INTERVIEWS

The Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio

TED comes to Florence

Innovation and optimism are key
by Alexandra Korey   (issue no. 152/2011 / November 10, 2011)

‘TED' stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It's a conference format that started in California in 1984 as a platform for the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas. The 18-minute talks are by far the most fascinating conference talks you'll ever see, partly because speakers know they'll be watched by millions of people online. A TEDx is an independently organized conference that shares TED values, quality and format at the local level. We asked organizer Felix Vannucci about TEDx Florence, which takes place on November 12, 2011.

 

Why TEDx Florence?

 

TEDx programs are now present in many cities in the world, and Florence is an ideal candidate. The location, the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, has always had an important civic role and, over the centuries, it has been the place where ideas and projects with an influence on technology, art, design and entertainment-the main themes of TED-have been presented. To successfully move into the future, Florence must continue to innovate, share and produce new ideas.

 

What motivated you to organize this event?

 

We're passionate about the TED platform as a space in which new ideas are born and developed. The open circulation and sharing of these talks online contributes to knowledge worldwide. Embodying the mission of TED, we want to give power to ideas. Current events demonstrate that ideas are the key to changing the world. The culture of ideas must regain a central place in this city of ideas: that's the message we want to bring to TEDx Florence.

 

What are the main themes of the talks we'll see on November 12?

 

We'll talk about optimism and innovation, not just in the fields of technology, science and the Internet, but also in art, relations, politics and information. In one word: change. To succeed in the future we need two fundamental things: innovation, which creates change; and optimism, which is necessary to realize what's wrong and to spur the desire to find new solutions. Renaissance Florence was a city of innovation and optimism-in fact, the term embodies these two concepts. For this reason Florence and the Salone dei Cinquecento is the best location to host this event.

 

What do you hope to achieve through the event?

 

Our goal is to bring to the city an international platform for the sharing of ideas, and conversely, to bring Florence into this important international platform. The interesting speakers and the fabulous location are an international calling card for the city. The ideas that come out of this meeting will reach viewers worldwide: while the conference is going to be in Italian, the videos will be translated by TED into 30 languages and made visible online.

 

One good reason to go to TEDx Firenze... other than to see Jovanotti?

 

More than to ‘see' Jovanotti, one should attend this conference to listen to him. The point of this TED is precisely to ask these highly visible figures to speak out of context: Jovanotti the rock star will not be giving a concert; Enrico Mentana the journalist will not be presenting TV news; David Battistella, your columnist and filmmaker, won't be showing films; professor Maurizio Seracini will not be teaching; and Matteo Renzi will not talk about politics. The results will be fascinating.

 

 

TEDx Firenze

November 12 2011, Palazzo Vecchio

 

For more information and to attend the free conference, see http://tedxfirenze.net.

 

See also the TEDx Firenze Facebook page, where the organizers are happy to respond to ideas or questions. 

 

 

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