TEDxAuckland 2013 Preview Speakers

As with previous TEDxAuckland events I am very pleased to be helping out again. The event is on Saturday August 3rd at Aotea Centre and is a brilliant and inspiring way to spend a day.

One of the things that I love about the TEDx format is being able to spend a day hearing from multiple disciplines and viewpoints. Some of the speakers I would not be interested in but given the 18 min talk constraint I am open to being surprised by them.

I do know that all speakers have been through an extensive selection process and many great people don’t make it because we want the programme to cover a range of ideas and topics. Once selected each speaker is encouraged to up their game on the presentation front. ( Tickets $70-90 available online here)

With only 11 speakers named so far it is a fair guess to say that there are at least 3 more to be announced. I’m particularly looking forward to hearing from Dale Williams who has a great story to tell ( but only if he doesn’t mention motocycles) of community success.

“Dale Williams who is Mayor of Otorohanga and Chair of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs. A certified motorcycle engineer by trade, Dale has first-hand experience launching and growing successful motorcycle dealerships and training young people through apprenticeship programs.

Passionate about helping young people achieve the best career outcomes for their personal circumstances, Dale is an advocate of non-academic vocational pathways, realising that not all young people are suited to tertiary education.”

Speakers announced so far include

Robert Oliver – Chef, David Trubridge – David has won many awards both nationally and internationally including New Zealand’s most prestigious design award, the John Britten Award, Malcolm Rands of ecostore, Sophie Tamati of the Hika programs – Hika EXPLORER and Hika LITE – designed to support students and teachers achieve their language goals.

Robyn Paterson – the film maker behind Finding Mercy a Zimbabwe project I have written about before. Grace Taylor will bring us some poetry. Pete Russell of Out of our own backyards (Ooooby) is the result of his work – a local food operation delivering to hundreds of Auckland doorsteps each week. Jimi Hunt is founder of the depression charity Live More Awesome plus former Prime Minister Helen Clark, Richard Faull from Med School and Dale Williams – Mayor of Otorohanga.

2013 speakers for TEDxAuckland

“Richard Faull is professor and director of the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland. Raised in a small Taranaki farming community, Richard discovered his passion for the human brain as a young medical student and has spent his life pursuing exciting, innovative and groundbreaking research in this field at the University of Auckland. Richard’s work has been widely recognised internationally and through appointments as Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Officer of the NZ Order of Merit, and receiving of many awards including New Zealand’s highest scientific award, the Royal Society Rutherford Medal.”

When I heard Helen was speaking I wasn’t so sure that was a great idea. I admired her as a politician and even voted for her but I think the UN is past its use by date. What will be great is is she can make a personal connection and illuminate her extraordinary life so far so she is my wildcard so far.

“Helen Clark is Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – the first woman to lead the organization – and Chair of the United Nations Development Group. Prior to joining the UNDP Helen served as Prime Minister of New Zealand for three terms, during which time she was widely engaged in policy development and advocacy across international, economic, social and cultural spheres. Now living in New York, Helen is a passionate supporter of the arts as evidenced by her promotion of the arts, culture and heritage portfolio during her time as Prime Minister.”

Picking great speakers is not as easy as it looks. There are a myriad of rules designed to save us from being hustled by sales people and celebrities and to save us from being bored. In my world brain research is very cool so somewhere between Richard Faull, Dale Williams, Helen Clark and Grace Taylor I am expecting to be surprised and delighted by some kiwi ideas worth spreading.

Note: the featured pic is from Live More Awesome speaker Jimi Hunt.