Business News

UCD holds TEDxUCD 2014

By Business & Finance
16 June 2014
TEDxUCD 2014

UCD’s TEDxUCD 2014 event, organised and managed by the UCD Innovation team at NovaUCD, took place on Saturday in the UCD Dramsoc Theatre.

TEDxUCD 2014 was live streamed and the talks can now be viewed via The nine national and international TEDxUCD 2014 speakers, who are either UCD researchers, students or alumni, spoke on a range of ideas worth spreading and aimed to enlighten the 100 TEDxUCD 2014 attendees on a selection of topics which are close to their hearts.

Among the speakers who spoke at TEDxUCD 2014, which had an overall theme of ‘Enlighten’, was Dr Terry McCarthy, the Emmy Award winning war correspondent, and a UCD philosophy graduate, whose talk was entitled ‘The Cost of War.’

Post 9/11, Dr McCarthy covered the war in Afghanistan, where he opened TIME’s Kabul office, and later went to Kuwait to follow the troops into Iraq in 2003. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, he established TIME’s bureau in Baghdad. His first forays into television came in Iraq, where he was part of the ABC News/TIME team that reported the special series ‘Iraq, Where Things Stand’, which won two Emmy Awards in 2003 and 2004.

Speaking after his TEDxUCD 2014 talk, Dr McCarthy said: “As a UCD graduate, who has been based in the United States for nearly 30 years now, it was truly an honour to be invited back to UCD and to talk at this year’s TEDxUCD event. Having covered wars from Central America to South East Asia to Central Asia and the Middle East, I wanted to use this opportunity to enlighten those who may not have experienced war up close about the human costs of war, and why it is so important that we never forget those human costs when we debate the use of military force anywhere in the world.”

Dr McCarthy is currently president and CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council which invites authoritative and influential figures from around the world to Los Angeles and provides them with an open forum to promote greater understanding of current global issues and their impact on the people of Southern California.

Another TEDxUCD 2014 speaker was Dr Niamh O’Sullivan, a lecturer in neuroscience and genetics in the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science in the UCD Conway Institute, whose talk was entitled ‘Do My Genes Define Me?’

Speaking after her TEDxUCD 2014 talk, Dr O’Sullivan said: “News reports and articles frequently appear declaring that scientists have discovered a new gene which ‘causes’ various diseases or traits including heart disease, cancer or IQ levels. In my TEDxUCD talk I wanted to discuss the resources available for personal genetic testing and to share what my own genome profile has revealed. While I found out interesting genetic clues about my ancestry, physical appearance and even health, I hope I showed that who I am is not simply determined by my genetic code.”

During TEDxUCD 2014 Cindy Cummings, the internationally acclaimed, award-winning dance artist, who has evolved a multi-layered practice which regularly crosses boundaries between dance, theatre and live art, delivered a performance entitled ‘The Intelligence of the Body’. Cummings, currently a UCD Science 2014 Artist in Residence, is one of the first dance artists in Ireland to become a member of Aosdána.

TED, the non-profit organisation devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’, which started as a conference in California in 1984, has created a programme called TEDx, where x = independently organised TED event. TEDx is a programme of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At TEDxUCD 2014 a combination of live speakers and a selection of TEDTalks videos were combined to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group of 100 attendees. The TED conference provides general guidance for the TEDx programme, but individual TEDx events, including TEDxUCD, are self-organised.

According to Professor Orla Feely, UCD vice-president for Research, Innovation and Impact: “Following the success of our first TEDxUCD event held in 2013, I am delighted that we hosted our second TEDx event at UCD. During TEDxUCD 2014 our speakers, who are members of the UCD community of researchers, students and alumni, examined, explored and enlightened attendees on a wide range of ideas worth spreading.”

She added: “Organising and running TEDxUCD is an example of how we share the knowledge, expertise and ideas emanating from our University with a wider community both in Ireland and across the globe.”