group.

She says in her talk: “Robots touch something deeply human within us. And so whether they’re helping us to become creative and innovative, or whether they’re helping us to feel more deeply connected despite distance, or whether they are our trusted sidekick who’s helping us attain our personal goals in becoming our highest and best selves, for me, robots are all about people.”

TEDx Brisbane

The second TEDxBrisbane was held at the State Library of Queensland last weekend. More than 450 people attended the event.

It was a great day and a few firm favourites shone through. My top moments of the day include:

Gordon Hamilton’s Toy Story 3 = Awesome

Composer Gordon Hamilton’s video takes random Facebook status updates (an idea he said was born out of laziness as he procrastinated) and turns them into a song. Watch the results below.

Eva Cox her talk, presented via Skype, was logical, to the point and fascinating. Her talk (which I hope is posted online) brought up many great points including “Why do we assume that working longer hours equals more productivity?”

Personally, however, as great as the long-form talks were what caught my attention were the 3 minute brain bursts. My favourite? Paul Songhurst’s talk on how we can reinvigorate the 1m x 1m space around trees on the sidewalk. During a trip to New York he catalogued how these spaces were used – gardens, bike racks, fenced areas. The possibility to transfer this to our own city is quite exciting!

And it goes without saying the day wouldn’t have been half as good without the people. I was surrounded by old friends and new friends who only served to enhance the experience. Thanks to Carl and Paul for their efforts in bringing the day together.

You can see photos from the day on Flickr. The photos were taken by Brisbane-photographer Mark Lobo.

You can read all the tweets (and there are plenty) from the day on Twitter.

Yours in TED Talks,


Thelma Golden TED Talk – How Art Gives Shape to Cultural Change

Thelma Golden, curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, talks through three recent shows that explore how art examines and redefines culture. The “post black” artists she works with are using their art to provoke a new dialogue about race and culture and about the meaning.

Thelma speaks about artists who are important to her. Her overall project is about art, specifically about black artists and very generally about the way in which art can change the way we think about culture and ourselves.

Yours in Art TEd Talks