Last week’s TEDxVienna featured 20 talks on advances and breakthroughs in fields like gene editing to computer sciences mixed with personal stories of living on the edge. So we picked five talks the METROPOLE team thought stood out.

Anders Sandberg

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© TEDxVienna / Virag Buza

The end of human society as we know it may be far away, or not. But that’s not the question Anders Sandberg is asking. The senior research fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford focuses on management of low-probability high-impact risks. Samberg researches probabilities of human survival in cases of global catastrophes and what we would need to do to survive. Think less cannibalism, and more organized repopulation attempts.

Asha Siad

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© TEDxVienna / Virag Buza

The award-winning journalist and filmmaker has co-produced and released her own documentaries, focusing on topics like the lives of African asylum seekers in Italy or issues relating to aboriginal communities in Canada. Her latest documentary, 19 Days, shows the human side of the refugee resettlement process. Siad delivered an insightful talk on her work, showing that nuanced reporting is something we always need more of, and that a story doesn’t end once it’s been published, and refugees are skeptical of journalists too.  You can find a some of Siad’s documentaries on her Youtube Channel. So check her out!

David Buss

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© TEDxVienna / Virag Buza

If you think that your „dating game“ is on point and you’re sure that the person, who just touched your elbow is totally into you, think again. David Buss, professor of psychology at the University of Texas and author of the highly praised – and peer-reviewed – book The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology gave an interesting and surprisingly funny talk about sexual conflict in human mating. For example: Did you know that in some cases, stalking can actually lead people getting back together?

Maanasa Mendu

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© TEDxVienna / Samuel Colombo

This 13-year old young scientist from Ohio is already showing the grown-ups how it’s done. Mendu, inspired by one of her trips to India, invented an energy harvesting device that costs  only $5 to make. It’s called HARVEST and it utilizes solar cell leaves that can also gather electricity when being exposed to vibration. So even if the sun is not shining, HARVEST can gather energy through wind or rain. Mendu has already won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge with HARVEST, and plans to make it available all over the world. So keep an eye out for her, because her inventions might soon go global.

Shahak Shapira

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© TEDxVienna / Daniel Wellinger

Maybe you remember it, the post that went viral at the beginning of the year. People taking selfies at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Author and comedian, Shahak Shapira gathered those pictures and photoshopped the people into concentrationcamps, offering a whole new perspective on when cool selfies take precedent over honoring the dead.  The people could have the photos taken them down if they contacted Shapira – which all of them did within one week. Shapira also created the #HeyTwitter campaign, addressing the problems when it comes to hate speech on twitter and getting it removed. After seeing that his reported tweets weren’t deemed as violating twitter’s terms and conditions, he went on to paint a collection of the most hateful ones in front Twitter’s German headquarters using chalk spray. Follow him on his social media channels to hear about his next viral project before everyone else does.

Keep an eye on this page, and we’ll be adding their videos as they become available!