Record breaker: Hanil Prinsloo is the female record free diver. *Photo supplied
Record breaker: Hanil Prinsloo is the female record free diver. *Photo supplied

TUESDAY, SEPT. 18: Turning harmful carbon dioxide into fuel, defeating earthquakes, and setting free diving records are just some of the fascinating  subjects to be presented at the upcoming TEDx conference. 

Five experts will discuss pertinent aspects of their fields at the third annual conference being held at the Fairmont Southampton Resort next month. TEDx is an independently organized off-shoot of non-profit organization TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) dedicated to “Ideas Worth Sharing”. 

Noted international speakers include geophysicist Sossina Haile, a professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, who will talk about his work converting CO2 into fuel, Ross Stein, one of the world’s most cited experts on earthquake science, and female record holding free diver Hanli Prinsloo.

The talk will also include a number of local luminaries yet to be announced.

Marketing Chair Paul Shapiro said: “If you love TED, then you are going to love this year’s line up from TEDxBemuda. 

“We promise to live up to the moniker ‘ideas worth spreading’. We are fortunate to have the kind support of local sponsors Catlin Bermuda, Capital G, Partner Re, CellOne, HSBC and Renaissance Re.” 

Early bird tickets are available through through Premier Tickets for $50.

Here are the profiles for the international speakers provided by Tedx Bermuda:


Norman Seeff — Understanding Creativity:

In 1969, Norman Seeff gave up being an emergency medical doctor in Soweto, South Africa and emigrated to the US to explore a new vocation in the arts. In New York City, Seeff was introduced to the world of album cover design and photography by his mentor, famed graphic designer Bob Cato. His first major photographic assignment—for The Band’s album cover—in collaboration with Cato, brought him immediate recognition. In 1972, Seeff relocated to Los Angeles to become Creative Director of United Artist Records.

Three years later, he opened an independent studio on Sunset Boulevard and began bringing film crews into his photo-sessions to document the personal dynamics of artists in the act of creation. The extensive film and tape archive of hundreds of recorded sessions forms the foundation of the The Sessions Project, an evolution of his work that has become a four-decade exploration and documentation of the inner dynamics of creativity in all its forms.

Seeff’s recently completed documentary, Triumph of the Dream, explores the inner dynamics of the creative process of engineers and scientists responsible for landing two rovers on Mars in 2004.

Seeff is currently engaged in the production of an eight-part documentary television series on the power of creativity which will feature The Sessions Project archive. For more information visit:


Sossina Haile — Turning CO2 into Fuel:

Sossina M. Haile is the Carl F. Braun Professor of Materials Science and of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She earned her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. As part of her studies, Haile spent two years at the Max Plank Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart, Germany, first as a Fulbright Fellow then as a Humboldt Fellow. Before assuming her present position at Caltech in 1996, Haile was a member of the faculty at the University of Washington. Her research broadly encompasses solid state ionic materials and devices, with particular focus on energy technologies. She has established a new class of fuel cells based on solid acid electrolytes, and demonstrated record power densities for solid oxide fuel cells. Her more recent work on water and carbon dioxide dissociation for solar-fuel generation by thermochemical processes has created new avenues for harnessing sunlight to meet energy demands. Haile is the recipient of many prestigious awards including an Innovation (ACI) Fellowship in 2008 from the National Science Foundation. Haile was named by Newsweek magazine in its 2007 end of the year issue as one of 12 people to watch in 2008. 


Hanli Prinsloo —  I am Water:

Hanli Prinsloo is an 11-times South African free diving record holder, filmmaker and avid ocean adventurer. She has a background in acting and documentary filmmaking as well as 13 years of competitive free diving experience. Her filmmaking work has taken her into the front lines of social political conflict all over Africa, from Burundi to Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda and  Zimbabwe. She now focuses all her energy on ocean conservation through human experience, founding the I AM WATER Conservation Trust in 2010.

Using free diving as a tool, Hanli has trained an array of top athletes, from rugby players to swimmers and surfers—working with mental toughness, mind over body control and consciousness. Her work with the world’s top big wave surfers has won her international recognition and acclaim. As a competitive free diver, Hanli holds all the South African records, and is ranked in the Top 10 Female free divers internationally for 2011.


Ross Stein — Defeating Earthquakes:

Ross Stein is a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, who studies how earthquakes interact by the transfer of stress. From 1993 to 2003, the Science Citation Index reported Stein was the second most cited author in earthquake science. He received an ScB Magna cum Laude and with Honours from Brown University in 1975, a PhD from Stanford University in 1980, and was Observatory Post-Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University during 1981. Dr Stein led non-proprietary seismic hazards investigations for Swiss Re on Istanbul (2000) and Tokyo (2006), for the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance on Algiers (2009), and for Zurich Financial Services on Santiago (2011). 

He received the Eugene M. Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award of the USGS in 2000, the Excellence in Outreach Award of the Southern California Earthquake Center in 1999, and the Outstanding Contributions and Cooperation in Geoscience Award from NOAA in 1991. 


Peter Bentley — Embracing Chaos:

Dr Peter J Bentley is an Honorary Reader and Senior College Teacher at the Department of Computer Science, University College London (UCL), Collaborating Professor at the Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST), Visiting Fellow at SIMTech, A*STAR, Singapore, Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College, London, a contributing editor for Wired UK, a consultant and a freelance writer. He achieved a PhD in evolutionary computation applied to design in 1996, at the age of 24. His research investigates evolutionary algorithms, computational development, artificial immune systems, swarming systems and other complex systems, applied to diverse applications including novel robotics, nanotechnology, mobile wireless devices and music composition. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and is editor of the books Evolutionary Design by Computers, Creative Evolutionary Systems and On Growth, Form and Computers, and author of The PhD Application Handbook and the popular science books Digital Biology, The Book of Numbers, The Undercover Scientist and the forthcoming Digitized.