TEDxGhent 2012

Meeting of Minds

When: June 16, 2012
Venue: Aula Volderstraat, Ghent University

On Saturday, June 16, the second edition of TEDxGhent took place. TEDxGhent 2012 was organized in collaboration with Ghent University.

This year, the TEDxGhent tagline was ‘Meeting of Minds’. Our speakers shared their passion and vision with our audience in 20 talks, spread over three thematic blocks: ‘city and nature’, ‘body and mind’ and ‘work and life’. We established a genuine ‘Meeting of Minds’, both by introducing new and groundbreaking ideas and by offering our audience and the speakers the opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue.

TEDxGhent also offered three Ghent University researchers the opportunity to present their work in a short talk.

Watch all the talks >>


Anna Coote

Anna Coote is Head of Social Policy at nef (new economics foundation). A leading analyst, writer and advocate in the field of social policy, she was responsible for ground-breaking work on health and sustainable development as Commissioner for Health with the UK Sustainable Development Commission.  Anna Coote wants to share her ideas about the 21 hour work week.

Toon Vermeir and Michael Arens

Toon Vermeir and Michael Arens both graduated as ir. architects at Ghent University in 2010. Together with 40+ talented architecture and engineering students they led the E-Cube project (‘an affordable zero-energy house’) from scratch to the first prize in affordability in the US DOE Solar Decathlon 2011 competition[, where students are challenged to build energy efficient homes.]  During their presentation they will give insight in some of the elementary principles of which the E-Cube is only one of many possible outcomes.

Frederik Leys

Frederik studies how insects and small birds such as hummingbirds fly and how nature’s way of flying with flapping wings could be applied to micro air vehicles. Inspired by the Rufous Hummingbird, Frederik is developing the Kulibrie, a micro air vehicle with a wingspan of only 10 cm that flies by flapping its wings. Frederik will talk about his research and demonstrate the Kulibrie.

Bart Lambrecht

Bart Lambrecht is Director of the Department for Molecular Biomedical Research. The interest of his own research group is on ‘the role of antigen presenting dendritic cells in the initiation of the pulmonary immune response that ultimately leads to sensitization to antigens, applied to allergic disease, respiratory viruses and cancer immunotherapy’. Sounds complicated? The pitch of his talk is “Old Mc. Donald had a farm, but no asthma”, so we can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

Steven Vromman

Steven Vromman started his Low Impact Man project in 2008. His search for the lowest possible ecological footprint was covered in the award winning program ‘Low Impact Man’ and broadcasted in more than 50 countries.  His talk will be called “The end of the world as we know it, and a glimpse of the next one”

Bert Verdonck

Lifehacker Bert Verdonck created the audio CD “How To Shorten Your Working Day By 2 Hours”. Ever imagined what you could do with 1 hour (maybe 2) extra per day? Bert will show you how to hack away frustrations in your life, the easy way!

Philippe De Roo

Philip De Roo played an active role in the urban planning of Ghent and developed the concept of various squares, which now determine the cityscape of Ghent. As project manager of public spaces, he co-ordinates the Ghent Lighting Project. His motto is to use light as a tool to improve the quality of life and wellbeing in cities.

Ruben Verborgh

One thing fascinates Ruben more than technology, and that’s the people using it.
As a PhD student at the Ghent University, he helps building the Internet of tomorrow.
At TEDxGhent, he will show why you’ll love the future Web.

Goedele De Clerck

Dr. Goedele De Clerck of Ghent University studies empowerment and emancipation processes in Deaf/sign communities around the world. She was the first Deaf scholar to gain a doctorate in Belgium. In her talk Connected in Deaf Flourishing, she shares her passionate worldwide exploration of Deaf people’s journeys from slumber to awakening and blossoming across many cultures.

Manos Tsakiris

Manos Tsakiris is Reader in Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, where he leads the Lab of Action & Body. His research investigates the neurocognitive mechanisms that shape the experience of embodiment and self-identity using a wide range of research methods, from psychometrics and psychophysics to neuroimaging. His current research projects investigate the ‘plasticity of self-identity’.

Aleksandra Pizurica

Aleksandra’s current research interests include efficient representations of multidimensional signals and hierarchical statistical models of visual perception. An interesting application of this research is in analysis of digitized art works. Aleksandra is working on virtual restoration and analysis of the ‘Lam Gods’ in Ghent.

David Perrett

Prof. David Perrett studies how we recognize facial attributes and understand actions of others. Current projects include the nature of cues in the face to attractiveness and health; the impact of life stresses, parental relationships and development across puberty on appearance and mate choice in adulthood; attraction to voice and to pheromones; decoding emotional expression and deception; sharing of attention; and the use of computer graphics to enhance recognition.

Leo Bormans

Leo Bormans has been working for more than 20 years for the government in Belgium on active citizenship, empowerment, communication, positive education, positive journalism and has been working for Unesco in Belgium. His initiatives on active citizenship and communication have inspired lots of organizations and policy-makers. He is also the author of the international bestseller “The World Book of Happiness”.

Frank Van Massenhove

Frank Van Massenhove is head of the ‘Federale Overheidsdienst Sociale Zekerheid and was elected ‘government manager of the year’. With his radical and original ideas about the use of social media, gender equality, teleworking and mobile workplaces, he almost single-handedly led the Federal Government into the 21st century.

Markus Kayser

‘Markus Kayser has studied ‘3D Furniture and Product Design’. His recent work shows the exploration of hybrid solutions, linking technology and natural energy to evaluate opportunities and to question current methodologies in manufacturing by testing new scenarios of production. He explores the potential of desert manufacturing, providing a point of departure for fresh thinking.

Esther Venrooy

Apart from her artistic activities, Venrooy is a lecturer on 20th
century music and experimental arts at the Ghent school of fine arts,
where she also runs the audio workshop. Venrooy also presides the
board of (k-raa-k)3 organization. Since 2009 Esther started her PhD
research on “Audio topography – (re)constructing auditive spaces”. She explores the auditory experience of space and
the interaction between the auditory senses and the built environment.

Michiel Matthijs

Michiel Matthijs obtained a master in biotechnology/biochemistry at the university of Ghent in 2009. After graduation he started his PhD at the VIB-Ugent Department of Plant System Biology under the guidance of Prof. Wim Vyverman and Prof. Alain Goossens. His subject is the study of lipid accumulation in the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum.  As a former member of ‘Jeugd Natuur en Milieu’ he is interested in nature education and building a brighter, greener future.

Manoj Dora

Manoj started his career in a rural-tribal dominated region in India, organizing community groups especially woman, identifying and grooming leaders and enabling them to take up small business ventures. At present he is working at the Ghent University- helping companies to improve efficiency. Manoj likes teaching and inspiring, and believes that “dream and persistence” can bring the right “change” in people’s life.