What do you get if you put out a competition to write 300 word TED talks and promise those with the best entries tickets to TEDxAmsterdam 2012? You get lots of material to sift through and some tough decisions to make.
And maybe some bacon to chew on.
The idea: University students write 300 word pieces related to Human Nature on what their TED talks would be about if they were allowed on stage. The best entry of each university wins.
The Skylar Blake Bos Gem.
NYU / Harvard Student Skylar Blake Bos is not interested in supporting education. “I think education is already very much supported. I’m much more inspired to build support for learning itself”, says Skylar who feels that content knowledge alone does not further sustainability, prosperity, or create climates for growth. But rather, “It’s the ability to look at issues from multiple perspectives, communicate ideas, build relationships and collaborate with one another.”
So Bos wonders; “How can we help learners adapt to changing circumstances, solve problems, reflect, and meet further challenges? How can we build support for learning itself?” The answer is simple; “we transform content learning to knowledge – with a model built to engage through listening, participation, platform, content and connection. Crafting environments supportive to learning, asking questions that cultivate intellectual character and building participation and community into learning experiences.”
Okay. Maybe not very simple. But the solution is out there. We just need to start engaging with it.
The complexity issue.
Then there is Tim van de Grift. This University of Amsterdam student thinks we should embrace complexity through cooperation.
Participation and community strike again. I sense a trend.
Tim says; “I think when focusing on educating the next generation’s problem solvers, educating good specialists isn’t the only way to go. The most potential value can be created when connecting the right people and enabling understanding, spill-overs and truly innovative initiatives. When people are able to truly listen and collaborate in multicultural and multidisciplinary teams, complexity cán be embraced and real, deep problem solving cán be achieved; at least some understanding of the system and maybe even transition”, will come from it.
TED tries, but connecting the right people isn’t an easy task. Maybe by creating a model interdisciplinary platform Tim can set an example in the future. We’re curious to see where this young one will go.
The live and learn idea.
Sometimes it isn’t all about working together. But rather, working on your self. David Anthony Werner, a 4th year Asian Trade management student from Rotterdam Business School thinks that learning is living.
Duh, you say? David manages to put it rather eloquently and pinpoint the importance.
“We are all students and teachers in a certain way. The moment “we came to life” we started to learn and became students. We all gain knowledge, skills, habits and develop a certain attitude and personality. The moment we start to share our ideas worth spreading, we become teachers of “that which we have experienced, learned and believe in”. My simple idea that I think is worth spreading everyday is: “Your life is your education and your own business, what you do with it is your choice. Choose well! ”
It might sound self-evident to you. But how often have you seriously, consciously, thought of your life decisions as instant education? And if you have, did the thought have an impact?
And then there’s bacon.
If choosing well and cooperating doesn’t help you understand human nature; if you’re still perplexed by it all, there is always bacon to turn to. At least according to Chris Jeffers from the UvA.
Hear the boy out.
“It takes a matter of days to properly cure a side of bacon. First you need to choose which part you want: the expensive side cut, the poor belly or the average back cut. Then you cure it – cheap salt for the fatty belly, a more prestigious maple and hickory for the lean cuts. Leave to cure – the poor cuts will leave the process early while the richer cuts will be processed for as long as possible, locking in more flavor. The salted pork belly will be sold at a bottom-level price while the maple smoked side cuts will be marked up at a premium.”
So what’s Jeffers getting at?
“You could say it highlights discrimination in education faced by the lower classes, with no choice over their destiny. Or, maybe you are the person making the bacon, shaping your own future? Or, maybe human nature is the bacon? Or maybe it’s all of the above?
Now there is some food for thought.
All the ticket-winners are:
- Skylar Blake Bos
- Tim van de Grift
- David Werner
- Jennifer Ye
- Natalja Krijgsman
- Sophie Vrolijk
- Shijing Xiao
- Chris Oosterveen
- Boma Harahap
- Thijs Geradts
- Dirk-Jan van Dijk
- Chris Jeffers
- Conchita Lie
- Omrie Heerenveen