The Domino Effect

TEDxVienna 2011

Since Vienna is the most central place possible, our speakers were equally spread. North, East, South, West – we got the best speakers of their kind. The Event took place in Studio 44, in the 3rd district of Vienna, in autumn, on the 22nd of October.
We strived to address the urgent need for focusing and identifying worldly problems that concern us all, key issues of global actuality, while analyzing how a single jolt directed at changing the state of something particular can also cause a chain reaction.
Interdependence. Causality. Responsibility.


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Florian Brody

Florian Brody grew up in Vienna where he studied computer linguistics, worked as a fashion photographer and a software engineer at the Austrian National Library and he built the multimedia market for Apple Austria in the 1980s. In 1991 he co-invented and produced the first electronic books at the Voyager Company in Santa Monica, California and worked on the TED2 Laserdisc project. Florian built a digital media consulting practice in Vienna and went back to the Silicon Valley in 1997 to build an Internet start-up. He has extensive experience in marketing for start-ups and currently serves as head of marketing for Cimbal Inc. a company developing a mobile payment solution. Florian actively promotes to collaboration between Austria and the Silicon Valley and has initiated an incubator for Austrian companies. He was founding president of ASCINA, the Association of Austrian Scientists in North America. Florian held the chair for Multimedia Studies, University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg and was a member of the Graduate Faculty at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. He represented Austria at TED4 Kobe and is a frequent speaker at events worldwide.

Niko Alm

He carries the heart of Austrian tourism in his name, but this is not the reason why Niko Alm is oblivious to sin. Niko is the spokesperson for the Laicism-Initiative, wants to finally disaggregate state and religion and leads an intellectually inspiring duel with Andreas Kohl in the online version of “Der Standard”. What others would regard as main task, the entrepreneurial Jack of all trades, Alm, sees as leisure activity. People like Niko Alm normally leave Austria, to self-actualize in entrepreneurial-friendly realms – in his case, we can only hope that his operations will further enrich and mark Austria, both on an economic and social level.

Karim El-Gawhary

Since 2004, he heads the Middle Eastern office of the ORF in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. El-Gawhary was born in Munich, son of an Egyptian father and a German mother. Tributary to his activities at ORF, Karim works as Middle Eastern correspondent for eleven German-speaking Newspapers, f.e. Tageszeitung (Berlin), Presse (Wien), SonntagsZeitung (Zürich), Hannoversche Allgemeine or Stuttgarter Nachrichten to name a few. As a student, he activated as a free journalist in Cairo and Damascus. Karim studied Islamic Science and Politics at the FU-Berlin, with an emphasis on the Middle East. In 2011, Mr. El-Gawhary was assigned the Concordia Award for Freedom of the Press.

Robert Misik

Robert Misik is an Austrian journalist and political author, living and working in Vienna. He writes on a regular basis for the German Taz, as well as for the Austrian periodicals Profil and Falter. Furthermore, Mr. Misik runs a Vlog on the website of the Austrian daily “Der Standard” and is a successful non-fiction author, with bestsellers like “Genial dagegen”. His views are trending to the left, towards social democratic theses, and he is often outspoken against neo-liberalism. 2010, Robert Misik was awarded the “Journalist of the Year” prize in the online category, a distinction of the periodical “The Austrian Journalist”

Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian

Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian is a filmmaker and social activist. She began as a broadcast and print journalist in Los Angeles and Vienna for such companies as Warner Brother/Tribune Media, the American Radio Network and Diva Magazine. Her academic focus has been on social transformation and Iranian Cinema. More recently she has been writing and producing documentaries and television programs in South Africa for a variety of outlets around the world. Her latest projects include a documentary on the evolution and future of democratic governance and an edutainment based television soap opera for Iranian audiences. Her passion is exploring mutualistic paradigms, particularly through art and media, but also in politics and business. She is currently involved in the production of a feature film titled ‘Vehicle 19’, starring Paul Walker.

Lilli Hollein

Mrs. Hollein studied Industrial Design at Vienna´s University for applied Arts, and graduated with a diploma in 1999. Since 1996 she is a curator and journalist for architecture and design. In 2007, Mrs. Hollein was the commissioner of Austria’s participation at the 7. Architecture Biennial in Sao Paulo „feld72 – urbanism for sale“. Other projects include for example curating the Galerie Aedes East, in Berlin and the Zumtobel Vienna „AustriArchitektur“ in 2005. As an author she has contributed to numerous books, catalogues and juries. For 2010-2013 she is president of the KÖR jury/ art in public space Vienna. Together with T. Beyerle and T. Geisler, forming „Neigungsgruppe Design“, she founded and curates since 2007 the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK and the conferences „D06 – Zeitzonen“.

Corinna Milborn

Corinna Milborn is an Austrian political scientist and journalist. In her early career, she acted as a globalisation expert and spokesperson for the WWF. Former Editor in Chief at the human rights magazine Liga and political editor at the news magazine Format, Mrs. Milborn is since 2010 Deputy Editor in Chief at News and host of the TV-talkshow “Club2” at the Austrian Public Television Network. Dealing for a long period with issues of migration, integration, globalisation and human rights, she received among others the Bruno-Kreisky-Award in 2007 for the political book “Gestürmte Festung Europa” and in 2008 the Concordia-Prize for Human Rights.

Jörg Hofstätter

Jörg Hofstätter studied Architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and Oslo. In 2004 he founded ovos, an Online Studio with a focus on Branded Entertainment and Serious Games. He considers himself a digital Architect, Edupreneur and Chocolate addict and has a passion for Games with a purpose. He frequently shows up at Games4change, an international movement dedicated to support games for social impact. Jörg has had lectures on various Universities and currently teaches digital strategies at at the University of Arts Linz.

Roman Braun

Roman Braun is Master-Coach of the ICF (International Coach Federation) and NLP-Master-Trainer. He received his education in NLP directly from the developers of the psychotherapy approach: Richard Bandler and John Grinder, alongside personalities like Paul Watzlawick, Bert Hellinger and Steve de Shazer. Braun compiled an NLP method of his own, where he incorporates Systems Theory and Ethics, terming it Trinergy. The system is a model for conflict resolution, based on and generated from methods and techniques of intra- and interpersonal communication.

Martin Kaltenbrunner

Martin Kaltenbrunner is Professor at the Interface Culture Lab at the University of Art and Design in Linz. Before his return to Austria he worked as researcher and lecturer at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, at the MIT Medialab Europe in Dublin, as well as further European universities. As co-founder of Reactable Systems he had been mainly responsible for the interaction design concepts behind the Reactable, which has been successfully introduced by renowned artists such as Björk. The instrument has been shown at several international media art and music festivals, and was awarded with the Golden Nica for Digital Music, two D&AD Yellow Pencils and the Prize of the City of Barcelona. Kaltenbrunner publishes in the context of human computer interaction conferences and his influential research on tangible interface tools has been employed for the realization of numerous artistic and scientific projects in that area.

Anitra Eggler

Anitra is a digital therapist. Doing is her favorite word. Before her professional independence, she has gone through everything you can contribute to the internet business, working as a journalist, start-up manager, Creative & Managing Director, Digital Mastermind and CCO. In achieving this she worked almost 15 years around the clock and accumulated a vast experience. Nowadays Anitra dispenses this knowledge as digital therapy in various forms and outlets like her Blog or as a university lecturer. She heals internet disease and initiates value creation from any kind of digital communication. From November 2011 she will share her insights also in the form of books.

Table Connect

The yet unknown team behind the infamous “Table Connect for iPhone” project has agreed to make its first public appearance at TEDxVienna. It was featured on news outlets such as Engadget, The Sun, Forbes and many more. After months of hard work behind the scenes, the team will talk about the ups and downs of the project, and announced the first short live demonstration.

Christoph Gruber

Born into a musical family, Christoph’s destiny to become a musician seems almost predetermined. Rather than sticking to just one style, he used his endless obsession with of all types of music from early on, to adapt his influences into his own way of composing and playing. The Vienna based contemporary musician and composer now sees his role as a mediator between musical worlds, trying to find new ways to challenge the listening habits of his audience. Never pleased with the results, then handing his written music to other musicians, he is now doing it all himself. His music is hard to define. His instrument is the electric guitar.

Klaus Stadlmann

Klaus majored 2008 in industrial engineering at the TU Vienna. His degree thesis: “the development of an orthosis used in the supporting and measuring of a torque path of the ankle during rehabilitation” received special honors. At the moment he is finishing his pre-doc in technical sciences at Vienna’s Technical University’s Institute of Material Sciences and Technologies. Under the supervision of Prof. Stampfl he is involved in a working group concerned with the manufacturing of optical fibers.

Albin Kurti

In August 1997, when Albin Kurti was 22 years old, he joined presidency of the Students Independent Union of the University of Prishtina (SIUUP), and soon after he became its International Officer. During the historic student demonstration in Prishtina on October 1, 1997, brutally repressed by Milosevic’s police, Kurti was one of the protest leaders. During the NATO bombing of Serbia and Kosovo he was engaged in seeking a political solution to Kosovo’s crisis and was arrested by Serbian police. After a 15 years sentence in 2000, Kurti was released in 2001 due to international pressure. Albin Kurti is currently an MP, the Chair of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee in the Republic of Kosovo, as well as the leader of the political movement, Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE!.

Alexander Oswald

Alexander Oswald is a Senior Marketing Manager with 13 years Management experience in telecommunication and consumer electronics industry. He has worked for global brands in fast changing business environments, whilst having a focus on Central & South East Europe. At the present time he is Head of Marketing at Nokia, covering several countries, including Switzerland, Cyprus, Israel and of course Austria. Adding to his durable career path, Alexander is also co-author of the first handbook for mobile marketing and mobile campaigns in German language, “Mobile Marketing”.

Bernhard Drumel

For over 20 years, Bernhard Drumel has worked in the environmental field. In the last five years, he acted as Global Fundraising and Development Director of Greenpeace, being responsible among others for setting up Greenpeace in Africa. With ‘Supporting Change’ he is currently helping a wide range of Austrian and international social change initiatives and organizations in strategic advice, campaigning and organizational support. He initiated/participated in two bigger referenda in Austria and presently supports the biggest social change initiative in Austria, the referendum for an educational reform planned in November 2011. Furthermore he is part of the Executive Board of the recently established Organization to advance the Common Welfare Economy.

Moritz Helmstaedter

Moritz Helmstaedter is a neuroscientist dedicated to mapping connectomes, the complex networks of nerve cells in the brain. A medical doctor and physicist by training, Moritz completed his doctoral thesis with Nobel laureate Bert Sakmann at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany. During his post-doctoral work, together with Winfried Denk and Kevin Briggman, he developed methods to map nerve cell networks using electron microscopes and computer analysis tools. This is making it possible for the first time to decipher large complex networks in the brain at single-cell resolution. He is currently setting up his own laboratory at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Munich, where he aims to understand the computations in sensory cortex, and to unravel what distinguishes a human brain from, say, that of a mouse, at the structural level. Moritz has pioneered crowd sourcing for connectomics, engaging more than a hundred students to work together to analyze the immense amounts of data. Going forward, he aims at motivating thousands of curious minds to collaborate online on the task of reconstructing the powerful and fascinating neuronal networks of the brain.

Robert Trappl

Robert Trappl is professor and head of the Institute of Medical Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence, Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. He is head of the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Vienna, which was founded in 1984. He holds a PhD in psychology (minor: astronomy), a diploma in sociology (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna), and is engineer for electrical engineering. Mr. Trappl has published more than 180 articles, he is co-author, editor or co-editor of 34 books and is Editor-in-Chief of “Applied Artificial Intelligence: An International Journal” and “Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal“, both published by Taylor & Francis, USA. He has been giving lectures and courses and working as a consultant for national and international companies and organizations (OECD, UNIDO, WHO).

Johannes Grenzfurthner

Johannes Grenzfurthner is an artist, writer, curator, and director. He is the founder and artistic director of monochrom, an internationally acting art and theory group. He holds a professorship for art theory and art practice at the University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria. He is head of the “Arse Elektronika” festival in San Francisco, host of “Roboexotica” (Festival for Cocktail-Robotics, Vienna and San Francisco), and co-curates the Paraflows Symposium in Vienna. He gave talks at SXSWi, O’Reilly ETech, FooCamp, Maker Faire, HOPE, Chaos Communication Congress, Google (Tech Talks), ROFLCon, Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Influencers, Mozilla Drumbeat Barcelona or the Neoteny Camp Singapore. He and his projects have been featured in New York Times, Liberation, Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, Reuters, Slashdot, Boing Boing, New Scientist, The Edge, LA Times, NPR, ZDF, Gizmodo, Wired, Süddeutsche Zeitung, CNet or the Toronto Star. Recurring topics in Johannes’ artistic and textual work are contemporary art, activism, performance, humor, philosophy, postmodernism, media theory, cultural studies, sex tech, popular culture studies, science fiction, and the debate about copyright.