The TedxAuckland 2013 Experience


Yesterday the Aotea Centre hosted TedxAuckland, a day for people to step on stage and inspire us with their ideas and experiences. I was a last minute booker, torn between the chance of saving $90 and the unknown. I am very glad that I bought that ticket.

Here are some of my favourite talks, with places online that I was inspired to check out.

Lillian Grace

Lillian expressed a need for us to understand more about our country in order to allow it to reach its full potential. I am shamed to say, I did not know Wiki New Zealand existed. But now that I have found it, I am quite addicted. The site takes data about NZ and displays it in simple ways, unbiased in the sense that it has no analysis or commentary. Anyone can contribute.

Wiki New Zealand

David Trubridge

Trubridge discussed the way that we as humans process thought between each side of our brain.

“In essence the right brain initially perceives the bigger picture, seeing things in context and in relation to one another. The left brain then takes over and examines them in detail — it is able to de-contexturalise and to abstract. Finally it hands this analysis back to the right brain to put it into the larger context again for action.”

Read his blog post on this for more.

Trubridge then drew parallels with this idea to firstly the artistic process (i.e. right-left-right = Art-Design-Craft), and then the different periods of time (e.g. Industrial Revolution-Romantics-Modernism).

Grace Taylor

To someone like me, who associates poetry with falling asleep in English class at school, this was a definite eye-opener. Both her and the accompanying students’ poetry was awe-inspiring. I can’t do this justice with my own words so I’ll wait for when they post the video.

Brian Sweeney

Studies show that media portrays New Zealand to overseas countries negatively as many times positively. Sweeney took some negative perceptions of NZ and turned them on their head, demonstrating the astonishing effect of even one word, e.g. expatriate vs diaspora, brain drain versus world-wide network.

Sweeney runs the NZ Edge project, showcasing New Zealand-related news stories from all over the world – again something I was not previously aware of but now obsessing over. What an awesome PR tool.

NZ Edge Logo

Robyn Paterson

This was probably the most emotionally heart-wrenching talk of the day. To hear about the terrible situation in Zimbabwe from someone who was so deeply involved with is first-hand was overwhelming for many of the audience, and Paterson herself, who had to take 5 minutes mid-talk to gather herself.

Discover the story yourself, with the award-winning film documentary “Finding Mercy“.

Celebrating New Zealand

I could write a paragraph on every single speaker and feel incredibly inspired by all, but those were the ones who particularly stood out for me.

To me, the best thing about this conference was the New Zealand focus – we need so much more of this! I think back to my last conference experience of Webstock back in February, and recall the feeling of temporarily being in America. Don’t get me wrong, Webstock is incredible, but I believe we need to be promoting New Zealand, its leading people and their achievements stronger in all of our industries.


Visit the TedXAuckland website >


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