TEDxWellington was held last Sunday at Wellington's St James Theatre.
It was truly a magical day of speakers, surprises and sharing - one that I truly relished the chance to be a part of as a Wellington blogger! While the event was sold out, it was live streamed over the internet to various libraries about Wellington (and the talks will be available at www.tedxwellington.com soon!).
The theme for this year's event was 'What's your perspective?'. It was more than a jazzy name, however. Through the day we were treated to dozens of different opportunities to think and get perspective on everything from gender equality to posture. Feminism, the environment, mental health and changing how we think of social factors and governance were, in fact, major themes from the day.
For me it was extra special, getting to see an event which I've been involved with in the past, as a guest for the day. I loved the location - St James Theatre has all the majesty TED demands. I arrived at 9 am, was warmly greeted and given a passport for coffee with Mojo throughout the day. From here, I was shown the door into the theatre itself. This would be my home for the next 8 hours!
"Feminism, the environment, mental health and changing how we think of social factors and governance were, in fact, major themes from the day"
Sarb, the MC, kicked off the day by getting everyone to take a selfie with their neighbour for a different perspective on things. We launched into the world of TED with the most incredible graphics prepared by Fox & Co, one of the partners of TED. It is worth mentioning that TEDxWellington couldn't happen without sponsorship and this year there were many new great names, from Talent Army to Victoria University of Wellington, who helped make the day happen. After volunteering in 2014 and 2016, I know how important these guys are!
The speakers on the day were as diverse as the topics they covered. Clare Christian talked about why a nut from Bougainville could change the planet and help those in need. Bop Murdoch, Jody Burrell and Sarah Tuck explained why a 'gym' culture is needed for mental health (Co-Liberate). Irene Wakefield of not-for-profit Pre-Pair (which educates girls about emotional abuse) spoke of why we need to have uncomfortable conversations. Surfboard designer Jack Candlish told the story of how he surfed the eco-design wave. Jason Long performed the impossible drum solo. Former Ministry For Women CEO Jo Cribb wanted to close the gender pay gap. The link between Penguins and Kaitiakitanga was shared by John Cockerem. Marjan Van den Belt talked about overcoming the addiction to constant growth was confronting. Latino scientist Melissa Marquez told us why sharks and female scientists are more alike than we think. Nik Curry explained postural patterning. Phil Sage, toy designer, shared by toys matter. Pomegranate Kitchen founder Rebecca Stewart told us why refugees are a recipe for our workforce. And Tuaine-Nurse Tamarua Robati shared how we could nurture young leaders through dance and creativity (you can find out more about all the speakers here).
"The speakers on the day were as diverse as the topics they covered"
The day was broken up by 'breakout sessions' where, apart from eating and drinking, Delegates (as attendees are called on the day) could mingle with the speakers, take photos, drink juice, try coffee from around the world and even pose with the TED sign.
It is hugely exciting to see how far TEDxWellington has come in just 5 short years, from humble beginnings as TEDxTeAro. Licence holder DK and Head Of Delegate Experience Hannah Wignall pour their hearts and souls into making an incredible day for all. TEDxWellington left me feeling uplifted, inspired and full of hope for the future. They truly pulled off a world-class TEDx event in 2017, helped along the way with some wonderful team members and day-volunteers, who filled the day at TEDxWellington with energy and joy.
To keep up to date with when the next TEDxWellington event is on, including the Salon events which exist to build the TEDx community in Welly, make sure you follow their Facebook and TEDxWellington on Twitter.