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TEDx Brisbane

October 17, 2011

On Saturday, I attended Brisbane’s second, sold-out, TEDx event at the State Library of Queensland along with hundreds of others seeking to connect with ideas about culture, society, sustainability and collective solutions to global issues. An offshoot of the original TED series of inspirational talks, TEDx events are independently curated, facilitated and supported, but share the same format and goals. 22 TEDx events were simultaneously running around the world on October 15… Nice!

Spread over four sessions, the one-day event jam-packed 16 x 18 minute featured talks on the theme ‘… and all you need is…’. Each of the four sessions had a different focus: To connect; To be open; Hope; and Change. And a host of three minute ‘brain bursts’ interspersed the program with interesting projects, performances and little known facts.

While each of the speakers’ work in very different areas, they shared a passion for what they do and an approach of simply ‘getting on with it’.

The purpose of this post is not to review all the presentations, but instead to bring awareness to the TED series as an important tool for sharing ideas and bringing people together. But while I’m here, I have to mention my top five of the day:

1. Eva Cox – Writer, feminist, sociologist, social commentator and activist, “We need to remember we are living in a society, not an economy.” (Vote Eva #1 for the top job!)

2. Frank Ansell – Traditional indigenous healer (nungkari) and lawman from the Eastern Arrernte desert country in Central Australia, “We are connected first through our soul, then our spirit, then our mind and finally, our body comes last…”

3. Cathy Henkel – Virgo Productions and producer of the yet to be released documentary Project Borneo 3D – 100 Days in the Jungle, about standing up and actually doing something to help save the Amazon in Borneo.

4. Jeff Waldman – The ‘swing’ guy with a gorilla project focused on installing swings in public places for the shear joy of it, “It’s all about the push, the interaction that happens between people when they push each other on a swing.”

5. Paul Osuch – Anywhere Theatre, a new and accessible model for theatre, bringing theatre to people and celebrating the artists… and it works!

I have to mention the museos, Gordon Hamilton for his Toy Story 3 = Awesome (The Facebook Song), and Linsey Pollack for his incredible music making craftsmanship (yes, he did, in under three minutes, make a clarinet out of a carrot whilst on stage and then rocked the house), if not for the fact that they are both passionate and talented, but they make people smile with what they do. That’s a change agent all in itself…

While the day was full of inspiration and connecting to people and ideas, it left me equally on a high and in a low. On a high as I was completely inspired by the work of many of the speakers and felt the drive in myself to push harder to make a difference somewhere in my life. And in a low because, next to these amazing people and their projects, it made me question the importance and relevance of my own work and my own direction. I discussed this later with friends and contemplated that this intense introspection is actually a good thing. It means I’m not complacent with where I am and that I want to strive to do more, and do it better, make it more relevant and have more impact and reach.

So, I guess you could say that TEDx 2011 Brisbane did it’s job…

Don’t miss out next year…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2011 11:43 AM

    Couldn’t agree with you more KT. I’m feeling exactly the same way! Thanks for summing it up 🙂

    • October 17, 2011 5:59 PM

      Thanks Carl! And, a HUGE thank you to Paul Fairweather and yourself, for making this event possible in Brisbane. For two years in a row you have both given so much of yourselves to this much needed forum and I hope that it has also given back to you more than you had hoped for. Congratulations and again, thank you!

  2. October 17, 2011 7:28 PM

    Hit the nail right on the head for me too KT! Cannot wait for next year!

  3. October 29, 2011 7:04 PM

    How was it “sold out”? I thought it was free.

    • October 30, 2011 11:43 AM

      You’re right, the tickets were free, but there were only a certain number available, given the finite number of seats in the auditoriums. So, all the tickets were allocated! Lots of people, great energy!

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