Bringing the Big Picture to Berlin With TEDxChange

By David Knight |

There are certain problems familiar to those of us who spend our lives in the sheltered cocoon of Mitte and the surrounding districts – is there a free table at The Barn? Where can I get an invite for that cool party tonight? Are the train drivers on strike again?

But, without wanting to resort too much to hyperbole, the world as a whole has staggeringly vast problems which affect all of us, and occasionally we need to stand back and take a look at the big picture. And that’s the theme of the TEDxChange event happening this afternoon and evening in Berlin at which Melinda Gates will be among the speakers.

The event at Trafo in Kreuzberg will be globally webcast, bringing together an online audience of thousands, as well as 190 local simulcast events in 60 countries. The speakers – who will also include TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) curator Chris Anderson and IDEO designer and engineer Jeff Chapin as well as Berlin street artist JUST – will apply new ideas and perspectives to discussing the world’s most pressing social issues.

These include how the global community can continue to invest in overseas development, working across borders and political boundaries to bring about positive change and issues like family planning, the environment and human-centered design.

It’s appropriate that such an event is happening in a city like Berlin, a cultural melting pot which is at the cutting edge of technological development.

Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft billionaire Bill, will be appearing on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private philanthropic organisation.

As the event’s promotional video says: “Great things happen for all of us when we have bold ideas about the future. So let’s come together as a global community, take a step back and look at the big picture.”

Silicon Allee will be tweeting live from TEDxChange later today.