Did you know that these speakers will join Brave New Space?

Brave New Space

Welcome to Brave New Space!

On November 1st, TEDxVienna invites you to question the established patterns and cycles that are ingrained in every one of us. The goal is to discover new paths and unexpected frontiers. We will set aside the answers we think we know and ask the questions we are afraid to ask. Humanity is at a crossroads, a perilous but hopeful time.

In this post, you will get to know another six exciting speakers who will discuss present and future challenges posed by the limited space and resources on earth.

Wolfgang Fengler

“Our generation is the first to hope living twice as long as the historical average.”

While working towards his PhD in political economy at the University of Hamburg (Germany), Wolfgang Fengler started Africa Consulting GmbH in 1998. 15 years ago, Wolfgang Fengler joined the World Bank, which took him to the USA, Indonesia and Africa. Currently he is the World Bank’s Lead Economist in Vienna. Wolfgang Fengler is the co-author of many publications including “Africa’s Economic Boom” (Foreign Affairs) and “Delivering aid differently” (Brookings).

As humans live longer and longer, our generation is the first one to hope to live twice as long as the historical average. At the same time, this is nothing to take for granted; there also are people who die too early. At Brace New Space, Wolfgang Fengler will talk about demographic shifts in the world, what they mean and why we should embrace the ideas and drive of the new generation.


Arash and Arman Riahi

“We want to inspire people to use nonviolence.”

Originally from Iran, the brothers Arash and Arman Riahi came to Austria in 1982.

After studying Film and the Arts at the University of Vienna, Arash Riahi co-founded the film and media production company Golden Girls Filmproduction and Filmservices in 1997. He is the writer and director of documentaries, commercials, corporate films and feature films. His work has won over 60 international awards and his feature film “For a moment freedom” was Austria’s entry for the Academy Awards in 2010. Arash Riahi is also working as a dramatic advisor and a teacher for the MEDIA scriptwriting program SOURCES 2.

After finishing a Master of Science in Media Technologies in 2004, Arman Riahi joined Neue Sentimental Film AG where he was the director of e.g. the TV-show “Sunshine Airlines“. Later he was also the director and writer of the TV-Show “Africa Race”. In parallel, he works as a director, writer and creator at Golden Girls Filmproduction and Filmservices. In 2011 Arman Riahi’s first documentary film “Schwarzkopf” had cinema release. The same year it was selected to be the official opening film of the prestigious Sarajevo Filmfestival.

Arash and Arman Riahi’s film “Everyday Rebellion” is a documentary that illuminates nonviolence resistance movements around the world. In addition, the Riahi brothers are developing a cross-media platform with a nonviolence toolkit including of portraits of nonviolence activists, their methods etc. At Brave New Space, Arash and Arman Riahi will discuss “Everyday Rebellion”, how it changed their lives and how everyone can change things.


Robert Hargraves

“We need to have energy cheaper than coal”

After receiving a PhD in physics from Brown Univeristy (USA), Robert Hargraves pursued a career including teaching, consulting, information technology management and software development. Today he is active as an instructor and advisor in energy policy. Robert Hargraves is also an advocate of advanced nuclear power and the author of the book “THORIUM: energy cheaper than coal”, where he discusses energy policies and the potential of the liquid fluoride thorium reactor as a part of future energy technology.

At Brave New Space, Robert Hargraves will discuss the challenges of sustainability in today’s world. One such challenge is to replace fossil fuels with a cheap and clean energy source, which is imperative in order to tame the climate crisis and to meet the energy demand from developing countries. Robert Hargraves will tell us about past and present “energy humanitarians” that work towards alternative ways of energy production. With the liquid fluoride thorium reactor, scientists and engineers reexamine the idea of nuclear power to produce cheap, abundant and clean energy using atomic energy from liquid fuels.


Destin Sandlin

“I’m trying to help people see the world differently”

Destin Sandlin is an American rocket scientist by day and Youtube celebrity by night. Engineer by training, he currently works as a missile flight test engineer for Redstone Test Center. He also holds a patent for a rocket-powered sensor target assembly. In parallel, he puts in hundreds of hours of work into his Youtube video series Smarter Every Day. Each video strives to be both entertaining and to answer a specific question in an understandable way. Destin Sandlin makes his videos scientifically rigorous by talking to experts and reading scientific literature on the topic. Since 2007, his Youtube channel has become a major science education platform followed by millions of subscribers.

In his talk at Brave New Space, Destin Sandlin will discuss how discoveries often happen when you step outside of your comfort zone and the importance of sharing the knowledge with society.


Sonja Dakić

“What can we learn from children about entrepreneurship?”

Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, Sonja Dakić ended her career as a graphic designer right after giving birth to her first child in 2008. However, as one door closed, another one opened: Her new role as a mother and her own baby inspired Sonja to become a social entrepreneur.

Four years ago, Sonja and her friend launched a social enterprise that produces eco-friendly cloth diapers from organic bamboo. Today, Sonja is a member of the Association of Business Women in Serbia, actively works to promote youth entrepreneurship, and is dedicated to creating a collaborative network of small family firms that produce baby products.


Ludovic Ferriere

“Why to care about meteorites and impacts – understanding the past to be prepared for the future”

Born in France in 1982, Ludovic Ferrière is an international expert on meteorite impact craters, a geologist, chief curator of the rock collections and co-curator of the prestigious meteorite collection at the Natural History Museum Vienna (Austria). His interest in rocks and minerals was born in France at the University of Tours and developed into a real passion for meteorites after his Master on Planetology and many field research trips in Canada. After completing his PhD thesis in Vienna in 2009, on the geological and geochemical aspects of impactites from the Bosumtwi crater (Ghana), he moved again to Canada for his postdoctoral researches on shatter cones and associated shock-induced microdeformations in minerals.

During his worldwide explorations, Ludovic Ferrière has confirmed two of the currently ~185 recognized meteorite impact craters on Earth (i.e., Keurusselkä in Finland and Luizi in the Democratic Republic of Congo). At TEDxVienna Brave New Space, he will reveal fascinating aspects about asteroids and meteorites, their impact on Earth and on other planets but also will tell us what really drives us to continue to explore these fields of research.



Did you miss the chance to get a ticket for the Brave New Space event at Volkstheater in Vienna on November 1st? There is still a chance to see these three and 17 more inspirational speakers! Either win your ticker to Brave New Space or watch the event live via stream. Gather all your friends and organize a private (or public) viewing of TEDxVienna 2014: Brave New Space.


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About Monika Abramczuk

Monika studied biotechnology and molecular biology. When not engaged in research, she likes to read spy thrillers, drink tea, bake and travel.

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