The Origins of the Future

Last week I attended “Ciudad de las Ideas” in Puebla, 60 miles south east of Mexico City. Wonderful town, beautiful landscape …

Venue: Complejo Cultural Universitario

Andres Roemer, President and curator of the festical, brought a stellar line-up of speakers on stage – many of them well known TEDsters. I enjoyed Chris Anderson, Hans Rosling, Michio Kaku (“After this introduction I can’t wait to hear myself speaking …”) and Henry Markram the most.

The entire set-up, the format of the talks, the “celebraties” was very TED-like – but not a bad copy at all! Ciudad de las ideas focuses on the same ideas as TED – but they distinguish themselves by including the youth and keeping the prices affordable (about 1200 Euro for 3 days, best category and 500 Euros for the way-up balcony seats)! It was very good to see so many students around! Made it very lively and refreshing!

Most of the participants came from Mexico, only a few Americans and hardly any Europeans.

My major takeaway from the festival – besides great conversations and the excellent food in Puebla – was the staturday morning debate on “Religion and God” – not because of the topic but the way it was presented. Very vital and agile format (in short: 3 vs. 3, giving statement first and then in a second round argueing against each other … then commented by a “neutral” person) … I really hope they will upload the video soon.

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