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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