Scroll down the page for the Live blogs of the talks.

Videos about M

Danny Dorling on TED.com

See the world anew and discover hope for the future says Danny Dorling as his TEDxExeter talk is featured on TED.com.

We are delighted that Danny’s powerful talk has been featured on TED.com, the 6th talk from TEDxExeter to be featured on the main TED site.

“There are a huge number of good news stories in the world,” says Danny Dorling in his 2016 TEDxExeter talk: “Maps that show us who we are (not just where we are)”. And now his talk is on TED.com many more people around the world will hear about the constant, incremental changes for the better that rarely feature in the print and broadcast media.

Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, challenges us to examine some of our beliefs about the world and open our minds to a new, often unreported reality. Using beautiful and unfamiliar world maps created by Ben Hennig (and shown in colour for the first time) he shows us that in many ways life is slowly getting better and there’s much to be optimistic about, as long as we continue to connect with each other.

“I’m very glad TED has decided to feature the talk I gave at TEDxExeter,” said Danny. “In it I examine new ways of viewing the world, its future, and how we can be a little less afraid if we do not see other people as being our enemy as much as we currently do. We currently fear people from other countries too much, we fear that those in faraway places are taking ‘our jobs’, we fear what we do not know. But if we begin to see the world as a whole, as the place from which we all get our food, as the place that we all pollute, then as our global population begins to stabilise we can learn to become less fearful. Some people learn faster than others. The British Prime Minister, Teresa May, recently said that ‘if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere’. It is not her fault that she was taught geography at time before we could map all the citizens of the world and see that we are each just such a citizen.”

“I hope you watch the talk if only to see the weird and wonderful ways in which Benjamin Hennig has remapped the planet. Seeing the earth shaped in proportion to the amount of rain that falls, and how that changes over a year, shows the planet as a single entity that almost appears to have an annual heartbeat. Seeing all the humans of the world drawn on a single projection can help us realise that imagining all of humanity as one is not beyond the scope of our collective imaginations. Let’s see the world anew!”

Ben Hennig has also used this method of remapping the world to map the result of the US presidential election and show that not only did most voters who voted not vote for Trump (which people know), but also that an even larger majority of Americans live in areas which did not vote for Trump. See more on Ben’s website Views of the World.

Democrat areas are coloured blue on Ben’s map of the election result. On the traditional map it looks as if Trump had a great deal of support. On the map adjusted to correctly represent the number of people living in an area it is made clear that only a small minority of Americans supported him and that he has only won office due to the US voting system and because there is so much disaffection there (so many people don’t vote).

Danny’s TEDxExeter talk was based on a book he wrote with Carl Lee called ‘Geography’.

His new book A Better Politics can be downloaded as a PDF here. The book was timed for publication on the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s book ‘Utopia’ which is this month (‘Utopia’ was originally published in Latin in very late 1516).

You can find out more about Danny’s work at dannydorling.org and @dannydorling.

Live blogs about M

Kieron Kirkland talk

Kieron_portrait

Kieron_portraitKieron is back on the stage, and has just confounded us with another trick. We are [at least, I am] asking how. Kieron says we should ask why.

He is taking us back in our imaginations to Christmas past and the magic of Santa filling our stocking. Now he takes us back further to 19th century Algeria and a duel between a Frenchman and a local chieftain. The chieftain shoots first, and the Frenchman catches the bullet between his teeth. Then the Frenchman shoots at a wall, and blood oozes from it.

The secret of every magic trick is to create a unwilling suspension of disbelief. Why should we believe? If a magician just loses money, we get annoyed. If he (or she) sprinkles it with wiffle dust and makes it disappear we are more impressed. But good magicians will change the way we see the world, and the greatest how we see ourselves. It’s not about changing perceptions about things, but about why things happen.

For Kieron it started with finding out about the stories of 1st century St Thomas in India: how he trumped local magicians, explained the why, and told them how God’s power was also available to them.

Who had the power in the 1920s and 1930s? There were many alive/dead tricks, whereby magicians could pick who was which from a list of names. Magicians also passed on messages from dead people, and they were believed. Why? Because people were desperate to speak to their loved ones who had died during World War I.

On to Uri Geller… if you could choose a super-power, would it be spoon-bending?! But the why here is unexplored human potential. If spoon-bending is possible for one man, what are the implications for the rest of us? Today we have Derren Brown, who is playing back to us what science has uncovered recently about the mysteries of the human mind.

In a world where technology has become so complex it’s almost magical, Kieron wants us to think how magicians think. Magical whys don’t just exist. Become aware of them.

Kieron Kirkland performance

Kieron_portrait2

Kieron_portrait2Now for something completely different…

Kieron asks us to think of a card. A member of the audience says Queen of Hearts. Wrong… it’s a birthday card, produced with a flourish from Kieron’s back pocket! The audience member says he will be 37 next birthday, and Kieron has invited him onto the red dot to read his birthday card… Happy 37th, and remember the Queen of Hearts because it will be important to you during the year.

Now five people are invited on to the dot to have their minds read. Kieron has unveiled his lie detector, a mechanical monkey. The five are randomly picking out Star Wars characters, and the monkey will detect who has Darth Vader.

It’s tempting to give up blogging now. I’m laughing too much! Two have just said “I have Darth Vader”, and the monkey clapped, and Kieron correctly guessed that both were lying. A third one has gone down. The last two caused problems, or the monkey is malfunctioning, but Kieron worked out who had Darth Vader in the end.

He’ll be speaking later. I’m looking forward to it.