By external blogger Ward van Beek

A month ago, Aart van Veller expressed in his blog the hope that all of us would agree that the transition towards a sustainable economy is a necessary one. He then goes on to ask: "How should we shape this transition? How are we going to change an economy that currently has a "take, make & waste" mentality and runs on fossil fuels towards an economy that runs on sustainable energy and recycles its resources?" In his blog he answers this question by promoting the sharing economy. 



Sharing is always a good start. In fact, it's the whole reason for the existence of TED. TED is a nonprofit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in just 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

TEDx, x = independently organised event

In the same spirit of ideas worth spreading, there is TEDx. TEDx is a kind of spinoff, a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organised events are branded TEDx, where x stands for an independently organised TED event.

In Wageningen, on May 30th, TEDx Wageningen will be entirely dedicated to the sustainable, bio based economy. "The Emergence of Now" emphasises the fact that change should be happening now, not in the near future. TEDxWageningen brings together 150 leading thinkers, visionaries and doers together with 17 speakers and 2 performances for an inspirational day of designs, processes, and people. This independently organised event is focused primarily on the exchange of knowledge and expertise on how the world can eliminate the concept of waste by creating bio-based economies.



Just like the The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is for people who can instigate change, TEDxWageningen is also presenting creative, innovative thought leaders and their organisations that are actively contributing to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Although TEDxWageningen is just one day, the event will be simulcasted in a number of locations, nationally and internationally. It is hosted by Louise Vet, of The Netherlands Institute for Ecology, who herself once was presenting at TEDxAmsterdam.

So how can we effectively tap the human and intellectual capital to build the future we all want to see?

To give you a flavor of the event, among the speakers we have Adam Mathews talking about "De-growth: an increasingly popular philosophy which puts a plethora of human and environmental values before the need for ever increasing economic growth", and Andy van de Dubblesteen, Professor of Climate Design & Sustainability at the Faculty of Architecture of TU Delft on "Managing waste and energy streams in cities and their surrounding environment".

George Kowalchuk, Microbial Ecologist at NIOO (Netherlands Institute for Ecology) will show the potential of microorganisms as a source of breakthrough products and activities that will impact global change, whereas Dominic Boot, Director of the VNPI (branch organisation representing the 10 major oil companies operating in the NL) will challenge us to think that biofuels are a mistake.