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TEDxCaFoscariU: Breaking Ideas part 2/2

In the previous piece we talked about the very first speakers which attended the TEDxCaFoscariU on 31th May, and now, in this second part, we will talk about Eliana La Ferrara, professor in Milano at the Bocconi University, and Telmo Pievani, professor of biology at the University of Padova.

Mrs. La Ferrara’s talk was focused on the power of television: can this tool be useful to face poverty? She believes television, and in particular soap operas, dramas, and tv series can reach people and teach them more then educational systems.
For example, in Brasil the birth rate was quite high, about 4-4,5 children per woman, but she found out this statistics drop during the next years after the release of some soap operas: why? The reason of this behaviour, according to La Ferrara, comes by analyzing the structure of these soap operas: they casted only few characters because they wanted their audience to focus their attention only on few people, the result was a fiction where families weren’t similar to the real Brazilian ones, but they often had one children or none at all. Probably, this pattern influenced the mentality of brazilian people, so the birth rate dropped.
Considering this curious result, La Ferrara is thinking about applying the same pattern to face other issues that afflict some countries like AIDS transmission, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Telmo Pievani, instead, talked about how nature creates innovation: according to him, the secret is the power of the creativity. Personally speaking, I found his talk very curious: for example, he revealed that wings initially weren’t “developed” for flying, but to mantain the temperature of dinosaurs’ body, then they had been used to balance their body, and only in a second time animals realized they could be used for flying.
If we would like to summarize what we learnt during TedxCafoscariU about Breaking Ideas, we have to say that if you want to “produce” some brilliant and disrputive ideas, you need to sleep well and for several hours every day, you have to take vitamins, they are a shared process and not an individual one… and last but not least, you need to mantain a sense of astonishment, you have to be suprised and suprise someone. Everyone need to cultivate patience, perserverance and, why not, be a little lucky.

Matteo Bianchini

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