TEDxAarhus 2018 invited you to Look Closer. To look closer at the world, at the people around you, and at yourself. We dared you to challenge your first impressions and assumptions.

Maybe looking closer means changing your perspective entirely?

2018 Speakers

Elisabeth McClure

Research specialist in creativity and learning

Elisabeth’s research background is in children and media, where she has studied how babies and toddlers use video chat (like Skype) to interact with their remote relatives. At TEDxAarhus 2018 she will look closer at creativity in children and adults. She will ask the audience to re-examine their assumptions about the way creativity changes from childhood to adulthood. Specifically, she wants to look deeper at the assumption that children are creative geniuses, and that growing up kills that creativity.

Watch Elisabeth’s talk, titled “Are children really more creative than adults?”.

Christine Stabell Benn

Medical doctor and professor in Global Health

Vaccines do much more than protect against the target disease; they have so-called non-specific effects. In most cases, they come with an added bonus of increased resistance against other infections than only the target disease. If we took that into account, we could save 100,000s of lives every year just by using the existing vaccines smarter. We should not only study vaccines’ effects on the target infection, but also ask the simple, yet surprisingly often ignored question: what is the impact of vaccines on overall health?

Watch Christine’s talk, titled “How vaccines train the immune system in ways no one expected”.

Lone Mørch

Author, photographer and speaker

Lone’s work lives at the intersection of art, body, identity, culture and change. For the past 25+ years she has traveled, lived and worked in various professional capacities in Asia, Europe and USA. She’s the founder of the photo atelier Lolo’s Boudoir and has helped more than 1000 women find healing and celebration through photography. At TEDxAarhus Lone will talk about the liberating power of the lens and the process by which we find the courage to see and be seen.

Watch Lone’s talk, titled “The power of the gaze – what I learned from photographing 1000 naked women”.

Anne Dvinge

Music entrepreneur

Anne is the Managing Director and founder of Low-Fi, an online peer-to-peer marketplace that brings people together for living room concerts. She believes that music can be understood as a verb, as it is not something we should do passively. It can also be an activity with the audience as active participants of the event. At TEDxAarhus 2018 she will help us look closer at the consequences of changing the setting of a behaviour as normal as listening to the music.

Watch Anne’s talk, titled “How home concerts change the way we listen”.

Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi

Researcher in Nanophysics and molecular biology / Entrepreneur

According to Fatima, bacteria live in communities just like humans. They have families, they talk, they plan their activities and some even cheat. In her talk she will explore how by learning another language, even the language of very small creatures like bacteria, we can become able to look closer and get another insight into well-established systems that we take as given today.

Watch Fatima’s talk, titled “Hacking into the secret communication… of bacteria”.

Melanie Rosen

Researcher and lecturer in philosophy at Aarhus University’s Interacting Mind Centre

According to Melanie, in dreams we experience not only bizarre worlds of our own creation, but also unusual changes in our minds and bodies. By looking closer at our own dreams, we can feel what it’s like to be someone else due to the altered states of consciousness that commonly occur. In her talk Melanie will explore whether dreaming can help us understand what it’s like to have a delusion or psychosis, and consequently help us have more empathy for those who experience life differently.

Watch Melanie’s talk, titled “The understanding we gain whilst we sleep”.

Mikkel Frost


Mikkel has worked on designing buildings such as the Iceberg, a multiple prize-winning housing project in Aarhus Ø and Experimentarium, a science center in Hellerup, near Copenhagen. In his talk Mikkel will share how he explains abstract architectural ideas through simple hand drawings. He believes that if you can’t tell a story on an A4 sheet of paper, then you are either doing too much or it is too complicated.

Watch Mikkel’s talk, titled “Let your fingers do the talking!”

Lars Schmidt & Maren Elise Skjerlie Gilling

Photographer & Writer

Lars, a photographer, and Maren, a writer, were brought together by stories of Syrian kids. During the last year they spent six weeks at the Syrian border talking to hundreds of Syrian families about their lives, daily struggles and the escape from the war zone.

Lars and Maren will tell you about two boys who traveled different paths from the war in Syria. Due to an unexpected turn of events their stories become intertwined later in a country 4000 km away.

Watch Lars and Maren’s talk, titled “They are still dreaming”.

Sune Lehmann

Associate professor at DTU (Technical University of Denmark)

Sune works on understanding the mathematics of complex networks. In 2013 he gave out a thousand cell phones to freshmen at his university in an attempt to measure social networks and mobility. Zooming out with the use of an ordinary cell phone gave him a chance to look closer at the university campus from a different perspective.

Watch Sune’s talk, titled “Predicting your social interactions”.

2018 Hosts

Julie Krog Vistisen

Debate Moderator and Conversation Facilitator at Livemagasinet

Julie loves to dance (or move her body in general), sing and take a cold dip in the sea – in any season of the year. She has lived in Aarhus for ten years and she loves how the city connects all sorts of people and always has something to offer, even though it is a small and cozy city.

Phil Hall

Content producer at Designit

Phil is interested in making films, animations, radio and chocolate – which he also enjoys to eat and has strong opinions on. He loves to travel and explore, and has a big collection of rocks. Phil is “as British as fish ‘n’ chips” (according to himself), but has lived in Aarhus for six years now.

TED Live screening

TED2018: The Age of Amazement

TEDxAarhus brought TED2018: The Age of Amazement to The Merchant Room in an exclusive screening of some of the best talks from TED’s major annual conference in Vancouver. Our TED Live event was held during TED2018 – so our audience members became some of the first in the world to see the newest TED Talks. As always, the screening was accompanied by plenty of discussions, games and our very own TEDxAarhus cocktails.