A celebration of diversity and commonality: GENOME // All Kinds of Humans installation at TEDxCERN explained in 3 questions

This year at TEDxCERN we welcome Dan Acher, TEDxLausanne speaker and Founder of Swiss-based Happy City Lab. Dan’s ground-breaking GENOME installation will be on show outside of the main auditorium, guests at TEDxCERN can engage and experience it.

But how do you explain lasers creating a representative map of humankind? We asked Dan three killer questions to get there…


What inspired you to start this project?

The basis of this work is my fascination with universality and diversity – or going from the archetype to the whole of humanity. We are all individuals but we are all made of the same matter.


And what exactly is the GENOME // All Kinds of Humans installation?

Put simply, a genome is a map of who we are. GENOME // All Kinds of Humans uses lasers to juxtapose the results of two pieces of research:  the Human Referenced Genome and the 1000 Genomes Project sequences. It draws an aerial map of humankind in all its beauty and diversity. GENOME is based on one of the first major global collaborations of its kind, with project data being entirely open source. And that’s by far the best way to spread knowledge.


“We live in a world where we are more and more detached from our emotions and each other. We need to create more situations where strangers can share knowledge and emotions in order to reconnect as a society”



What’s the message?

Breaking barriers in how we think about diversity. If finding the common traits that unite us is important, celebrating our differences is essential. Both help us to advance together as a species and we need this now more than ever.

Dan Acher interviewed by TEDxCERN web editor Kathryn Porteous

Happy City Lab: http://happycitylab.com/en/project/genome/