Campus and Community

Mix of challenging topics in the 4th edition of TEDxISTAlameda

The motto of the event - Chain(ge) reaction – explained the diversity of topics in this year’s edition, which included the participation of speakers in areas as diverse as tattoos and artificial intelligence.

The 4th edition of TEDxISTAlameda took place this Saturday, April 14, and challenged the participants to contact with inspiring people who were able to make the audience react.

Luís Perdigão, the first speaker, came up between the audience humming verses, sometimes whispering and sometimes exalting. He then explained that “poetry slam is written to be declaimed and aims to drive change”, because as he said several times “the only way change will happen is if we speak up”. While he was declaiming the poem that made him win Portugal Slam, he addressed topics as diverse as monarchy and football and made the audience laugh.

The speakers who came after Luís Perdigão spoke about veganism, tattoos and artificial inteligence. This last topic was presented by the president of Técnico, professor Arlindo Oliveira, who addressed the topic in a very interesting way highlighting the machine learning and the differences between digital and biological minds. Professor Arlindo Oliveira also desmystified some ideas showing that AI is already present in everyday life.

Beatriz Moreira, TEDxISTAlameda communication responsible, was very pleased for the feedback she had received. “We are having a very positive feedback. I feel that more people applaud, they are enjoying more”. According to Beatriz Moreira “although Técnico is an engineering school we want to do more than a conference focused on science. We also want to address arts and humanities”, she points out.

Despite the lack of experience, Rosário Ferreira, student of psychology at Universidade de Lisboa, gave one of the most appealing talks of this edition. The way she spoke about the topic – depression – and the way she shared her experience of having dealt with anxiety for several years captivated the audience. “Feeling this way isn’t a weakness, it is a psychological state that forces you to break the mold and to become stronger”, she stressed.

“The best we can hear at the end of the day is that these talks inspired new ways of thinking”, said Beatriz Moreira.