TEDxVienna 2012

Derived from the words ‘instant’ and ‘insanity’, it symbolizes the spirit of our technologically minted times: everything now. In a single minute, we could cook a microwave meal, or snap and print a photo, gather all the necessary information at the press of a single button, and even control an avatar with our mere thoughts. Technological development has become instant, but could that drive us insane? How could a human brain whose developmental processes occur in phases understand and make the best use of technological achievements that have been exponentially growing at an amazingly fast rate? At our conference, we would like to spread the ideas of people who make this exponential development possible. At the same time, we would like to explore the boundaries that have been significantly shaken and pushed by the instant technological development; how technology re-shapes our human nature and how we learn to control for the risks that inevitably come with it.

When: 03. November 2012
Venue: Odeon Theatre
Adress: Taborstr. 10, 1020 Vienna

Watch talks View Pictures


Conference activities:

This year we’ve tried not to overcrowd the speaker line-up, so during the day, there will be 3 sessions of talks. In the menu on your left you can view the speaker profiles. Nevertheless, the day will be full of activities in and around the conference. Throughout we will cater to your culinary delight with our partners Ströck and, so you can muster the physical and mental strength for making the most out of this experience.

• Exhibitions & Workshops

In this area, you will feast your senses on some breakthrough technologies in a hands-on manner. Our friends from Metalab, Vienna’s prominent hacker space — an open center for people who do creative things with technology — will showcase some of their imaginative projects, from gadgets to tech-art. Joining us at the conference as a destination on their 2012 world tour is Aldebaran Robotics, a company which designs, produces, and commercializes autonomous humanoid robots. NAO, their programmable, 57-cm tall humanoid robot, will be there with a team of engineers to give you glimpse into the possibilities such a platform opens and maybe also let you program the robot alongside them. Here’s a video of NAO:

Throughout the day you will have the chance to experience the functionalities of a brain computer interface, as g.tec is joining our conference. g.tec developed the first commercially available BCI system in 1999 and now sells this system in more than 60 countries worldwide. This technology is currently revolutionizing medical fields, potentially empowering paraplegics for example. Take a look at this explanatory video:

As a leader in design and development of surface computing-based exhibits and applications, John Robie will also be present at the event, showcasing their multi-touch solutions with a wide range of modular products to fit individual requirements and environments. Look out for their polished screens!

• Interactive experiences

There will be an amazing book swap at the conference. What we need from you is to bring along one of the favorite books you’ve read and let an unknown person attending the event have it. We will take your book at the entrance and set up book swap booth where you can go and grab a new one. Don’t forget to write a dedication to the new owner!

We also know that all of our attendees are inspiring brave thinkers. Therefore, we’ll have a special corner set with a camera where each of you will get the chance to present your idea worth spreading. You’ll get three minutes. After the event we will let the community decide on which of the persons presenting will get to do it on the stage at one of our upcoming events. How awesome is that? So besides the book, be sure to bring your most inspiring ideas along.

• Evening event

To conclude the conference, we’ve reserved the Holy Moly restaurant of Badeschiff Vienna. In the evening, after the talks and conference activities are completed, we invite you to this great floating venue, less than 10 minutes away from our conference location. Holy Moly is a restaurant hovering over the Danube close to Vienna’s old center and provides a beautiful setting for a great night-finale to our event.



Niall Murphy

Niall is a technologist and serial-entrepreneur. Niall co-founded pan European WiFi network The Cloud in 2003, acquired by British Sky Broadcasting (a subsidiary of News Corporation) in 2011. He was also recently CEO of multi-platform gaming software firm Marmalade. Niall founded one of the first ISPs in Africa in a joint venture with Sprint in 1994, later acquired by UUnet. He subsequently founded three digital media businesses in South Africa, he later sold. He also co-founded The Digital Thinking Network, a future scenario planning organisation based in Amsterdam. Niall has authored and presented numerous papers around the world, including at TED. He was a co-author of the WiFi International Roaming Access Protocols framework in 2005, adopted by the IETF. Niall contributed as a policy advisor on telecoms in South Africa in the early 90s through an African National Congress (ANC) think tank.

Kyle Ruddick

Kyle Ruddick once worked as an editor and animator at Lucasfilm to help launch the largest opening weekend box office prior to 2005 for the film Star Wars Episode III. After his tenure at Lucasfilm he founded Eyestorm Productions a boutique creative agency that serviced the Lucas companies as well as Ubisoft, Disney, and Electronic Arts. In 2008, Kyle determined to make a socially relevant feature film, founded One Day on Earth with the vision of making a film shot in every country in the world on the same day. As the project director he works extensively to guide the social media campaigns, website, and editorial of the One Day on Earth feature films. Ruddick is a graduate of the production program at the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts.

Heather Kelley

Heather Kelley (@PerfectPlum) is a media artist, curator, and game designer. She was named by Fast Company magazine as one of 2011’s thirty most influential women in technology. Recently she co-curated Joue le jeu / Play along, the premiere exhibition of original large-scale and independent art games at La Gaite lyrique digital culture center in Paris, France. Ms. Kelley heads her experience design studio Perfect Plum and is co-founder of the experimental game collective Kokoromi, with whom she recently produced the interactive dance event THE DANCINGULARITY. She holds a Master’s in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin.

Ed Neumeister

Ed grew up in San Francisco in the 50’s and 60’s. He began playing music at the age of five, later becoming a fixture on the San Francisco music scene.
Moving to New York in 1980, Ed performed for 15 years in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and 19 years with the Mel Lewis Big Band. Other renowned artists he performed and recorded with include Jerry Garcia, Gerry Mulligan, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. Since 1992 he has toured extensively as a conductor and guest soloist in Europe, Japan and US, often receiving composition commissions because of his unique voice as a composer. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1992. He is the founder of the NeuHat Ensemble in New York and ENJO (Ed Neumeister Jazz Orchestra) in New York and Los Angeles. As a leader, he has recorded seven albums. Since 2007 Ed has been active in film music. He has contributed arrangements orchestrations for films such as “Inception“, “Sherlock Holmes“, “The Dark Knight Rises“ and the 2012 Academy Awards. Ed Neumeister is Professor of Jazz Trombone at the University of the Performing Arts, Graz Austria.

Wolfie Christl

Wolfie Christl is web developer, artist and net activist. After (ab)using early community media platforms like CB Radio and FidoNet in the 90ties he was part of the famous Viennese net culture organization Public Netbase. Since 2006 he runs a small internet agency focusing on open source web technology. Together with a small team he started in 2011 the project Data Dealer, a social game on collecting, combining and selling personal data.

Julia Pitters

Dr. Julia Pitters is Assistant Professor at Webster University. After studying psychology and sociology at the universities of Würzburg and Hamburg and absolving a training in problem and conflict resolution, she completed her PhD in the field of economic psychology at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on economic decision-making and tax psychology. She also gives seminars at the University of Vienna, the Danube University of Krems and the University of Salzburg. As a counsellor and project manager, she had worked for Consent market and social research for 5 years and has now become associate partner of the independent consulting company Pitters℗ Trendexpert.

Jan Torgersen

After his studies in mechanical engineering at the Vienna University of Technology, Jan Torgersen started his phd work at the Insitute of Materials Science and Technology. Jan’s field is Additive Manufacturing Technologies; the technology involved in 3D printing. He developed a new printer that is able to produce nano-scaled objects suitable for numerous applications in photonics, surface modifications and biomedical engineering. This printer is currently the fastest of its kind and brings the technology closer to industrial applications. How it works got illustrated recently by a video that went around the world, showing the construction of a racing car model in the scale of a human hair.

Georg Holzer

Georg Holzer is a freelance journalist writing for a variety of print and online mediums in the german speaking area, including Kleine Zeitung, Tiroler Tageszeitung and Kärntner Monat, around the topics of economics and technology. Since 2005 he also writes regularly online on his blogs georgholzer and k2020. He has been nominated and won numerous prizes in journalism, including the News Media Journalism Award in 2006 and the Journalist of the Year in 2010 for Kärnten. Since 2009, Georg has published eight guidebooks for mobile phones, PC’s and the web. While also being involved in various projects around network culture, he recently cofounded Project Ingeborg.

Albert Frantz

Albert Frantz began playing the piano at the unusual age of seventeen—years after a childhood teacher proclaimed he would never be able to play the piano, following a failed initial attempt. Under the tutelage of Steven H. Smith at Penn State University, where he sacrificed engineering studies in favor of music and philosophy, he won first prizes at the 1995 Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition and Penn State University’s concerto competition after having played the piano for only four years. Albert became the first pianist to win a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Vienna in nearly a decade. In Vienna, he completed years of study with Paul Badura-Skoda, later becoming assistant to him and musicologist Eva Badura-Skoda. Albert is also a dedicated teacher who has written hundreds of articles on learning music for his website,, as well as a Bösendorfer Artist.

John Casti

Dr. Casti received his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Southern California. He worked at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA, and served as a profesor in the USA before becoming one of the first members of the research staff at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria. He has also been on the faculty of the Technical University of Vienna and the Santa Fe Institute in the USA. He has published eight technical monographs in the area of system theory and mathematical modeling, as well as 12 volumes of popular science, including Paradigms Lost, Complexification, Would-Be Worlds, The Cambridge Quintet, and Mood Matters. His 2012 book, XEVENTS addresses the role complexity overload plays in the creation of potentially life-changing events such as the crash of the Internet or the outbreak of a global pandemic. Dr. Casti is currently Director of The X-Center, a prívate research institute in Vienna focusing on development of tools for anticipation of extreme events in human society.

Federico Pistono

Federico Pistono is an author, social entrepreneur, scientific educator, activist, blogger, and aspiring filmmaker. He is author of the book Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and be Happy, which explores the impact that technological advances have on our lives, what it means to be happy, and provides suggestions on how to avoid a systemic collapse. He is Co-Founder of WiFli, a benefit corporation that seeks to provide universal access to information and knowledge via the Internet, for every person on the planet, focusing on the disenfranchised in emerging economies. He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Verona, he completed the Machine Learning online course at Stanford, and the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University, NASA Ames Research Center. Federico is an award winning blogger/journalist and Italian Ambassador of Singularity University (having co-founded Axelera). He started social movements and non-profits focused on human rights, anti-corruption, environmental sustainability, and innovation for positive social change through exponential technologies.

Dorian Crede

Dorian Credé is founder and chairman of Wikirating, the first non-profit community platform for credit ratings. He studied physics and mathematics and has a Master of Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland. Since more than 12 years he is working in the IT and financial services industry.

Tom Bieling

Tom is a design researcher with major focus on interaction. He is a visiting professor in Applied Sciences and Art at the German University in Cairo. In his PhD project at the Design Research Lab of Berlin University of the Arts, he investigates on the coherence between design and disability. He is also the founder of the Institute for Applied Fantasies, and Co-Founder of the Design Research Network.