Lectures-on-the-NOW

” – The first principle is that you must not fool yourself -…” Richard Feynman (US physicist, Nobel Price Winner 1965)

We feel it’s important to be aware of all new technologies and social changes that emerge and surround us to an enormous extend. As part of our research, we think it’s a good idea to organise regular lectures and debates on topics that are vivid, contemporary and relevant to society, not only to present possibly ‘complex’, technological topics in an easy to understand way to an open and interested audience, we also try to stimulate interactive dialog between participants to get a good view on the relevance of those newly appearing innovations and tendencies and the sociological impact they might have.

The lectures and debates are presented in a 1h-format followed by an 1h animated debate to discuss and finalize the topic in public. Please subscribe for an event through the application form on our website.

Past events:

  • Wed 7 dec 2016 (19h): The Brain and the Visual System (part 2): Turning Light into Shape and Form (presented by Marco Boi, PhD in Neuroscience)
    How do we recognize the face of a friend in a crowd, spot our car among hundreds at the supermarket’s parking lot, or even read the characters that compose these words? These are complex tasks, even for the most sophisticated computers and yet our brain seems to accomplish them with little effort and surprising accuracy. How does the brain achieve this? How does it represent the visual world? What are the constituent elements of this representation? We are up for another fascinating tour into the visual system, this time to discover how the brain turns light into forms and shapes. Once again, visual illusions will be our lead, exposing the mechanisms that our brain uses to understand the world around us. Marco Boi earned his PhD in neuroscience from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and worked as a researcher at the Active Perception Laboratory at Boston University. His research focused on the interaction between visual perception and eye movements using methodologies that include experimental investigation and computational modelling.
  • Tue 18 oct 2016 (19h): LECTURE: Timemanagement (Ken Christiaens, founder Icon-Brussels) in Ravenstein Gallery.
    Being effective is the most convenient way to succes and being succesful has nothing to do with luck, contrary to popular belief. Many people spend large amounts of time being engaged in tasks that don’t seem to bring them much further in life. Even more, a lack of perspective or goal seems to be the reason N°1 for not being able to fulfill a specific dream. But there’s no mystery to it: succes is build on dedication, a clear view, focus and plan on objectives, persistance based on passion, flexibility to adapt and efficiency in time and peformance. In this practical and fun 1h-lecture, Ken Christiaens (Founder of ICON-Brussels), explains how he came to the point of being effective in the realisation of his dreams. He became passionate about the topic when he saw the impact it had on his own life.
    He truely believes that efficiency in one’s (or a group’s) behaviour is key to a healthy economy and social prosperity. After the lecture, there’s room to discuss the topic further in a group debate.
  • Wed 21 sept 2016 (19h): LECTURE: The Power of Subconscious Communication (Ken Christiaens, founder Icon-Brussels), in Ravenstein Gallery.
    Many people have heard about the subconscious, while for most it remains a big mystery. We don’t seem to be able to access our subconcious thoughts and behaviour easily and tend to let it unattended for this reason. It is commonly accepted by psychologists worldwide that we communicate more than 90% through bodylanguage and intonation, leaving only a small percentage for the real ‘content’ of what we say. This insight proves there’s a lot more happening when we talk to one another and certainly a lot we’re not aware of ourselves. Learning to observe and master these underlying communication habits makes all the difference in getting your message communicated profoundly and convincingly towards anyone in any professional or emotional situation.
  • Tue 20 sept 2016 (18h): ICON Opening-Season Drink (all welcome for some drinks, snacks & chats & questions or proposals of any kind in Ravenstein Gallery (Rotonde – Espace VR).
  • Mon 23 may 2016 (19h): The Brain and the Visual System: (re)contructing the image of the world, part 1  (presented by Marco Boi, PhD in Neuroscience)
    Our visual system has the ability to turn the light that strikes our retina into colours and forms. While doing this in an immediate and effortless way, our visual system is able to create a stable and reliable representation of the world. While the complex mechanisms that create this representation are normally hidden away from our awareness, they can be revealed under specific conditions. Visual illusions are artificial stimuli which expose these mechanisms by exploiting the very processes the brain uses to enable us to see. Gaining more insight in these physiological mechanisms will take us on a journey through different disciplines, spanning neuroscience, biology, artificial intelligence and art. In a fun and interactive presentation, Marco Boi (PhD) explains the basic mechanisms of visual perception by showing the many ways our brain is tricked into illusional representations of reality. He earned his PhD in neuroscience from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and worked as a researcher at the Active Perception Laboratory at Boston University. His research focused on the interaction between visual perception and eye movements using methodologies that include experimental investigation and computational modelling.
  • 3 may 2016 (19h): The Power of Subconcious Communication (Ken Christiaens, founder Icon-Brussels)
    Many people have heard about the subconcious, while for most it remains a big mystery. We don’t seem to be able to access our subconcious thoughts and behaviour easily and tend to let it unattended for this reason. It is commonly accepted by psychologists worldwide that we communicate more than 90% through bodylanguage and intonation, leaving only a small percentage for the real ‘content’ of what we say. This insight proves there’s a lot more happening when we talk to one another and certainly a lot we’re not aware of ourselves. Learning to observe and master these underlying communication habits makes all the difference in getting your message communicated profoundly and convincingly towards anyone in any professional or emotional situation.
  • Wed 9 march 2016 (19h): Solidarity & the Awareness of Democratic Principles (Jean-Paul Pinon, CEO Wecitizens)
    The way societies are structured and governed, is in permanent flux. Every choice has it’s pro- and opponents. Out of elaborate discussions between any involved political party grows a general concensus, which on itself is not always widely approved, but mostly accepted by the mass nonetheless. If we contemplate on this acceptance, we could wonder, how many of the concerned people really are aware of the majority of these decisions being made and how big is the influence of civil society on these decision-making processes. In a 45-min disquisition, Jean-Paul Pinon, ex-CEO of the CREG (Commission de Régulations de l’electricité et du Gaz) and current CEO of Wecitizens, will present a thorough analysis on the principles and current health of Belgian Democracy, proposes some opportunities for better government and will initiate a debate (1h) on how to stimulate awareness and solidarity amongst concerned civilians.
  • 19 aug 2015 (19h) : Urban Coding (Roman Miletitch)
    The advent of tube paint participated in the liberation of painting from the constrains of the painting studios. The same could be said of the advent of the laptop for digital art. Creators and makers are not anymore bound to their home, laboratory, coworking space or office. While coding everywhere is possible, what would be the advantage of sacrificing the comfort of known space to justify going to code anywhere? Urban coding is a new creative coding practice that reflect upon this question.
    The answer is that where you are does matter. Where you code does matter. It can inspire you, your creative process and nourish your code. Your surroundings, the sight at hand, the physicality of the place you’re in, the people living around… a few of the things that contribute to your experience and feed it. It’s about opening up to your surroundings and embracing your curiosity, putting it back in your creative process. The city is a playground, it gives you numerous occasion to play with and create from it. Let’s try to see what we can do from there on. 
  • 5 aug 2015 (19h): The Power of Subconcious Communication (Ken Christiaens, founder Icon-Brussels)
    Many people have heard about the subconcious, while for most it remains a big mystery. We don’t seem to be able to access our subconcious thoughts and behaviour easily and tend to let it unattended for this reason. It is commonly accepted by psychologists worldwide that we communicate more than 90% through bodylanguage and intonation, leaving only a small percentage for the real ‘content’ of what we say. This insight proves there’s a lot more happening when we talk to one another and certainly a lot we’re not aware of ourselves. Learning to observe and master these underlying communication habits makes all the difference in getting your message communicated profoundly and convincingly towards anyone in any professional or emotional situation.
  • 8 july 2015 (19h): Movement (by Roman Miletitch)
    Movement is not just a means to get around, but also a means to communicate, to give physicality to your intentions, from dance to sign language. Among the new means of interaction that are (re)discovered by technology, it is one of the most profound. Studying movement is especially hard as it can’t really be defined as a proper object with clear edges. Where does movement start & end? How can we describe it in such a way that it can be experienced again? From its capture to its visualization, understanding the nature of movement makes it easier for artists and designers alike to use it; would that be in an artistic context, as an input of an interface or through a more playful usage for game.