Moving Day: Check us out on Medium!

[EN] We have newly taken up some cool digs on a pretty sweet spot — a very sleek, readable blogging platform you might know of as Medium. Check out our very own publication: The Thought Exchange, available in English and Polish versions. Grab a coffee, chill out, and let your mind wander with us.

[PL] Jesteśmy w ekscytującej fazie nowości, przeprowadzek, re-brandingu, i ogólnego zachwycenia. Czytajcie więcej na naszej nowej platformie: The Thought Exchange w dwóch wersjach – angielskiejpolskiej. Serdecznie zapraszamy do lektury i zachęcamy do pozostawiania komentarzy.


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Dear Technology…

Does anyone here remember Y2K? If you do, you likely haven’t given much thought for about 15.5 years. Welcome to the 21st century — the most fast-paced, technologically advanced, globalised, and interconnected century of them all. Welcome to the age where problems and glitches are efficiently solved, hacked, and long forgotten almost as quickly as they reach the masses in the first place. Where the question, “What’s the wifi password here?” has become the most used conversation opener (and, simultaneously, conversation closer) in our common public interactions.  Welcome to the age where technology prevails – everyone has access, everyone uses it, and yet only about 1% of the population knows how it works, how to fix it when it breaks, and how to design the Next Best Thing. Meanwhile, the rest of us continue to be the ideal customer: primed and ready to consume, glorify, upgrade, and accessorise.

Here’s a cool paradox: the more dependent we are on technology, the more saturated our daily routines become with it, and the more ubiquitous it is in our environment and surroundings – the less we actually pause to think about the potential implications and detriments to this inter-dependent relationship, and simply accept it as a baseline factor in our day to day activities. Gone are the days when we consciously think about the direct influence of technology in our lives. The power buttons on our mobiles and laptops haven’t been touched for months. The reality? We never unplug. We never turn off. When we’re not checking in, we’re uploading, syncing, refreshing, swiping, matching, fetching, and pushing. And if not, it’s because we are frantically searching for a wall plug and a USB cable.


Dear technology, it may be time for us to take a step back and re-evaluate this relationship.

TEDxKrakowSalon is back at it again, and this time, we’re looking forwards and backwards in time, in order to better look at ourselves. We are living in a time characterised by unique (technological) privilege and immense potential — with the world at our fingertips, the platforms by which to gain the attention of the masses, and with unlimited access to compounded intelligence, information, and resources — we’d like to pause and ask ourselves, “What next?”

We can all agree there’s no shortage of viral videos, trending hashtags, and the constant buy-sell-resell pattern with our newest (and already “old school”) smartphones. But are we truly turning into mindless consumers, who might soon be left behind by the very technologies on which we have come to rely? Are we really using all these resources to their full potential, or are we maybe squandering all this power, right at our fingertips, too preoccupied with likes, friends, and followers, to notice it all starting to slowly slip away beyond our grasp? On Thursday, March 10, TEDxKrakow wants to talk about one of the most complicated relationships we know — between humans and technology. We will examine what developments have occurred to date, we will reflect on the potential developments that are ahead of us, and, more importantly, we will open a critical conversation on technology, and try to bridge the gap between those who create it, those who really know it, and those who simply use it.

So, what are your plans for this Thursday evening? Well, you could “Netflix & chill.” Or, maybe, you’d like to join in the conversation with TEDxKrakow at Krakow Technology Park at 18:00. Don’t worry, you won’t have to surrender your smartphone at the door.

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Resolution 2016: Stop Making Resolutions

Once a year, every year, something crazy, whimsical, and uniquely magical happens. On the night of December 31, we transport, transcend, progress — we even age! — by an entire year. No, this is not a joke. This is not some sort of mysterious sorcery. Don’t even bother trying to figure out this next-level scientific phenomenon — just accept it.

Actually, we’ve gotten quite good at accepting it. We’ve even developed these fancy things called “resolutions” to help us through this abrupt adjustment phase. One would think that, having gone through this process at such a regular pace, and for a number of years, we would get used to it; and that we would be somehow better prepared for the inevitable self-induced “changes” we face come January 1. But, in our defence, this sort of futuristic, highly technologically-evolved time travel is, in fact, a lot of pressure to put on a single person. And that’s not even considering that 7.4 billion people in the world collectively experience it at the same time (you know, give or take a few time zones).

And of course, by now you can imagine where this is going…

It’s your chance to wipe the slate clean! A fresh start to your life! It’s the day you’ve been waiting for! (Since pretty much last February, when you realized your previous New Year’s Resolutions were either unrealistic, not as easy as you thought they would be, or just plain not happening).

“Next year,” you said.

“I’ll be better,” you said.

“I’ll really stick with it,” you said.

And with that, you let yourself off the hook for the remaining 10 months of the year, and made peace with the potentially gruesome judgments, analyses and comparisons you knew would be waiting for you at the end of December. You had time to get back to that — later.

So, here’s the issue. For the most part, we seem to have missed a very important memo. This may come as a shock to you, but the act of physically changing a calendar on your wall doesn’t actually elicit a drastic change in your life. The only definitive promise we can make to anyone for the month of January is: for the next thirty days (or so), every time you’ll have to write the date down, you’re going to hesitate when you get to the year. You’re going to experience some confusion. It’s hard, we know. But, other than this extreme shake-up to your life as you’ve come to know it for the last 365 days, the reality is: We go to sleep and wake up in the same skin, the same bed, and the same four walls we said goodnight to the night before.

On the evening of December 31, filled with optimism towards the beautiful, clean, untainted blank-slate potential of the New Year, you might have contemplated the year behind you. You might have even taken to Facebook to write a summary of your accomplishments, thoughts, obstacles overcome, and lessons learned. You might have assessed yourself, and waited for the epitome of Facebook-form validation: collecting those esteemed “likes,” just in case your personal assessments weren’t conclusive. And, you likely thought towards the year ahead and you decided to make a few changes to improve your life. You might have even typed them up and printed them out, or pinned them to your Pinterest account with a cute header and graphics.

But, here’s the question. Is there something profoundly wrong with this universally adopted cycle of setting resolutions, fully knowing they have a three-month life expectancy, at best? If you need a date on a calendar to dictate to you when you should “get your act together” or make a change, why are you waiting so long to do something you (clearly) already know you want to do?

And finally, here’s the request. If you made some New Year’s Resolutions, could you ditch them please? No, really. Just ditch them. Forget them. Relish in the feeling of relief when you relieve yourself of that weird checklist that’s already weighing so heavily on your soul — at just about three weeks into the month of January. Instead, why not just make one simple promise to yourself? You will improve. You will grow. You will adapt, progress towards The Better You that you’re always wishing you could be on December 31, forgetting about by mid-February, and losing hope in by the end of March.

January doesn’t have to be the month of clean slates — if you work all year at making a slate you’re proud of, you won’t want to erase it come December. February doesn’t have to be the month of inevitable feelings of inadequacy, when you judge start hard-judging yourself in comparison to the Perfect You that you’ve spent the whole previous month trying so hard to construct (before ultimately realizing you’re only human, after all). And the rest of the year doesn’t have to be characterized by self-induced amnesia at the thought of any self-improvement — “Resolution? What’s a resolution?”

This year, I’m resolving to stop making resolutions. Instead, I’m going to make changes. What’s so great about changes? Well, for starters, I can do them any time of the year that I want. See? Freedom. I urge you all to try this.

Don’t just talk about making a change — do it. Be the change you wish to see in the world, and you’ll suddenly notice a lot more beauty in the world you see. See you tomorrow, 21 January 2016 at Pauza in Garden for TEDxKrakow’s 2016 kickoff event: TEDxKrakowSalon!


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Pass it on, or the major brainstorming activity of TEDxKraków

We already know the winners of the Pass it on – Win a smartwatch! competition. Over 200 people put forward their suggestions how to promote and share an idea of their choice. The amount of submitted proposals as well as their diversity and creativity certainly did not make the jury’s task easier.

The rules were simple. Participants had to fill out a questionnaire, where they were supposed to indicate an idea from the talks that they particularly enjoyed and describe a way to spread this idea – hence the phrase ‘pass it on’. The filled-in forms were all collected in an idea box.

The content from the forms was digitalised and at the end, only two ideas were picked, both unquestionably brilliant. It must be said that the choice was far from simple, as there were plenty of ideas and all were special in some way. However, as winning is an essential feature of a competition, someone had to win.

The authors of the best two ideas were awarded with smartwatches Samsung Gear 2, which were sponsored by Schibsted Tech Polska. But what did they come up with?

Bartek put forward a suggestion how to spread the idea of Stephen Coates’ talk. „Imagine DIY manuals, where you get the information necessary to build a device that lets you record music on X-ray images. People would become more interested in Stephen’s story and also, they would contribute to the history of music. You could record on anything that’s ductile. Anything!”

Marek, the other winner, inspired us by his idea how to use a beacon to help a lonely whale – the one mentioned in a song performed by Patrick the Pan. „We should attach a beacon to the lonely whale – with all the people that would follow him online, he would never be alone again”.

These were the awarded ideas, but let us see what else did the TEDxKraków participants come up with:

Installing devices filled with algae, which would be powered by pollution and would filter air providing oxygen as a result (yes, this exists).

Magda Kozłowska

A mural/slogan (but rather mural) with the words „A group is not one mass, it consists of individuals”. We create society, people should be made aware of this.

Ryszard Źróbek i Chór Nowodworski

Setting up the Innovation Party, getting plenty of media attention and then getting 60% of the votes in Parliamentary elections.

Piotr Wilam

Co-operating with airlines. Present in Kraków, Ryanair alone handles 90 million passengers a year. That’s a massive audience which could contribute to passing on this idea. Passengers are mostly bored and they will be probably more than happy to listen to an inspiring story.

Joanna McCoy

Making an „Older brother / sister” initivative, where young teenagers from poorer or problematic families would socialize and share interest and hobbies with their older assigned brother / sister.

Joanna McCoy

So, what’s next? Pass it on! :)


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We’re happy you joined us at TEDxKraków 2015!

It’s been almost a week since the conference and we still can’t get over it – Saturday 13 June was far better than we have imagined. We sincerely hope that it was the same for you.

The registration desks opened at 9:30 and that’s how the day started. It seemed everyone was surprised by the amount of colours, which added cheerfulness to the rather moderate black, red and white interior of ICE Kraków Congress Centre (TED colours!), as well as by the number of smiling, eager to help volunteers.

fot. Marc McLaughlin

Those who came early could take their time to discover companies that presented their developments in the Demo Alley. It was a space for unusual local entrepreneurs, created in collaboration with Krakow Technology Park (read more about Demo Alley here).

Right before 11 am the main auditorium started to fill up with people – the total number of participants was about 1200! The hosts, Ewa and Marcin, greeted the guests (among which was Marek Sowa, voivodeship marshal of Lesser Poland) and quickly made way to the speakers. The first talk was given by professor Jerzy Vetulani, a frequent speaker at TEDx events. He spoke about how our brain is able to „connect the dots” and navigate. He was followed by Ania Gruszczyńska, who encouraged us to accept ourselves as we are and to resist accepting the perfect body image which is being promoted by the media. Then, it was back to the familiar faces – Tal Golesworthy told of his experiences after speaking at TEDxKraków in 2011 (his talk is available here). The session was concluded with the performance of the Nowodworski Choir – its conductor Ryszard Źróbek disclosed the secrets of combining different melodic lines (as well as personalities) in order to achieve perfect harmony.

The first break seemed short, probably thanks to great, light snacks and delicious coffee. Judging by the queues, it must’ve been good!

During the second session we heard three speakers: Joanna McCoy (why do we help others and what acting selflessly really is?), Matt Clarke (he encouraged us to positively influence other people) and Stephen Coates, who told the story of USSR citizens who risked their freedom for music forbidden during the Cold War. The talks were followed by a performance by Dariusz Dobroszczyk Trio, during which many of us had a chance to relax and ponder about…well, lunch maybe?

In order to facilitate integration (and service) we encouraged everyone to gather in groups of four, who were then given vegetarian burgers. Happy and full, we dispersed taking over the whole ICE. Some sat on the terrace enjoying the view of Wawel and the Wisła river. Others decided to burn the calories on stationary bikes provided by one of the partners. There was also a group which went to the Demo Alley to relax in a mini-park and play with robots.

fot. Bartosz Pawlik

Speaking of robots… the third session was started by little Matt. Afterwards the scene was taken over by Iwona Olszowska, who through dance and words convinced us to work on the mind and body connection. Artist Alek Janicki showed us his multimedia art installations and Magda Kozłowska urged us to raise the issue of air pollution in Kraków – is everyone aware that we’re living in the third most polluted city in Europe? The last two speakers were well known to the Kraków’s start up circles – Piotr Wilam talked about the IT business cluster and Paweł Jarmołkowicz made a case for trying to solve the most serious problems of our world. Hopefully you felt as motivated as we did! All was left to do is rethink all this during a performance by Patrick the Pan.

fot. Wojciech Pasoń

If you want to go back to this day and to the talks, read our live blog, take a look at our Facebook and Twitter. See also Instagram for the pictures. Judging by the amount of your posts, photos and comments, for you this also was a really special day. Flickr is slowly filling up with pictures from our photographers and soon we will be sharing the recorded talks of our speakers.

We’re happy you spent the day with us!

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On with the show!


9.00: Doors open, Demo Alley

9.30: Registration

11.00-12.30: Session 1: Reconnect yourself
Jerzy Vetulani
Anna Gruszczyńska
Tal Golesworthy
Ryszard Źróbek & Chór Nowodworski

13.15-14.45: Session 2: Reconnecting dreams
Joanna McCoy
Matt Clarke
Stephen Coates
Dariusz Dobroszczyk Trio
Rob Wilmot

16.15-18.00: Session 3: Reconnecting us
Iwona Olszowska
Alek Janicki
Magda Kozłowska
Paweł Jarmołkowicz
Piotr Wilam
Patrick the Pan

19.00: Afterparty
Pasaż (Pasaż Bielaka, Rynek Główny 9/Stolarska 6)


name: State Street
password: joinourteam


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What’s in TEDxKraków apart from the talks?

If you are a frequent TEDx guest, you’re well aware that it’s not only the talks that are worth coming for – there’s plenty of other interesting things going on. This is a short summary of what we organised in collaboration with our partners this year.

If you follow our blog, you already know about the Demo Alley, an area for innovative start ups. In our choice of companies we were supported by two business supporting institutions from Kraków. Once again, Lesser Poland voivodeship is supporting the organisation of TEDxKraków – thank you!

As part of the national campaign “Kręć Kilometry” (“Spin kilometers”) people compete to win designer bike stands. Also in ICE you will have a chance to cycle on a stationary bike and ‘donate’ the completed kilometeres to a city of your choice. You will also be able to win exciting prizes and charge your phone with the bike.

Furthermore, there will be two competitions, organised for you by our partners. The first one requires patience and attention – you will have to choose the speaker who inspired you best and think how you will spread their idea. The best choices will be rewarded with smartwatches. And if you’re using Instagram, on Saturday, share pictures from the conference adding a hashtag #mojekropki or #mydots. You can win a flight in the tethered helium baloon that you can see opposite ICE.

Speaking of photos, during the conference look for a volunteer with a polaroid, so you can get your own TEDx portrait! When feeling tired, you can relax on ECOfurniture or ECObench equipped with Wi-Fi, while enjoying a cup of amazing coffee, brought to you from various parts of the world.

Our partners support us also from the technical side – they provide Wi-Fi, support our webpage and will also allow you to reach the conference quickly and comfortably, thanks to the new type of cab, which is now available in Kraków…

If you like what you just read, go to the tab “Partners” and see who is helping us organise this year’s conference. Also, if you’re with us on Saturday, look for the partners’ representatives (people wearing badges on blue lanyards) and thank them. If it wasn’t for their support, TEDxKraków 2015 would be a very different event.

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Introducing the Speakers – Matt Clarke

For the last 20 years, Matt Clarke has worked with the boards of some of the world’s largest companies in order to help them create efficient and well-functioning management teams. His speciality is facilitating collaboration in a challenging business environment – the more difficult, the better. On 13 June during TEDxKraków he will share with you his remarks about how to unite people to solve problems collectively, beyond politics and personal issues.

Matt learned on his own example that a cooperative approach can give more efficient results. Therefore co-creation has become the core of his work – he spent over a decade as a Group Director with Nowhere Group where they together, catapulted intentional co-creative practices to new levels. Moreover, during his career he was involved in facilitiating collaborations between businesses, governments, academics and social enterprises to address some of the greatest challenges facing the world today; including energy, finance, food, wellbeing, urbanisation and resilience.
As we evolve from the Information Age in to the Biological & Wellbeing Age, the quality of our interconnection could make or break us. To reconnect these dots, the most efficient move we can make is to decrease the resistance that lies within and between us. Based on his experiences, Matt will share the 5 things that anyone who wants to get something done should pay particular attention to.

Matt Clarke is Founder and President of Switched On Global and a Partner at Leaders’ Quest, and he specialises in bringing together disparate parties and enabling collaboration in complex business situations.Over his career, he has worked with the boards of some of the world’s largest companies. He is also a co-founding trustee of The Friends of Baale Mane, a social enterprise that provides a loving home near Bangalore, India to nurture and resource girls who do not have parents who can care for them. Matt lives in central London with his wife and their two sons, enjoying their passion for music, healthy living and supporting their local community.

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TEDxKrakówWomen registration opens now !


Momentum. Moving forward. Gaining speed. Building traction.

As the organisers of TEDWomen 2015 say – they’ll explore the bold ideas that create momentum in how we think, live and work.

To reveal the spark that inspires innovation…
to surface the challenges that come with social change, discovery and exploration…
to seduce with strategies, solutions, and new ways of seeing and believing…
to understand how global leaders sustain their work for lasting impact…
to shift the view, the debate, the competition…
to share the stories that connect us and strengthen communities…

We’re excited to be part of this event by organising in Kraków live streaming straight from TEDWomen at Monterey, California

Remember that all talks will be displayed in English,  no translations available. Discussions will be in polish.

Where: Pauza in Garden, ul Rajska 12
When: 29th of May, 18:00 CET

Register for TEDxKrakówWomen using this link.

See you there,
TEDxKraków team

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Introducing the Speakers: Stephen Coates

An incredible history of forbidden music, Cold War Culture and Soviet unauthorised record making technology is the subject of the talk by Stephen Coates, musician and producer.

In the Soviet Union, both the music industry and the permissible repertoire were completely controlled by the state. But in the post war period, music lovers risked their freedom and employed various extraordinary techniques to record and share the songs they loved.  They had no access to conventional recording processes but with amazing ingenuity, repurposed and recycled various technologies to make their illegal records. Many older people in Russia remember these strange flexible records, which they listened to in their youth. They contained Western Jazz and rock’n’roll – which were forbidden at the time – along with some Russian music. They were called ‘bones’ or ‘ribs’.

On 13 June in ICE Kraków Congress Centre, Stephen Coates will present this story of forbidden culture, technology and human endeavour with incredible images of the records that were made as part of his X-Ray Audio project. His talk will feature testimonies from surviving Russians of the period.

STEPHEN COATES is a composer and music producer. He came across the subject of the X-Ray recordings when travelling to Russia to perform as The Real Tuesday Weld. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, he is particularly interested in the interaction between music and culture.

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