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April 6, 2012

TedxCSM: talking innovation

Last week, Nokia Connects was lucky enough to go along to an amazing TEDx event (an independent event backed by global thought leaders TED) held at the Central Saint Martins design college in London. The day brought together prominent designers, social entrepreneurs and young innovators to discuss the topic of ‘Emergence’. Here’s what we saw (and heard)…

 via InHyukSong’s

The sun was shining as the audience filed into the swish new auditorium in Central Saint Martins’ new campus in an old warehouse near Kings Cross station – an eclectic mix of old and new that was somehow fitting for the day’s theme of ‘Emergence’; a disused building transformed into a hub for young designers across the world.

‘Emergence is fundamentally about patterns and chaos. Events and developments that may seem random, chaotic and unprecedented when seen close at hand take on a new meaning and form when viewed from a distance. The world will never stop changing; new, exciting and potentially troubling phenomena will never stop emerging. Emergence is a process of evolution from the past to the future, encompassing the present.’ TEDxCSM

Emergence is also all about innovation – as Tom Hulme of award-winning global design firm IDEO explained in his inspiring talk. He gave the example of how the development of touchscreen smartphones has turned the devices into ‘blank canvases’ that ‘enable all of our ingenuity to come up with solutions’ that never existed before. For example, you could never have had a Nokia Communicator 9000 acting as a book or magazine, or as a chess board or HD camera – but all of these things are now possible because of the technological innovations that have made them happen.

Another highlight of the day was the talk by Michael Wolff, founder of leading brand agency Wolff Olins. Michael spoke passionately about what he called ‘life sentences’: words and phrases that he has come across during his life that ‘have caused things to emerge’ in him. One of the most lasting pieces of advice that he gave the audience was that ‘people will forget what you said and people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel’. Inspirational stuff.

via TEDxCentralSaintMartins

Wolff Olins are also heavily involved in The Honey Club, a social project working with local schools and businesses to create a sustainable environment for bees. Inspired by the global bee crisis, they partnered up with youth development charity Global Generation to involve local teenagers in creating a bee-friendly environment in their area. So far, they have two hives totaling 100,000 bees!

The list of inspiring speakers went on, and included Dr Nadia Berthouze on how emotion and subjective experience should be factored in the design of interactive technology, Julie Jenson Bennett on ‘knowledge of the third kind’, and many more! You can check out videos of all the talks on the TEDxCSM wesbite and see what inspires you!

What you get if you type ’emergence’ into Google images, via trendland

Keep an eye out on Nokia Connects for some more upcoming posts about the exciting innovations coming out of TEDxCSM. But in the meantime, if you have any questions, you know where to find us!