Tag Archives: TEDxZurich

Those who don’t understand algorithms…

Don’t be scared if you don’t know what an algorithm is. This article is for you, so please read on.

If you know what an algorithm is but mainly from a mathematical viewpoint, you may skip the following paragraph, but please read on below, too.

About algorithms… and human action

Picture ‘Lamp Flowchart’ by Wapcaplet, via Wikimedia Commons

In a nutshell, an algorithms is the standardized function by which an action is executed – the important word being “standardized“. Because: the action to be executed is defined very clearly, and the function must state unambiguously in what circumstances and under what conditions this action has to be executed (or not).

This may sound very theoretical, but we all have already been confronted with a multitude of algorithmic processes.

Retrieving money from a cash machine is a typical, rather simple example: the machine has a certain number of predefined “actions” it can do (ask for your PIN code, hand out a certain amount of money, show account balance, swallow your card etc.) and its actions depend on your input, which are “conditions” for the machine.

Of course every action that is computer-based is algorithmic, i.e. implemented within different “layers” of programming, all boiled down to the basic electronic signals 0 and 1.

But no need for computers: actually, every procedure guided by a flowchart is algorithmic, too. Everything that is standardized. Everything that is automated.

“Algorithm” means no room for interpretation. And no choice. Continue reading

What was TEDxZurich?

Yesterday, I have attended TEDxZurich. TED stands for technology, entertainment, design and is branded “ideas worth spreading”. What is TED and TEDxZurich?

There is, of course, the official answer to this question.

And then, there’s my personal answer: TEDxZurich is many things at the same time. It is conference, entertainment, education and community, it is a networking event, a recruiting platform, a film set and, accessorily, an advertising opportunity.

I’ll explain myself, by starting with the last point.


Almost 1 year ago already, TED aligned their advertising strategy with their core values. They created a competition called Ads Worth Spreading, perfectly in spirit with pull marketing: ads should be so good people would actually want to watch them.

They succeded. Because it is a great illustration of transmedia storytelling, I would like to share with you The Chase Film, one of the winning ads, screened at the very beginning of TEDxZurich.
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