On Saturday, Mai, 27 2017 we held our fourth TEDxRWTHAachen conference. TEDx is an independently organized local event in the style of a TED event, organized by the brand from the USA. This year's conference lasted all day and had 350 guests, seven speakers and two performances. It was organized by a team of about 30 students.
After a short welcoming by our hosts Nada and Thaksan and the intro video by TED Curator Chris Anderson, Guenther Schuh opened the event with his talk. The professor for Production systematology at the RWTH Aachen talked about how shorter product lifecycles, increasing pressure from the concurrence and more complex products lead to increasing requirements to the product development department of enterprises. The second talk of the day was held by professor Stephen Lu from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles who is currently working as a visiting professor at the RWTH Aachen in the field of Industry 4.0. Having created the education project “iPodia” that resembles a 4.0 version of the classroom, he talks about the difficulties in combining different cultural, technical aspects to realize a classroom that is spread all around the globe. Afterwards, Change-Management expert Ulf Bosch dedicated his TEDx talk to purposeful changes we try to bring to our lives, appealing to us to “beware of the chair”, our personal comfort zone.
In the following lunch break, the guests were offered Lebanese specialties from our partner AKL and could take part in our versatile framework program that included electric Kettcars and a Virtual Reality project. After the break, the second session started with a mix of talk and performance by the young German composer Martin Kohlstedt that included parts of his most known pieces and the stories of how they were created. Following that, Sven Eul presented the concept of his sustainable venture “Be Bananas” which made it its goal to save not sellable − but still eatable − bananas from being thrown away by making banana bread.
The talk was followed by another break during which the guests could enjoy coffee and cake while having another chance to participate at the framework program and interact with each other. The third session started with a performance by the multiinstrumental duo MODUS. After that Karlheinz Meier, physics professor from Heidelberg and expert for innovative hardware architecture inspired by the human brain, talked about the tremendous advantages of that technology in comparison to traditional supercomputers.
In his talk about the innovation process smart products, Frank Piller showed us how consumers take a more active role in realizing the “Art of Progress”, hacking their Smart devices and making them even smarter. Last but not least science journalist Florian Aigner held his talk about the often underrated role of random in physics and probably more importantly in our everyday life. All in all this year's conference was another huge success for us.