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TEDxIEMadrid Spotlights the Future of Humanity

5th TEDxIEMadrid | IE Business School

The 5th TEDxIEMadrid addressed the future of technology, human experience and its role in the developing new technologies.

Top-tier speakers converged on Madrid’s Luchana Theater to celebrate the fifth annual TEDxIEMadrid, a Ted Conference independent event organized by IE students and aimed at spotlighting the future of humanity and discussing everything from happiness to super brains.

Annual TEDxIEMadrid | IE Business School

Speakers included: Michael Bayle, Executive VP of Amadeus Mobile, Karolina Korth Chief Digital Officer and Head of Strategy in Siemens Mobility, Nick Van Dam, IE University Chief Learning Officer, Maruan El Mahgiub, Director of Business Strategy at Mormedi, Marta de Basilio, Founder at Speaker Coach, Hugo de Lacy, Chief Operating Officer at AIS Channel, Prashant Kumar, Amazon Senior Product Manager.

The event focused on the future of technology under the theme of [Rec·]Volution, posing the question whether the future of humanity is still human and discussing the implications of new technologies and how they affect wellbeing, human value and the experience of the modern world.

Bayle unveiled the implications of these in the travel industry, “The Juxtaposition of Affordable, Enjoyable Travel.” With 50 percent of travel purchases now happening digitally, he said “our digital expectations are probably correlated with the growth of the travel industry. In fact, this digital experience isn’t just influencing how we plan our travel, it’s also influencing our purchase decisions when we are buying travel.”

With his talk about “Job Vitality in the Digital Age,” Van Dam focused on well-being, health and happiness. He explored disruptive technologies, global competition and the ongoing connectivity that increases opportunities but that he said poses challenges to health, productivity and lifelong employability. Van Dam emphasized the importance of sustainable health.

“We need leaders to embrace human leadership practices right now, and not wait for an email of the CEO.”

“We need leaders to embrace human leadership practices right now, and not wait for an email of the CEO,” he said. “You need to start practicing habits that will help you become healthier and happier. This fourth industrial revolution needs to go hand in hand with the human revolution.”

Korth instead interacted with the audience through her talk “Is My Next Boyfriend a Machine? Love in the Age of Technology.” She raised questions about the trade-off between human capacity and technological accuracy with the premise that “comparing humans and machines is objectively something brutal, but it is something we have to get used to, in our careers, but also in our relationships.” She observed how “today, the machines I am dealing with, know me better than my friends. Machines are not only more reliable, but they are also excellent listeners. Their attention span is unlimited, ours went from 12 seconds to eight in just two decades. We as humans are losing our curiosity for others, and simply use cognitive shortcuts. This becomes a problem when listening to our partners is even more difficult, because after some time spent together, they simply cannot deliver enough novelty for our dopamine seeking brains.”

The conference continued navigating through groundbreaking topics like Full Immersive Virtual Reality and the ethical implications it faces, the future of work and preparing for jobs that don’t exist and technology as an extension to human brains.

IE Student Daniela Cadena then took the stage to dive into the rediscovery of human value, exploring how creativity is an important asset to redefine what it means to be a person and a citizen in the fourth Industrial Revolution. Committed to using profit driven models and sustainable solutions, Cadena discussed how to add value in an automated world.

Speaker in Annual TEDxIEMadrid | IE Business School

“It is time to go back to the humanities. To dive deep in those uncomfortable areas of ourselves, because it is with going back to the humanities that all aspects of civil society and culture will help us find how to navigate this ambitious environment, and that entails reframing how we study global governance,” she said.

Hosts Zayne Imam and Tiffany Bayliss entertained the audience with insights from the speakers. They invited the audience to interact and engage with them during the networking break to grasp the full experience of the event.

“Hosting TED, especially at IE University, my alma mater, is such a special honor. This annual event has grown from strength to strength in the last few years and I’m so proud to have done my part to make it a great success,” Imam said.

The event was sponsored by Campus Life in collaboration with the IE School of Humans, Science and Technology and the IE Foundation.