TEDxJohannesburgSalon | LIFE: Past. Present. Future.

Thu Oct 27, 09:30 - Thu Oct 27, 14:30

The Forum


Where do we come from? Why are we here? How can we preserve our planet for generations to come?

We’re excited to introduce TEDxJohannesburgSalon | LIFE: Past. Present. Future, taking place on Thursday 27 October, from 09h30 to 14h30, at The Forum in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

In a world where the future seems increasingly uncertain, many of the answers to humanity’s ongoing survival lie buried in the past, beneath our feet.

By digging deep into Earth’s 3.6-billion-year history, Palaeoscience, a scientific discipline that studies earth’s geologic past, explores just how connected we all are, how the past impacts the future, and what we can do to protect our planet today and beyond.

From dinosaurs, climate change, mass extinctions and evolutionary insights, to ancient civilizations, food, music, art, technology and more, TEDxJohannesburgSalon | LIFE features an astounding range of topics, along with an impressively accomplished line-up of speakers.

The TEDxJohannesburg team has curated the programme to ignite curiosity and capture the imagination of experts and armchair enthusiasts alike.

Expect insightful talks, powerful performances, and jaw-dropping exhibits.

TEDxJohannesburg brings you this fascinating event with the support of GENUS – Africa’s most powerful Palaeosciences network.


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Thu, 27 Oct 09:30 AM - Thu, 27 Oct 02:30 PM
08:00 - 09:30  GENUS Breakfast

09:00 - 09:30  Registration

09:30 - 11:00  Session 1

11:00 - 11:45  Conversation Break

11:45 - 13:15 Session 2

13:15 - 14:30 Lunch



Everyone knows that deep beneath our feet here in southern Africa lies an astonishing range of mineral deposits. But how many of us know that the ground we walk on holds so many of the key answers to questions about who we are, where we come from, and how we got here? Our team has curated a programme that seeks to answer these and other big questions. Our lineup includes some of the best people in the field from whom we would most want to learn.

Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan
| Palaeobiologist – deciphers biological signals recorded in the bone microstructure of extinct vertebrates, and that of living forms


Bongekile Zwane | Archaeobotanist – studies ancient plant remains to find out how humans used them for food, fuel, and medicine


Briana Pobiner | Palaeanthropologist – leads the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program’s education and outreach efforts


Bruce Rubidge | Palaeontologist – focuses on the Karoo fossil record and its significance in understanding the origin of mammals


Elijah Madiba | Sound engineer – works to digitise African musical heritage and connect it to contemporary communities


Jaganmoy Jodder | Geobiologist – unpacks the co-evolution of Earth and life by studying rocks and the stories they tell


Jessica Thompson | Palaeolithic anthropologist – studies interactions that our human ancestors had with their environments by analysing objects they left behind


Jonah Choiniere | Palaeobiologist – works on the evolution of theropod dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic


José Braga | Palaeanthropologist – principal investigator at the world-class UNESCO Kromdraai site where new discoveries fill important gaps in what we know about early human societies


Keneiloe Molopyane | Archaeologist and biological anthropologist – National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer, researcher at the Centre for the Exploration of the Deep Human Journey


Kimi Chapelle | Vertebrate Palaeontologist – studies the eggs of dinosaurs that lived 200 million years ago to measure how they grew, moved, and evolved


Kudakwashe Jakata | Virtual palaeontologist – creates 3D digital visualisations of fossils to fill in the gaps and reconstruct the past


Lee Watkins | Ethnomusicologist – his interests vary from music and intangible heritage, to music relating to politics and marginality


Rob Muir | Geologist – currently works on recalibrating the tectonic events that occurred during the breakup of Gondwana


Robyn Pickering | Geochemist – uses the uranium-series dating method to work out the ages of carbonate rocks associated with important sites of human evolution


Rongedzayi Fambasayi | Children’s museum head – pioneering a transformative model to teach early childhood science and climate change

Tammy Hodgskiss | Archaeologist, museum curator – her passion is ochre use in the past and present in southern Africa



TEDxJohannesburgSalon | LIFE: Past. Present. Future.
The Forum
57 Sloane St, Bryanston, Sandton, 2191
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