What was your favorite talk from TEDxTUMSalon 2019?

This year, we shook things up. Our lineup of speakers was 100% female. Each speakerintrepid and compelling in her own rightgraced the stage of the TEDxTUMSalon 2019 event with an idea that changed the shape of the world around her.

Through these talks, we’ve watched the preposterous become possible: from walking trees on Earth to roving robots on asteroids, not to mention the ways that we can flip the script on travel for generations to come. As the concepts from our TEDxTUMSalon 2019 event come full circle, we invite you to ask yourself: what boundaries can we continue to break in the future? What is still within reach?

Sandra Decius: Towards greener cities – one walking tree at a time

Streets. They’re a fundamental aspect of every modern society; instrumental in the ebb and flow of daily life… and inevitably full of cars. But engineer and environmentalist Sandra Decius dares to ask a question so complex in its simplicity;

“Who owns our streets?”

In Sandra’s talk, we’re invited on an actual walk with the trees of Munich. Through her work with Green City, e.V., Sandra details how this is made possible by a series of local demonstrations called the Wanderbaumallee (which translates to “Wandering Trees”). As the procession of green floats along the streets of Munich, the citizens are taking back their streets (literally), and also taking a stand for what they want to see in their city: less cars and more trees.

Sandra’s passion for the environment is evident in her talk, and her call to action can not only change the shape of her surroundings, but take on a ripple effect of environmental innovation on a much grander scale.

Friederike Wolff: The rocket science behind asteroid exploration

Everyone feels the desire to explore new lands and uncover new possibilities. It’s simply human instinct. But what about when it comes to charting the territories of somewhere dark, somewhere inhospitable; a realm so mysterious that few have surveyed its landscapes before?

Friederike Wolff took us along for the ride in her talk as she detailed the journey to Ryugu, a diamond-shaped asteroid with a completely unknown surface landscape.

Through her team’s dedication, the MASCOT rover was created: a battery-powered machine which could survive the trip to Ryugu and back for data collection despite the unknown environment…or so they hoped.

Friederike’s narrative of the mission to Ryugu is one of teamwork, ambition, endurance, and resolve. Through nearly a decade of persistent research and uncertain parameters, Friederike and her colleagues are helping to unravel the mystery of the solar system, one space rock at a time.

Annika Paul: A bold call for revolutionizing aviation

We all know the unpleasantries of taking a long-haul flight: the boredom as we’re waiting for a connection, feeling crammed into a seat on the aircraft, the endless scuttle from one city to the next. Annika Paul gives us a glimpse of a future, though, where all this may be just a hectic memory.

Annika begins by defining three major factors in how she and her team are working to revolutionize the airline industry as we see it today.

Not only will the business model of aviation need an overhaul, but also the fuel type used by today’s aircraft. After these two requirements are met, one final aspect can be modernized: passenger comfort.

Through Annika’s work in reexamining how aircraft can operate in the future, we can look forward to something greater than more efficient and comfortable flights; we can look toward a more sustainable future of aviation as a whole.

Christiane Bausback: How to use smell to create unforgettable experiences

Have you ever been thrust into a distant memory with nothing more than a whiff of a forgotten aroma? Have you ever felt like a particular fragrance is a time capsule to a certain moment on the spectrum of your life?

Christiane Bausback hits this concept right on the nose in her talk as she explores the remarkable connection between our olfactory sense and our brains.

With three distinct levels of how the brain processes scents, Christiane breaks down how our sense of smell can serve not only as an indicator of one’s surroundings and an aspect of personal enhancement in public spaces, but how it can completely rewrite the future of transport as we know it.

Let’s face it: more often than not, our sense of smell gets a bad rap. And yet, our noses are proving, through Christiane’s research, to be some of the most specialized machines on our bodies, working overtime for us every day of the week.