Thrillingly, I get to talk about one of my favourite topics, nanotechnology, to a live audience in BIL 2015’s eclectic conference this weekend in Vancouver (after TED2015 also being held, in Vancouver just prior from March 16 – 20, 2015). Before elaborating on my talk, here’s a bit more about BIL 2015 from a March 10, 2015 article by Stephen Hui for the Georgia Straight (Note: Links have been removed),
… BIL is a not-for-profit, participant-driven event that has taken place a few blocks away from the invitation-only TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference every year since 2008. Its name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the 1989 film Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure starring Keanu Reeves.
According to BIL cofounder Michael Cummings, in contrast to TED, everyone is invited to attend and encouraged to contribute to the “unconference”. The freelance web developer, who lives in Austin, Texas, told the Straight this year’s event will feature two or three speaking areas, breakout sessions, live music, and healthy activities. Admission is by donation, and speakers’ time-slots will be determined at the event.
“Obviously, TED has moved around, and we’ve followed them to Vancouver,” Cummings said by phone from Los Angeles. “We’re not trying to be aggressive towards TED. We consider ourselves an auxiliary event. We encourage TED attendees to come to our event as well.”
… BIL 2015 will be held at the Imperial from March 21 to 22, with a pre-party on March 20. Last March, BIL 2014 drew about 400 people—including musician Amanda Palmer, author Neil Gaiman, and environmentalist Tzeporah Berman—to Five Sixty.
Here’s an excerpt from the list of speakers (Note 1: I’ve confirmed that all these speakers will be giving a presentation; Note 2: I have changed the formatting),
Eden Bernardy: The Actor’s Lens; the art and science of keeping an open mind
Explore the ideas and tools actors use to create authentic connections to characters with vastly differing points of view. This work keeps a person’s mind flexible and allows for extraordinary collaborations between individuals with drastically different view points. We are not a fixed set of ideas and intellectual constructs but rather a wonderfully mobile array of beliefs and ideas that shape our relationships, behavior, and thinking. Change your thinking, change your life. Understanding the “lens” through which we view the world gives us all the power to make profound shifts in our daily lives. Additionally, current research demonstrates that acting approaches that increase neural plasticity and cognitive flexibility are also known to increase “brain health” resulting in better memory, focus, mood management, and stress reduction.
Ava Vanderstarren & Fazineh Keita: Ending Child Soldiering and Finding Healing After War
Fazineh Keita and Ava Vanderstarren have started the non-profit Innocence Lost Foundation to build community and rehabilitation centres for child soldiers and youth in Africa.
They are about to launch their first project which is a community centre for Kabala, Sierra Leone that will provide a medical clinic, food, water, education, skills training, therapy, arts and sports programs to the community.
During their BIL talk Fazineh, who was a former child soldier, will share some of his stories and they will outline their plan to take action to end these issues in the world and to get help to the children and communitites that need healing.
They will cover a brief outline of their first project and how people can get involved in the mission.
Jeet-Kei Leung: How Transformational Festivals Just Might Help Save the World
Transformational Festivals are a burgeoning global movement, comprising over one million participants attending 160 transformational festivals on 6 continents. From Burning Man to Boom to Beloved, Lucidity, Lightning in a Bottle, Envision and many others, they are having profound life-altering effects for a new generation, while acting as massive incubators for the development of new paradigm culture. Directing and hosting The Bloom documentary mini-series over the past 3 years has allowed me to chronicle the emergence of this culture as a global phenomenon.
My talk focuses on 3 primary aspects of these Transformational Festivals: 1) How they are successful examples of large-scale collaboration, involving thousands of participants actively cooperating to create a desired reality; 2) How the resulting reality created supports personal growth and break-throughs, while simultaneously embodying the vision of a thriving, sustainable future; and 3) How participants are actively translating these profound temporary experiences into a large diversity of projects aimed at creating lasting social impact.
And of course, there’s me,
Maryse de la Giroday: Nanotechnology is the new black
The equivalent of a little black dress or a black shirt and pants ensemble, nanotechnology goes with anything such as robotics, artificial intelligence, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, etc. Or, if you look at it another way, nanotechnology can help you to understand how chameleons change colour, how civil society groups influence technology adoption (e.g. Dunkin’ Donuts removing nano titanium dioxide from its powdered sugar), and how a ‘human-on-a-chip’ could replace at least some animal testing.
It also offers some fascinating stories. For example, the Canadian military commissioned a writer to produce a novel featuring nanotechnology in situations that could affect future military initiatives. (To my knowledge, the Canadian military is the only such organization to adopt this approach.) Meanwhile, major players such as the UK, China, the US, the European Union, and Japan and beginner to mid-size players such as Viet Nam, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, and Ireland (amongst others) provide fodder for some intriguing political machinations while engaging in all out competitions and collaborations to commercialize and exploit any nanotechnology advantages.
I’m scheduled for Sat., March 21, 2015 at 3:40 pm at BIL2015’s venue, The Imperial at 319 Main Street between Hastings St. and Cordova St. See ya there!