Professor of neuropsychology
Everybody knows that young children have an incredible capacity to learn. Kids learn new languages much more easily than adults, for example. We’re not telling you anything you didn’t know by now, right? What if we told you that they are like that since they’re born, and that with the right early stimulation they can develop sooner than what we’re used to seeing?
Audrey van der Meer has been studying this for several years. Born in the Netherlands, her career took her to Scotland and then Norway. Currently a professor of neuropsychology at NTNU - Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet, Audrey has been working on behavior and brain research for around 25 years. She’s a specialist in infant development, with several publications about the subject and wide projection in the media. Not only a researcher, she also has five children of her own.
Have you ever felt alone and disconnected from any and everything around you? Have you ever withdrawn from the world when faced with discomforting situations, unfamiliar places and foreign faces?
Dave Smith has.
New dad Dave moved to Trondheim in 2015 in the pursuit of love. A passionate traveller, outdoorsman and volunteer, he has visited over 60 countries, participated in humanitarian missions all over the world and encountered an endless stream of faces through the process.
Prior to moving to Norway, Dave served as a US Marine and graduated from UC Berkeley and Stanford Business School’s. Dave currently holds the position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for the local software startup Dogu AS and serves as Regional manager for Team Rubicon Norge, an international disaster response organisation. He definitely knows how difficult it is to step out of your comfort zone and connect with people, but he also knows exactly how to handle these situations.
Let’s talk about manure.
It’s a vital part of cultivation, but unfortunately not enough to fertilize the fields. Usually extra fertilizer (nitrogen) needs to be added and the only way to obtain it is through either natural gas or coal. What if there was a way for the farmers to get the nitrogen needed in their own farm, only using air, manure and renewable energies? What if it was also possible to leave everything smelling like dark chocolate? Yes, chocolate.
Well, meet Grete Sønsteby. She has the solution.
She has an MSc in Economics and Business Administration and has worked for IT companies such as IBM, Oracle and Ericsson.
Grete is now the co-founder and CEO of N2 Applied, a company that aims to improve global food production by enabling farmers to produce their own fertilizer. Grete also happens to run a farm in Numedal where they are testing the prodigious chocolate-smelling fertilizer.
Her work has won her the 2018 Innovation Norway Female Entrepreneur of the year award.
Refugee + activist
Take a minute and think about how important words are. Not merely imperative for communication but laden with significance, words can influence and change the world, for better or for worse.
When your last name literally means “speaker”, it seems there is no other path destined for you in life but one of words.
Gulabuddin was born in the small village of Bamyan in Afghanistan. The earliest memories of his homeland are that of civil war.
He spoke at a presidential campaign before 50 000 people in support of democracy in Afghanistan. The impact and result of his words? Having to flee from his country with nothing but what he carried within him - his language, culture and knowledge. That is how Gulabuddin arrived in Trondheim.
Working now at Litteraturhuset i Trondheim, Gulabuddin has developed a project called “Literature for Inclusion”, where literature and language are celebrated and used as tools to promote acceptance and understanding between cultures and within communities.
Karuna Jadhav, leader of the dance crew, was trained in India as a classical Bharatnatyam dancer. As time passed, her passion drove her to embrace other types of dancing, including Bollywood dancing. This one really stuck to Karuna's heart.
Karuna has brought her passion to Trondheim and has been teaching Bollywood dancing at Kultursenteret ISAK for the past two and a half years.
Imagine you’re sitting on the bus, just looking out the window at the city passing by. Streets, houses, parks… Have you ever wondered how everything is designed and why it’s been done the way it has?
Meet Kristin Næss, an urban designer, with a Master of Architecture degree from NTNU. She is working as an advisor in the “Smart city project” and “cityxchange” for the municipality. She is an avid advocate for collaborative solutions, between public and private entities, to the problems that we face today and seek to prevent in the tomorrow.
Advocating for progress and sustainability, Kristin is interested in the concept of “Smart Cities” - a growing trend in urban design which revolves around the interaction of communities and individuals with infrastructure and technology. If cities are modeled to fulfill all our needs, it only makes sense that we, the people who’ll live in and use these new buildings, neighbourhoods and urbans systems, should play a more active role in their design.
Writer + blogger
Do you find it impossible to conceive your life without nature and the outdoors? Do you itch for the weekend so you can go to your cabin, or simply so you can leave your house and go for a hike? If so, we’ve got news for you: you may be Norwegian.
Lorelou Dejardins has wondered about Norwegians’ love of nature for quite some time. Author, polyglot and human rights lawyer, Lorelou is a French citizen who has lived in 9 countries and fell in love with Norway. Upon arriving, she promptly got curious about the culture and has since been trying to understand the core of it.
You may actually know Lorelou from her popular blog "A Frog in the Fjord" or from her column in the Norwegian newspaper VG, where she explores the singularities of Norwegian culture.
Designer + researcher
Do you have drawings your child has made on your refrigerator at home? Might you even have the drawings you made, as a child, somewhere in storage? Have you ever taken the time to examine these drawings and try to understand the ideas behind them? Why were certain colors used, why particular shapes, why the transitions or, even, the addition of textures? Have you ever considered these drawings real art?
Martha Skogen has.
Designer, researcher and creator, Martha brims with creativity. With a Master of Design from the University of Cincinnati and a Phd is in Visual Communication from NTNU, she has studied, practiced and researched art and design all her life. Martha has a special passion for handmade artwork and enjoys observing the effect they have on eliciting emotions, especially when created by young children.
Board Game Designer
Do you like board games? Chess, Monopoly, checkers…? That’s a good start, sure, but there’s so much more to it.
Petter Schanke Olsen is a board game designer and publisher at Tompet Games. He designed the recently-released games “Kill the King” (2017) and “Donning the Purple” (2018). Flooding with creativity, Petter is also the CEO and producer/director at Kindergarten Media, a company that specialises in video and film production.
Have you ever heard how excruciating cancer treatment is or how harsh chemotherapy is towards the body? I believe we all have.
What if I told you that there is a way to solely target cancer cells and not send aggressive drugs through the entire system that damage healthy cells in the process?
Well, Sofie is working on it using nanotechnology and “bubbles”. Her research has won her Researcher Grand Prix 2016, a national Norwegian competition that identifies the best research communicators among PhD candidates.
Sofie Snipstad holds an MSc in Nanotechnology and a PhD in Biophysics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She is currently employed as a Postdoc at the Department of Physics at NTNU and as a Research Scientist at SINTEF’s Department of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine in Trondheim.
Because a TEDx event is not only made with words, we’re very happy to announce that The Fjords will be performing at ConnecTEDx this Sunday!
Starting as Petter Vågans’s solo project at the Jazz Conservatory in Trondheim, it eventually grew to become the band we know today, with Vegar Bjerkan, Bárður Poulsen and Kim Hylland.
The Fjords combine traditional songmaking with modern electronic elements and a touch of soul. They have been playlisted on P3 and P13, selected for Spotify’s Spotlight Artist 2015, and have gotten international acclaim from BBC1, The Guardian, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Independent and several others.
The Peer Reviews
Let’s talk science for a moment. Actually let’s SING it!
Meet Ingvild Kvale Sørenssen, singer and fancy-dance-move-maker, Ane Møller Gabrielsen, guitarist, keyboard-ist and backup vocalist, and their 80s Yamaha mini-keyboard. Together they are The Peer Reviews!
They are an academic duo that sings about life in the university sphere. They will make you laugh with their jokes and irony.