TEDx NTU 2018: Greater than the Sum of its Parts

From a teeming mass of hot gas to the Blue Planet of Life, every second, our Earth ages, we let complexity pervade our lives a bit more, either by an act of nature or that of man. With the rapid progress of mankind, the term, ‘complex’ has come to occupy an ever-expanding meaning in the dictionary of every-day life.

If we were to explain ‘complexity’, we would probably talk about various aspects such as inter-dependence, connectivity, synergy and such.

As the ecologist Nigel Franks puts it, “The solitary army ant is behaviorally one of the least sophisticated animals imaginable…If 100 army ants are placed on a flat surface, they will walk around and around in never decreasing circles until they die of exhaustion.” Yet put half a million of them together and the group as a whole emulates a hard-to-predict “superorganism” with sophisticated, and sometimes frightening, “collective intelligence.” More is indeed different! To put it another way, we can say that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

This thrilling concept leads us to a pertinent question, amongst others:

How much do we know about the interdependence around us, as oneself or as a community?

With TEDxNTU 2018, we hope to inspire our community by giving them a peek at the world through the eyes of our synergists, embracers of complexity, innovators, scientists, philosophers, designers, economists, social workers, and artists. We bring together speakers from various spheres to share their take on the beautifully complex world we reside in.


Subra SureshEducator & Scientist

Ben SheddFilm Maker & Producer

Laavanya KathiraveluSociologist

Violet LimMatchmaking Entrepreneur

Gul InancCulture Champ

Jingmei LiCancer Detective

Daniel TayFood Rescuer

Daniel TehSocial Entrepreneur

For any queries write to [email protected]

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We hope you can make it!

Sponsored by:

NTU WoW (World of Wisdom)

Supported by: 

The John Cheung Endowment Fund

NTU Student Affairs Office

Graduate Student Association


National Institute of Education

NTU Library

NTU Entrepreneurship Society

Nanyang Technopreneurship Center (NTC)


Women in Asia

Energy Research Institute (ERIAN)

Satellite Research Center (SARC)


TEDx NTU 2018: Greater than the Sum of its Parts
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