A Sneak Peek at “2020 Vision”: The TEDxCambridgeUniversity Conference

Darren Wong 24 February 2020
Image Credits: TEDxCambridgeUniversity

After the successful trio of Salons (Beyond the Veil and Into the Periphery in Michaelmas 2019, and Our Rearview Mirrors in Lent 2020), TEDxCambridgeUniversity has released its highly anticipated speakers’ lineup for its main Conference to be held on 14th March 2020.

Under the theme of “2020 Vision”, the Conference aptly situates us in the new decade — a period of greater uncertainty and at the same time, renewed optimism to tackle the new challenges that surface.

A full-day event, participants can expect 13 talks throughout the day, ranging from topics like virtual reality and artificial intelligence to social enterprises and international development. With this “2020 Vision”, the Conference aims to enhance and enrich our view of the world and its myriad challenges and opportunities. And what better way to reorient ourselves by listening to some fascinating ideas, stories and perspectives?

There is an unsurprising slant towards future-oriented ideas and their place in society. How do we introduce new frames into the mainstream and transform debates into constructive action? Luc Jacquet, a French biologist, film-director and screenwriter, will speak on the production of nature blockbusters with Sophokles Tasioulis, an international producer, seeking to reconnect humankind with nature. Social change is a recurring theme — Rosie Wright, a consultant working with social entrepreneurs, will talk about how virtual reality can create social change, while Rupert Scofield, CEO of global microfinance pioneer FINCA International, will highlight why we need an ecosystem of social enterprises to address pressing development challenges today.

Interestingly, there seems to be some focus on food and nutrition at this year’s Conference. Jeffrey Rubel, a MPhil student at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, offers a novel take on recipes as stories while Bee Wilson, a food writer, historian, school food campaigner, will outline a clearer trajectory towards healthier and happier eating. Perhaps, eating more Beyond Meat and Impossible burgers might not be the answer we need.

Personal highlights include Vanessa Marcie’s talk on “Doing business with conscious humour” — CEO of a consulting firm as well as a stand-up comedian, Marcie will explore the importance of humour as a communication structure in management strategies. As a journalist myself, I am particularly excited to hear Alexi Mostrous’ sharing on the importance of technology in investigative journalism. Partner and editor of Tortoise Media currently, Mostrous had worked at The Times as its Head of Investigations and Saturday News Editor.

There is something for everyone — the polyglot, the dreamer, the environmentalist… and also, the burnt-out student at the end of a brutal Lent term. To find out more about the speakers at the Conference, head over to TEDxCambridgeUniversity’s Facebook page. Application for tickets closes at 23:59 on Friday, 28th February, so grab your tickets quick!

There is something for everyone — the polyglot, the dreamer, the environmentalist… and also, the burnt-out student at the end of a brutal Lent term.