August 25 2017
By Kristoffe Biglete

We Celebrated it, We Trusted it- Uncertainty


Photo credit: Lukas Renlund

Photo credit: Lukas Renlund


For the event Trust Uncertainty, TEDxCopenhagen was invited to one of the most beautiful venues of the Danish capital, Glyptoteket. Surrounded by collections of Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman art 5 speakers shared their ideas on uncertainty and how to trust it.
The event was hosted by Copenhagen’s own homo universalis Johan Olsen, lead singer of the band Magtens Korridorer and scientist: he has experienced both the lab and the Roskilde orange stage, so he was a great fit for TEDxCopenhagen.


First of all, we had the very special honor of witnessing a talk by J.C. Jacobsen. 130 years after he passed, we had him on stage via a hologram. Not only was he the founder of the Carlsberg brewery, he was also an industrialist and philanthropist.  Answering every question with “probably” was his main philosophy in life.  His advice is not to be too optimistic and not being too much of a pessimist, but to think in probabilities.

Photo credit: Simon Skipper Christiansen


After J.C Jacobsen, we listened to Peter Brøndom, who is a writer, an assistant professor and a teacher in social sciences. Vividly he explained how students feel that they’re assessed all the time and how that makes them feel stressed. Strengthening the focus on learning rather than only on the rational scores, is Peter's answer. He runs a project on the high school where he teaches, creating a safe space and proving that students who aren’t always afraid of being assessed, actually do better when they are.


There’s the possibility of playing with uncertainty. And that’s exactly what Erik H. Müller does with his group of friends. They don’t just order a pizza; they throw a dice to decide which number they will order.  This is also how they decide on places to go and recipes to cook. In this way Erik and his friends let go of planning and expectations and just add a spice of uncertainty to their lives. May the uncertainty be with you, he declares to the audience.

Photo credit: Lukas Renlund

Photo credit: Lukas Renlund


After the break, Søren Ekelund was on stage to give the audience the mind blowing message that we, as average people, are only able to grasp what happens close to us. We can’t really relate to danger and the odds that something bad will happen to us. For instance: did you know that we are more likely to die by being hit by an asteroid than by a terrorist attack?


The last talk was a very touching personal story by Berit Hessing. Initially she was not able to deal with the reality of her husband’s stroke. Now, she not imprisoned anymore by handling this uncertainty but she learned to trust in her power to embrace the uncertainty in life.


All in all, we learned to create a safe space, add a spice of uncertainty, know what we don’t know, embrace uncertainty and say “probably” more often. Will this help us in trusting uncertainty? Probably!


By Catharina Hart


Couldn't make it to Trust Uncertainty? Looking to relive the experience? Share these ideas worth spreading with your friends and family? Check out the incredible photos on Facebook, and keep an eye on the TEDxCopenhagen online channels over the next few months as the individual recorded talks will be posted. 

Make sure to follow @tedxcopenhagen on social media.