When so much in life is unpredictable, the most direct approach to personal and societal well-being is to foster trust. Trust is a habit, and like all habits, must be trained. And the best teachers? Children. Civic activist Jānis Erts […]
When the economic crisis of 2008 hit, communities around the world took to the streets, inspired by the “Occupy Wallstreet” movement, to protest the social inequality of the recession. But Latvia, the second-hardest-hit country, was tranquil. Social policies put the […]
No matter how rational we may try to be, emotions and feelings lie behind every decision we make. In today’s world of analytics and data-driven decision-making, however, we often fail to take into account the impact our feelings have on […]
Calculating the benefit received versus the effort put in has become an automatic and subconscious process in considering any effort. And quite possibly restricts us from experiencing true joy. Filmmaker Andris Gauja describes how approaching a seemingly dead end with […]
One day a particularly ill-prepared hike triggered Olga’s curiosity about being in the mountains. It was the beginning of a long journey to many summits, including that of Mt Everest. However, her most precious discoveries were not the summits themselves, […]
Audiovisual production tools and a potential global audience are available to anyone with a web-connected device. But many creators still struggle with presenting their content effectively, especially on YouTube. Alan Melikdjanian proposes a way of thinking about video projects that […]
Everything is text. But text comprehension and its impact are the result of many different wavelengths and signals passing by. In this piece, Entrance to the Universe, composer Platons Buravickis plays with electrical signals. The piece is created for an […]
Protein and its amino acids are a vital source to our human existence. But our reliance on animal proteins has strained their earth. In short – it isn’t sustainable in the long run. But how far are you willing to […]
Zero waste activist Laura Arnicāne was a chronic perfectionist whose quest for leading a truly zero waste lifestyle led to wasting away herself. Since then, she has found that striving for a less waste lifestyle, on the grand scale of […]
Pianist Rihards Plešanovs highlights the juxtaposition between the aggressive and the fragile, two opposing forces that weave themselves through daily life. One end of the spectrum is personified through an etude by György Ligeti, “L’escalier du diable” (The Devil’s Staircase) […]
Arnis Sauka has spent years researching the shadow economy and determining its impact. Having developed a methodology, fostered relationships with both business leaders and government officials and measured the impact over time, Arnis may be the first to tell you […]
Living in the comforts of modern civilization, most of us are far removed from the natural world and take for granted its existence. But biologist Indriķis Krams, who spends most of his time studying birds in old growth forests, has […]
For many of us, finding the balance between doing something that provides meaning and something that pays the bills seems out of reach. Whether it’s expectations about what is an acceptable career path, the desire to strike it rich or […]
The biological development of the brain shows that children’s brains are much more malleable and open to change earlier on in life. This phenomenon of brain plasticity makes children able to adapt to the challenges of the environment they grow […]
The most beautiful outcome is the triumph of the human spirit. This is something that Mark Rittenberg has witnessed over his lifetime in difficult situations, from the assassination of a president to the mediation of the Middle East peace process. […]
From melodic to frenzied and back again, Krists Saržants’ jazz quintet composition artfully combines the varied but complementary tones of piano, bass, drums, saxophone and vocals and exploration of sound is a true work of art. While the soothing melody […]
Despite living in arguably the best time in history, there is an increasing dissatisfaction in democracy. But why is that? If undemocratic societies become disillusioned because of the suppression of political speech, are democratic ones being worn down in the […]
Doesn’t that feel better? Physical therapist and former dancer Aija Paegle takes us through the physical and mental impact of the humble breath. How it can unobtrusively carry you through your day, or do the heavy lifting when going through […]
FAUX PAS is a symbiosis of contemporary dance and circus, with delicate metaphors about the private, unseen side of relations between two people. Just like the cyr wheel, which is masterfully used to excite the imagination, relationships are stories in […]
Have you ever stopped to think how your surroundings have made you who you are? And how by changing your environment, you can change your perspectives on life? Architect Ilze Paklone embarked on a journey of discovery, by first getting […]
Being social for a shy person is difficult already, let alone in a cold, Northern capital city wrought by a past of social mistrust under communist rule. With all the cards stacked against him, Kaspars Breidaks managed to break through […]
Travel and music are two powerful entities in our world. Guitarist Reinis Jaunais is deeply moved by both and expresses his reflections through his music. In this performance, he plays three pieces — one, inspired by the massive mountains of […]
Instruments can open a world of opportunity for creative expression. And when that instrument is a synthesizer, that opportunity becomes nearly limitless. What does it take to open the floodgates of creative exploration? In the mind of Girts Ozolins, it […]
It seems that photographers are simply becoming glorified tripods. Or are they? As cameras become increasingly smart, it begs the question — what, then, is the use of the person standing behind it? Focus and exposure are already automated, and […]
In a conversation where the goal is to “win”, one emerges victorious, while the other – a loser. This game of right and wrong is a lose-lose situation, and has massive repercussions on the world we live in. Our ability […]
Programming skills are in high demand, and a career in IT can take you far. However, coding can open the door for more than IT professionals. It can open the door of possibilities to explore all sorts of hobbies. With […]
Would you say that sometimes political processes can become…a circus? Consider this the next time you want to use this metaphor – in reality, the circus is a tight-knit community of hardworking individuals with a deep trust in one another. […]
Evija Vebere’s performance of two musical pieces embodies the moment before daybreak, the fragile light that emerges from it, and the sun’s struggle to meet the day. With her unique vocal approach, musical layering of both digital and analog instruments, […]
Corporate presentations and spam mail belong in the same category. There may not be an equal to this time-wasting task of creating meaningless corporate slides. Storytelling technologies and modern methods allow us to keep meeting times down to a minimum, […]
Are you willing to wait for someone to spark curiosity in the children in your life? There are many great teachers, but for many children, the science classroom isn’t cutting it. But it doesn’t have to take much to turn […]
Frustration is high in communities where brain drain has lead to depopulation, an inability to support rural education institutions, and ultimately, to an efficiency gap when compared to urban schools. Without an easy solution in sight, politicians become the target […]
As we grow through life, we’re taught what’s “ok” and what isn’t, when it comes to demonstrating emotions. We learn to push them away, reject, or suppress what has been deemed socially unacceptable. But when it comes down to it, […]
In the spirit of Latvian centennial happenings, Dins ran along the border of Latvia, his home country, to get to know it better. Despite all odds, he ran around the entire perimeter of Latvia, 1740 km, in 21.5 days. His […]
Imagine losing half of your blood — could you survive? As the drain of advertising money threatens journalism worldwide, it becomes crucial for media users to seriously consider the saying “you get what you pay for”. The vanishing of free […]
In a life of heightened information access and lowered attention spans, we find ourselves reading more headlines, but processing fewer facts. The result — an epidemic of anxiety. How are cognitive biases affecting our perception of reality? And are we […]
The make-up of any object reveals only one part of its secret. The rest – depends on the arrangement at the macro, micro and nano level. Prof. Gross shows us how arrangement is essential for optimal performance – whether it’s […]
What does it mean for strangers to meet, recognize their differences, and work together? Is it possible all? When the European migration crisis brought a small wave of refugees to Latvia, Ieva Raubiško switched from her academic work as a social anthropologist to cooking together with refugees at a small social enterprise she set up in Riga.
Is Russia winning the so-called information war? Russia’s state-owned media produces high-quality propaganda. Russia invests money in pro-Russia organizations and radicals abroad. But is it working? Are people influenced by Russia’s propaganda? Is Latgale the next Crimea? In fact, the […]
A journalist’s duty is to act as our eyes and ears out in the field, to convey to us the information they collected without distortion. But what if this puts the subjects of the report in danger? How can one […]
In his talk, Ingus Augstkalns speaks about his journey into BASE jumping, his method of overcoming fear, and his drone jump project that put him into the world’s spotlight as the first human to perform a parachute jump from a […]
It is often said that public speaking — the ability to communicate ideas clearly for a larger audience — is a skill for extroverts. However, introverts will often have ideas and visions that they need to share with the world […]
Elza Volonte has an uncommon ability: sign language is her native tongue, though she is not deaf. Having been raised by deaf parents, Elza holds a unique perspective of being able to observe two worlds simultaneously: one, where listening is done with ears, and the other, where one listens with the eyes. Elza talks with her hands and does it ever so passionately.
Drums — always there in the background, and more often than not — overlooked. Kaspars Kurdeko challenges traditional views of the drums and takes us on a creative musical journey. He demonstrates the true art of percussion — seeing the […]
What happens when a young and inexperienced documentarian sets out to portray the personal life of an eccentric individual? When does documenting become prying into one’s private life, and what are the ethical choices a filmmaker faces in such a situation?
Anything is permitted in Elizabete Balčus’ cosmic garden: looped flute and voice, clicking electro pop beats, and a synthesizer made out of fruit. “The Hanging Garden” is a song from her album “Conarium” and it represents the diversity of identity […]
What does it mean, as a refugee, to lose everything — even your sense of cultural identity? How does one connect to their heritage after being displaced? Līga Ruperts tells her story at TEDxRiga 2017.
They are present in countless areas of our lives — from our daily dose of lolcats to state-of-the-art pig organ donors, and even considered our distant relatives according to Darwin and scientific discoveries. Their wellbeing is a topic that has […]
How do we perceive country, nation, and state? The term ‘country’ emphasizes the physical dimensions and boundaries of a geographical area. The term ‘nation’ emphasizes a particular community of people with shared history and culture. The term ‘state’ stands for a self-governing legal and political entity. But is this view really common all over the world?
The duet called Kaktiņš Stūrītis was created in 2011, when Mārtiņš Jansons arrived to take up residence in Liepāja, where Mārtiņš Kuzmins had already been living. As a result of a combination of different circumstances in their lives, the two […]
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are often heralded as one of the game changers of modern day industries. Yet for all the hype, some significant caveats are not taken into account. As an AI field practitioner, Juris Pūce shares several […]
We often don’t have problems with defining our goals, but we have problems with getting there. Agnis shows us how socially influencing systems can help in transforming our lives. Improving our health and well-being, preferring eco-friendly choices will be so […]
“Dai citas meitas” (“Let the other maidens”) is based on an ancient Latvian folk song. The six Latvian girls who form the group Tautumeitas, use their six voices and six pairs of hands to create music, because they believe that […]
Have you ever got stuck on a certain noise? A crackling sound in your attic? Raindrops bouncing of a window sill in a very rhythmic way? Two wooden logs struck against each other, creating a beautiful tone? Miķelis Putniņš is […]
Over the last decade the life of traditional newspapers and news publishers has become increasingly challenging. It is more and more harder to attract and keep the reader’s attention, and convince them to spend some money on it. The leader of the investigative journalism center Re:Baltica, Inga Spriņģe, shares her experience of learning from viral videos.
Irony can be intelligent, perceptive and witty. Sarcasm rarely is. If you have caught a malarial sarcasm, how can it be treated? There may be no cure, but in this talk, there are a few suggestions on how we can […]
Don’t judge the book from the cover, so the saying goes. That’s definitely the case with spiders, whose webs are made of spider silk, a material with amazing mechanical properties. So common in nature, and, as it turns out, so […]
Do you ever feel like the cinema experience is not what it used to be? You are not alone. After years of experience in marketing and media, fueled by a passion for cinema as a storytelling medium and encouraged by […]
Gender stereotypes in media are capable of driving a sane person insane; yet still they persist. Is fighting stereotypes head-on hopeless? Linda is one of the first and most recognizable Latvian feminists. For more than 10 years she has observed […]
Lena addresses people within corporations, social entrepreneurs to open up for a dialogue. She insists that building cross-sector social innovation is the only way to build a strong world. What can we learn from the changing relationship between the big […]
What questions do you ask yourself after seeing the news about sinking boats full of refugees at the doorsteps of Europe? Egils Grasmanis and his wife asked themselves if they would be ready to host a refugee. Would you?
Mass culture tells us that medieval political life was somewhat like ‘Game of Thrones’ – kings and dynasties fiercely fighting each other for power. This image is rather far from the complexities of late medieval politics, where institutions played at […]
As a professor of psychology, Ivars Austers knows well how biased is our thinking. He wants to raise our awareness to the fact that when we crave for certainty, an expert will often show up to provide it. But not […]
Project MNTHA started recently – summer of 2014 – when Marija Mickeviča accidentally started experimenting with production and electronic music. This led her to the National finals of Eurovision. In 2016, new music is still being written, the debut album […]
Music band Āres is a project by two ex-classmates – Andrejs Irbēns and Jānis Zvīnis. They come from Salacgrīva and their inspiration in music comes from the beautiful nature around their hometown. Āres play together since 2014 and they are […]
Sharing her music has always been a constant struggle between Alise’s inner urge to tell her story and the fear of failure. In her talk she tells about this struggle and how she embraced it as an important part of […]
The world needs scientists and engineers more than ever, but our approach to raising them is backwards and ineffective. Drawing on his research and experience, high school physics teacher Danny Doucette challenges us to reimagine school science. As a physics […]
The world of microbes is ever-present but we usually only acknowledge it whenever we wash our hands. In truth, the smallest life form tells a lot about human development through history and we shouldn’t overlook its importance. Alisa tells her […]
Chutzpah is defined as behavior, or a person attitude, that is rude or shocking but so confident that people may feel forced to admire it. At least this is how Oxford English Dictionary frames it. But chutzpah as many other […]
People meet with the same goal: full of energy, light and desire to move. Dance helps them connect and make them dare, by challenging and supporting each other, they take the risk of living life and letting the miracles happen. […]
In his work with IBM Watson system, Mauro Martino is exploring the brand new landscape made accessible by the enormous amount of data and tools that are capable of analyzing it. This terra incognita is full with unexpected discoveries and […]
An improvisation based on daina (a Latvian folk song) “the evening dusk”. Vocal by Asnate Rancāne, bass by Stanislav Yudin, who is also the author of this improvisation. Stanislav is inspired by ethno music, Asnate — by improvisation. This is […]
Do you participate and take action when the city needs you? Dāvis Kaņepe tells his story about the importance of “unlocking” the doors that get closed in front of you. Dāvis Kaņepe is a well-known culture activist and film director, […]
Mārtiņš Zaumanis is an asphalt researcher – member of a rare breed of professionals that rarely anyone has heard of. In his talk, Mārtiņš speaks about his belief: that asphalt can be fully recyclable and produced in environmentally friendlier way. […]
Imagine the world as a street ordered by income. Everyone lives somewhere on the street. The poorest lives to the left and the richest to the right. Everybody else lives somewhere in between. Anna Rosling-Rönnlund tries to figure out how everybody lives during her Dollar Street project.
With the budget 10 times smaller than average — how do you make a country’s World Expo pavilion rank amongst the Top 10? How do you make Shaolin monks fly? And how do you architect a sacred place for Latvians? You turn to nature.
Heidi’s mission is to combine the two distinct research areas – marketing and cognitive science – in the most practical way. At TNS, Heidi has conducted neuromarketing studies and consumer behavior experiments, as well as spoken at seminars and conferences […]
You would expect the former President of a country to speak about politics, right? But in his TEDxRiga talk, Valdis Zatlers brings up a different topic: one that many consider a taboo — death.
Did you know that everything you post is copyright-protected? But does copyright work for you? Does it make any sense? Find out more in Uldis Zarins’ TEDx talk. Uldis Zariņš is a librarian by education and profession, a musician at […]
Is there some connection between the place you are coming from and your personality? Can you discover something new about yourself knowing the place both of your parents are coming from? Iveta Vaivode tries to find the answers — via […]
Do you know the whole picture of your health? Do you think you doctor does? Probably not. Leo Seļāvo looks into how technology could connect the dots and pixels of the information we have and contribute to digital healthcare, while […]
Toms Kreicbergs a.k.a. Tom Crosshill is a writer whose fiction has been nominated for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards and the Latvian Literature Award. Toms has won the Writers of the Future contest, and his […]
Baiba Rubesa’s life long guiding star is putting Latvia and Latvians in a global context. She is an experienced and inspiring manager and communicator with a range of business experience from oil and gas, retail, automotive and telecommunications.
Janis is considered by many to be the pioneer of stand-up comedy movement in Latvia. Six years ago, he founded the Royal Improvisation Theatre, of which he is still in charge. Janis has staged 4 solo performances during the last […]
A trained architect Toms Kokins has established himself as the defender of innovative ideas, with the goal to improve public space in order to raise the quality of life, because we build and develop cities for our long-term well-being. Toms, […]
Latvian literary legend Rainis once wrote: “That will remain, what will change”, and Elīna Dobele is a living example how with persistence one can make a successful debut in a seemingly unfamiliar field. Elīna Dobele trained as an architect, but […]
Do you find Quantum Physics interesting? Mārcis Auziņš is passionate about it. Find out why he loves it and why it should be interesting to you as well. A physicist and the Rector of Latvian University Marcis Auziņš is the […]
The name of American-Latvian Valdis Krebs is written into the global corporate network, where he has become an influential player by developing innovative social network analysis and visualisation method. Having worked with many Fortune 500 companies, Valdis was able to […]
A mathematician, artist and lecturer at the Cornell University, USA, Daina Taimiņa one day picked up a crochet hook, bright crochets and visualized apparently very complicated mathematical concepts that prior to Daina’s artwork were only understood by highly experienced mathematicians. […]