TEDxAuckland 2015 Preview

Back in 1810 on May 3rd Lord Byron swam across the Darnadelles Straits apparently inspired by the legend of Hero and Leander where Hero swims across each night to be with his lover on the other side.

In 1979 Sir Bob Harvey ( TEdxAuckland 2015 speaker) did that swim from Asia to Europe like many before him. I don’t know why Bob made the swim but I’m guessing the legend and Byron’s swim perhaps had something to do with it.

Byrons’ swim that day is credited as the start of open water swimming as a sport. You could say it was an idea worth spreading. The social media of Byron’s day was arguably poetry and so he wrote a poem about the swim and the idea that inspired it.

On May 2nd (just under 205 years since Byron’s epic swim*) – TEDxAuckland 2015 is taking place with another brace of speakers who have all been inspired by big ideas to do extraordinary things, to take the adventure of life and share their insights.


Speakers this year include:

    • artist Michel Tuffery, who believes in “the possibility of art to create connections”
    • Dr. Hong, Sheng Chiong – eye care without borders
    • Dr Siouxsie Wiles who is thinking about how parenting is affected by the smallest things like the gender stereotyping of toys
    • Shaun Hendy – Professor of Physics and Director of Te Punaha Matatini. Shaun was co-author of a book on innovation with the late Sir Paul Callaghan. Speaking on: How can #nz be one of the most innovative places on the planet?
    • Riley (14) of Young Ocean Explorers along with her Dad Steve.
    • Lisa Matisoo-Smith from Otago University a specialist in looking at the biological evidence for the human settlement of the Pacific.
    • Janette Searle of Take My Hands -which is a charitable organisation that redistributes prosthetic, orthotic and medical equipment to those in need.
    • Sir Bob Harvey recently published his biography ‘A Life Less Ordinary’. Sir Bob’s involvement in leadership, creativity and his passion for the environment will be the foundation of his TEDx talk
    • Billie Jordan gathered up her elderly neighbours (aged 68 to 96 years old) and established them as a hip hop dance crew with the audacious goal of performing at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas within eight months. The Hip Operation Crew is the world’s oldest dance group (Guinness World Records, 2014)

As usual there will be more speakers announced before the event. If you check the TEDxAuckland website there is a ticketing link where you can buy tickets.

* The swim connection is just a serendipitous coincidence in case you are wondering.