Diversity. This was the common theme of the last TEDxUDeustoMadrid Talks. Five speakers with very different profiles gave their also different points of view on diversity to those meeting at the Deusto Business School in Madrid.
Fashion designer, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada; the economist and former candidate for Mayor of Madrid, Antonio Miguel Carmona; the lecturer and researcher at the University of Deusto, Pablo Garaizar; the head of digital transformation at Ikea Spain, Mosiri Cabezas and the director of the 20 Minutos newspaper, Encarna Samitier, were the main speakers of five inspiring talks that addressed the common theme of diversity from different angles.
After the presentations, which were made by the Director of Deusto Business School in Madrid, Iñaki Ortega, and the TEDx coordinator, Roberto Espinosa, Pablo Garaizar, computer engineer and Master's in systems and network administration and a degree in psychology, took the floor.
During his talk, he referred to the advantages and disadvantages of technological growth, the existence of robots assuming certain tasks until now reserved for humans and the biases that programmers incorporate into artificial intelligence (AI). As he put it, "technology is not neutral". He explained that what is really worrying about AI is the increasing number of important decisions for our lives that we are delegating to them: employment, finance, health, education. Faced with these challenges, he concluded by recommending the reading of the Declaration of Human Rights in digital environments, produced by the University of Deusto and of which he is one of the authors.
Next to speak was designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, who talked about diversity defending her particular point of view on fashion and design. Self-taught and creator of her own business, she defended that the great revolution in today’s fashion is comfort. She said that it is an industry that is currently more democratic and pointed out the need for it to be even more sustainable, both in its manufacturing and in its use. In this regard, she advised to buy less and recycle more.
The talk by the economist and former candidate for Mayor of Madrid, Antonio Miguel Carmona, referred to the exponential growth that technological innovation can bring and the importance of our country being ambitious in this area. He explained that technological innovations are related to periods of expansion and that, when they do not exist, there is a contraction. He pointed out that we are not a very innovative country, but recalled the importance of making an effort not to lag behind others.
Mosiri Cabezas began her talk with a request to be presented as a humanist. She continued her presentation along this line, remembering that we live in a moment where digital technology is changing everything and sweeping everything away. Still, despite being responsible for the digital transformation of Ikea Spain, she wanted to make it clear that she did not intend to talk about digital transformation, but about doing and feeling. She stressed the importance of recovering hands, of doing things with them because, as she recalled, these are the part of the body that has the most connections with the brain. She also focused on the need to think and spend time feeling because, as she pointed out, in the end we are just that, thoughts and emotions. She encouraged reordering our priorities and going back to basics, to our essence.
Journalist Encarna Samitier, director of 20 Minutes, was in charge of closing the talks session and did so by debunking some of the myths that still persist in the world of journalism. She acknowledged her shyness, a trait shared by a good number of journalists but which is perfectly surmountable. She also defended the importance of journalism, more necessary than ever in a time of turbulence. She referred to her professional beginnings, when women were relegated to positions and sections considered inferior, to say that this situation is now being overcome. She added that today's newsrooms, which are much quieter than in the past due to the use of computers rather than typewriters, are being drowned out by the noise of fake news, which is growing more than ever in the heat of social networks and is in contrast resounding. Finally, Samitier highlighted the important work carried out by journalists in categorising and contextualising information.
TED is a prestigious initiative born in the United States that seeks to act, through a series of talks, as a sounding board for ideas of a scientific, business, cultural or social nature that can accelerate progress and improve the living conditions of humanity.
"TED" stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, three major areas that together are shaping our future. In fact, the event gives way to a much broader range of topics showing "ideas worth explaining", whatever their discipline. TED talk attendees (executives, scientists, artists, philanthropists, etc.) are almost as extraordinary as speakers themselves, including Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono. TED was first held in Monterrey, California, in 1984. In 2001, Chris Anderson's "Sapling Foundation" acquired TED from its founder, Richard Saul Wurman. In recent years, TED has expanded to include an international conference in the UK, TEDGlobal; a parallel conference to its TED event in Long Beach, TEDActive in Palm Springs; content initiatives, including TED Talks and TED.com; and the TED Award.
About TEDx and TEDxUDeustoMadrid
TED created a programme named TEDx to spread the most interesting ideas. This is a local talks programme, organised independently and voluntarily to enable people in different countries to enjoy an experience similar to TED Talks. Promoted by a group of people linked to the University of Deusto, TEDxUDeustoMadrid aims to be an inspiration to help in spreading the example of speakers from very diverse fields, ages and experience who share the same high aspirations and pursuit of excellence in what they do.