TED 2014: The next chapter

Friday, March 7th, 2014

This year, TED celebrates 30 years of ideas worth spreading, and we were very excited to be a part of ‘The Next Chapter’ in Vancouver. As expected, TED didn’t disappoint, delivering a 5 day schedule packed with inspirational, engaging and thought-provoking content. In case you haven’t had a chance to watch any of it yet we’ve summarised some key takeaways below, the full videos (as they are released) can all be found on TED.com.

Download our output of the TED talks below:

TED: The Next Chapter Book of Scribes

TED Rich Picture


    1. 1. We’re going bionic.

As technology advances and it gets smaller, faster and better, people are working on combining biology with technology – with extraordinary outcomes.  One of these people is Hugh Herr, who describes a future where humans will no longer be limited by their infrastructure as bionic limbs and exoskeletons enable us to transcend disability and push our limits. While Herr develops the physical nature of the human body, Ray Kurzweil looks ahead to the day when, using nanobots we will be able to access the cloud straight from our brain. Gone will be the days of running out of things to say, as Kurzweil explains; our thinking will become a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking. Whilst both exciting and frightening, one thing is for sure: technology is set to revolutionise the way we live, think, and interact.


    1. 2. Our identity has never been more important.

In this age of access and connectivity, it’s easy to forget that there are better ways to use the Internet than you-tubing cats stuck in boxes. Sugata Mitra (winner of the 2013 TED prize) demonstrates the real power of the Internet through ‘The School in the Cloud”, which provides education to children in remote areas via Skype screens. Take a look and get involved at www.theschoolinthecloud.org. Similarly, Shai Reshef’s University of the People makes free higher education accessible to anyone with access to the Internet and a desire to learn. Built on the basis that education is a basic right and not a privilege, Reshef is helping students in 143 countries take control of their future.

The impact of education for people in rural areas, in particular girls, is profound, as Ziaudden Yousafzai (aka Malala’s father) spoke of the identity and empowerment it provides them. By teaching boys to unlearn their misguided attitudes towards women, Yousafzai hopes to break the cycle and change the future. Geena Rocero also emphasised the need for education to spread acceptance and understanding in relation to gender assignment and the labels humans are assigned from birth.


    1. 3. It’s never been more important to get together.

The internet and social media have both had a huge impact on the ways in which people connect and socialise virtually but Amanda Burden recognises the need to still provide public spaces that bring people in cities physically together. As a city planner Burden had the opportunity to help shape the city and provide green, outdoor spaces that helped build a sense of community and togetherness and help people interact and engage both with each other and their surroundings. Similarly, Bran Ferren recognises the need for people to experience and appreciate the natural and design wonders of our world and civilization, away from technology. He further explains that in our increasingly tech-dependent world, we need to understand that art and design are what makes humanity special and a way of communicating ideas and bridging knowledge.


    1. 5. We’re getting to know the unknown unknowns, but many will probably remain unknown.

Despite all the advances in technology, there is much we still don’t know. As Adam Allans explains, while we know how the universe began and how it might end, we don’t know (and probably never will) what happens in black holes. However, Andrew Connelly introduced us to the LSST (the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope), a piece of extraordinary technology that is so powerful that nobody knows what they’re going to discover with it. One image from it is the equivalent of 300 images from the hubble telescope, and promises to produce new and unknown answers to our evolution and the universe.
From the very, very big, to the miniscule, Rob Knight educated us on the importance of microbes and their responsibility for whether mosquitoes think we’re tasty, or how pills will affect our heart. However, as we have around 100 trillion microbial cells, there is still a long way to go before we fully understand the role they play.
And if you’ve ever wandered where your internal dialogue came from and why it won’t stop giving you a hard time, then unfortunately we still don’t have the answer. David Chalmer explains that while it’s so directly experienced by all of us, it is one of the universes biggest phenomenons. As a philosopher he questions why we have it, whether it’s universal and whether we should eat something that has it… There are no answers yet, but maybe one day!


    1. 6. Managing ourselves and our systems is a work in progress… but is it progress?

Although the invention of the Internet changed the world forever, and signalled a new era of learning, sharing and connecting, Edward Snowden (via the ‘Snow-bot’) highlighted the urgent need for conversations and debates on privacy, security and transparency within a networked and data filled world. He argued that while the NSA does great things, there needs to be more transparency in relation to the secrecy surrounding the mass surveillance they carry out. As an inter-connected world, he emphasises the importance of abiding by certain standards to avoid undermining international relationships and invading peoples’ right to privacy. In response, Richard Ledgett, the NSA’s Deputy Director accepted that whilst important to have national and international conversations on security and privacy, Snowden’s approach puts people at risk. He argues that whilst people do have a right to privacy, there are considerable risks from terrorist and cyber attacks and that surveillance is designed to protect the people. Ledgett urged people to learn the facts and look at the data before forming conclusions. Whether or not you believe Snowden’s actions were right, there is little doubt that they have brought about one of the most valuable and significant conversations on the issues of privacy and security within a technological world. After all, who’s watching who?



We´ll be back with more scribing and lessons learned soon…


HR Summit 2014

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

This week, Innovation Arts attended the Annual HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham. We were invited to ‘live scribe’ some of the inspirational talks from leading experts, with topics covering everything from discovering goldmines of talent to the role of robots in the future HR world! Scribing is a way of capturing complex conversations and discussions graphically (using huge whiteboards and very talented scribes’). Capturing information in this way brings a highly visual element to your meetings and conferences, and can really help bring your organisation’s most complex ideas, conversations or processes to life.

Alongside this, our scribes spent two days creating a ‘knowledge wall’ which visually communicated key insights from the talks that took place throughout the Summit. (See Fernanda and Eddie with the final outcome above).

We also introduced our new values and behaviours game; Dilemma™. The summit brings together 1000 Directors and Industry Professionals so it was a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate the new game. Gamification is such a current engagement theme and the enthusiasm at the event definitely proved this.

Swiss Re’s Open Minds Forum in London

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The dialogue started in Zurich and continued in London for Swiss Re’s 150 Anniversary at the Olympic Park. Our scribing from the previous event acted as a springboard for the conversations to be had over the weekend.



Keynote speaker, Lord Sebastian Coe, provided a fascinating insight into the risks associated with the London 2012 Games.


Swiss Re’s 150 Years Anniversary event in Zurich

Friday, August 30th, 2013


We recently got back from the launch event of Swiss Re’s 150 Years Anniversary in Zurich, where we scribed a series of dialogue sessions.

The dialogue sessions focused on the biggest risks faced today and by future generations:


We captured the entire afternoon’s dialogue with our scribing team and produced a special Dialogue report.  We also captured keynote speaker Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s speech.



We’re in the papers…in Mexico!

Thursday, August 29th, 2013


We were very lucky to be invited to scribe at Foro Banorte last summer.  This was an event hosted by Mexican bank Banorte that aimed to spark conversation surrounding the growth of the Bajio region of Mexico.

Speakers included governors of the states of Aguascalientes, Guanajuato and San Luis, ministers of Economy and Taxes as well as ex-president of Colombia Cesar Gaviria and former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani.

Conversation topics ranged from education to tax reforms, cooperation to competition. And we were there, visually capturing it all.

It was a multi-cultural challenge; we had a Canadian scribe capturing in Spanish, a Mexican scribe who learned to scribe in English and at some point we were listening to keynote speeches in English and translating them to Spanish as we scribed!

It was great to see participants coming up to the WorkWalls to see how ideas were coming together in a really visual and interesting way.

We even made it to the front page of the business section of Mexican newspaper Reforma!

Have a look at the photos below, they show an extract of the book we produced for Banorte as a memento of the event…

Ex president of Colombia Cesar Gaviria on the gap between potential and ideology and the need to reform education and institutions in Mexico. Scribing from a panel discussion focusing on cities as an engine for national growth Former mayor of New York Rudy Giulliani on Leadership in times of change and crisis. Banorte_4