The Expressions of Interest for TEDxNoosa 2014 SPACE is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered their idea worth sharing.
After a sold-out inaugural event in April, TEDxNoosa is gearing up to bring another world-class lineup of speakers to the Sunshine Coast in 2014. But first, it needs you to help find them.
Expressions of interest are now open for speakers and performers at TEDxNoosa 2014, which will be held on Friday, April 4 at The J in Noosa Junction. The theme for the event is ‘Space’, and licensee Brian Keayes says topics can range from the depths of outer space to local, personal or community space.
“The TEDx platform is about sharing ideas and innovation, and we chose space as the theme because it represents the ultimate in human knowledge and endeavour,” Keayes says. “But within that there’s also scope to explore our personal or creative spaces, as well as local and community issues.”
Several speakers are already confirmed for 2014 including international surfer Mark Visser, who grew up on the Sunshine Coast and will share his unique perspective on space, gleaned over more than a decade spent chasing the biggest waves in the world.
Others who are interested in speaking or performing at the 2014 event are invited to submit a short proposal via the TEDxNoosa website, outlining their background and their “idea worth spreading”.
“We’re looking for people who simply have great ideas that tie into the theme – not just people who have a great stage presence or are great public speakers,” Keayes says.
The TEDxNoosa team was thrilled with the 2013 event, which featured 17 speakers from a variety of fields and was also live streamed online. On the day, attendees also had the chance to experience some of the latest developments in technology and enterprise at TEDxNoosa’s Innovation Alley.
“We had 330 people in The J on the day, which was the venue’s capacity, and we had almost another 1000 watching via the TEDxNoosa website,” Keayes says. “Since the talks were uploaded to the web in May they have received more than 36,000 views and that is growing daily.”
TEDx is a global platform dedicated to uncovering the world’s leading thinkers in the fields of Technology, Entertainment, Design and beyond. Keayes says he and the team are proud to bring the concept to Noosa, and are looking forward to uncovering a new crop of local change-makers.
“Our first TEDxNoosa really showed the depth and calibre of ideas that we have right here on the Sunshine Coast,” he says. “The feedback and response to the 2013 event has been amazing, and we’re looking forward to partnering with the local community to put together another world-class TEDxNoosa in 2014.”
Watch the two minute overview of what TEDxNoosa is all about.
After a sold-out inaugural event in April, the TEDxNoosa team is calling for expressions of interest for next year’s program, which will be held on April 4, 2014. The theme for 2014 is ‘Space’ and the team is looking for passionate, engaging thinkers who can present a talk based around this concept – whether it be inner or personal space, local or global space or the distant reaches of outer space. Contact Us with your idea here.
The inaugural TEDxNoosa on April 12 was as a sellout with The J Noosa at full capacity. 360 enthusiastic attendees heard 17 speakers from a variety of fields share their TEDxNoosa talks. The event also featured the first live-stream of an event from The J in Noosa. People who missed out will be able to view the talks online at the TEDxNoosa website in the coming weeks.
During the all day event, attendees experienced thought-provoking talks, fabulous local food, live music, art projects and innovation alley which showcased new innovations from local organisations. We’ve had such positive feedback from speakers and attendees alike. One of the most exciting outcomes has been the community connections that were facilitated by the event and the new ideas and collaborations that have since taken shape.
Building on the success of this year’s event, TEDxNoosa has announced next year’s theme as “Space 2014”. Next year’s event will explore aspects of space such as the inner, outer and beyond. Speaker applications will be opening in the coming months.
The final session of TEDxNoosa, themed Global, featured speakers who work on an international level and was designed to broaden our aspirations for change. First up was professional hacker Chris Drake, who delivered what I thought was one of the most humorous talks of the day, even though I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about most of the time.
The internet is the ultimate global concept, and to illustrate the difficulties associated with protecting a business against online crime or fraud Chris presented a complex hypothetical web which stretched across countries and continents and did all sorts of illegal or damaging things, yet was impossible to trace (though that might have been by virtue of our hacker’s mad skills). After the first three steps I’d lost the trail entirely, which illustrates just how difficult it is for the average tech-muddler like me to understand and defend against online crime in an increasingly globalised world. You need to watch this talk (and be puzzled) firsthand to grasp the intricacies of Chris’s final call to action.
Louise Visser and Alice Jones, owners and designers of ethical clothing company Sinerji, then spoke about international manufacturing and how they’d chosen to forego ‘traditional’ manufacturing methods – which often involve cruel, unsafe working conditions, child labour, unsustainable wages and dangerous chemicals and dyes – in favour of embracing real, old-fashioned traditional methods using handmade, chemical-free fabrics and natural dyes. Their manufacturing process allows families to work within their own communities and pass trades down along generations.
Louise and Alice challenged us to think about where our clothing is coming from: if you’re currently wearing something from any of the major American labels, and even some of the best-loved Australian labels, it’s likely it was made in a sweatshop.
But that’s what keeps costs down and makes a label profitable, right? Not necessarily. Louise and Alice talked us through an alternative understanding of ‘profit’ and ‘loss’, where these concepts aren’t just lines on a balance sheet but human and ethical losses and gains. While implementing the Sinerji business strategy in Australia has been challenging, Louise and Alice say focusing on a different kind of gain – rather than purely financial – is where their true profit is found.
Ben Johnston is a designer, futurist and digital tastemaker, and an avid surfer. His metaphor of choice was a wave: using an interactive presentation of the earth and its weather patterns he invited us to imagine that ideas are waves, and that grasping an idea and making it happen is like catching a wave – you need to be in the right place at the right time, and to paddle at the perfect speed.
Having an understanding of the forces which create that wave allows us to better prepare for it, and so Ben took us through his model of contextual mapping, which involves understanding the forces at play – whether they be political, environmental, sociological or financial – when we generate or harness an idea. Part of being a futurist is developing the ability to imagine an idea’s eventual endpoint and to step back through the stages, rather than the other way around.
Changing our community
Our second speaker in the Local section was software developer Ben Duncan, who spoke about growth of a different kind: the growth of innovation and the technology industries here on the Sunshine Coast. Ben operates his international software company from Peregian Beach and talked us throught what the Coast needs to do to turn itself into the next Silicon Valley (or Tel Aviv, which surprisingly is the second largest hotspot for tech innovation in the world).
Ben says tech hotspots require a few key elements: events and meet-ups (like TEDx Noosa!); co-working spaces, where start-ups can easily and affordably establish a base; incubators (which we have here on the Coast, in the form of the Innovation Centre; and access to capital. That last one is crucial, as its something Australia is lagging in: US-based start-ups raise five times the amount of capital in the early stages, and 100 times the capital when ready to scale. Local start up companies need savvy investors willing to contribute, and Ben suggested that rather than investing in a dinosaur park, a tech park may be a more beneficial Coolum icon? (We hope you’re watching the live stream, Mr Palmer.)
We quickly moved from young industries to ageing populations courtesy architect Phil Smith, who used the story of his own grandfather’s twilight years to illustrate the changes — both emotional and spatial — affecting our older generations. He asked us to think not about where we want to live, but where we want to die, because the question of how to effectively and compassionately accommodate Australia’s ageing population is one of the greatest challenges we face as a society.
Phil has worked with seniors on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane to analyse what they are looking for in a living situation. Turns out it’s access: to amenities, to transport, to education, to street-based shopping, and to young people, because they know this community keeps them young. This is called ageing in neighbourhood, rather than ageing in place — we want to live in a vibrant, mixed-use urban community, rather than be defined (and isolated) by our houses.
According to Phil, this involves change at the structural and grassroots level, and he believes the catalyst for change can be designers, who need to recognise that design is “not just there to solve the problems of the young, rich and funky”, but to promote what he calls collective activism:”Identify your community and, together, act to transform it”. It’s another example of how the personal can be powerful, and how our individual needs and desires can be shared and harnessed to build better communities.
Changing our environment
If there was one practical element of life I could never imagined I’d worry so much about, it would have to be the price of electricity: opening your power bill prompts a particularly adult kind of terror, right? (Imagine how the planet must feel about it.) Rising electricity prices are a big watercooler topic, so much so that one in ten Australian homes now uses solar energy to reduce its costs — and its environmental impact.
Peter Fries, our first speaker from the Local section of the program, is a solar pioneer — in the mid ’90s he designed and built Solar One, the first residential home in Australia to feed energy back into the power grid (and it was right here in Noosa). He also developed the first electricity purchase agreement (which is what you sign up for when you install a solar system today) and received the first ever cheque from the government for solar PV power fed back to the grid (for $7 — but still!).
Last week the 100,000,000th Australian home installed solar, and while this is a huge advancement from 1994 — when there were none — Fries told us we still have a long way to go if we want to wean ourselves off our current dependency on fossil fuels. Albert Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge, and a show of hands showed almost everyone in the audience can imagine a future that’s totally dependent on renewable sources for all our energy needs. We have the knowledge, but our politicians and leaders can’t seem to imagine it, so we need to invest in our future to make it happen.
Fries suggested we can do this by lobbying our super funds to invest in clean tech industries: an intriguing idea, and one that was also raised by our fourth speaker, Graeme Sait from Nutri-Tech Industries. Graeme’s talk introduced us to humus, the layer of soil essential for healthy food production which is being gradually depleted by unsustainable farming practices. He said 467 billion tonnes of carbon have been released from the soil into the atmosphere, and we desperately need to return that carbon, and start replenishing the humus, if we’re going to reverse the impact.
We can do this by supporting farmers who use sustainable practice and by lobbying our local council to provide a composting service; we can also pay carbon credits to those food producers who are doing the right thing: “Human initiative knows no bounds if it’s well funded,” Graeme said. How to pay for it? At the moment only two per cent of super funds are invested in sustainable industries, while 55 per cent are invested in companies that actively promote the consumption of fossil fuels. Reversing those numbers might be a start.
After a quick conversation break (and some delicious homemade soup) we heard the first three speakers from the ‘Outer’ section of the program. These speakers all talked about love as a catalyst for change, though each focused on a different type of relationship.
Matt Hope shared the story of his baby girl falling ill when she was only a few days old. His gratitude at her recovery inspired him to use his business — a successful building franchise with more than 20 offices — to build an orphanage in Africa. He spoke beautifully about the shared nature of human experience, and how we gain personal fulfilment from helping others rather than focusing on ourselves.
Toni Powell gave us a refreshingly honest account of her own marriage, and used it as an example to illustrate the power of the way we see and describe one another. We’re good at seeing faults, Toni said, at criticising and complaining, which blinds us to the goodness in people. So we miss out on it, but we don’t have to: if we decide to speak words that repair rather than destroy, and commit to looking for the good in people, we can create incredible change in our personal relationships. Looking for good is Toni’s catalyst for change because, in her words, “We find what we look for”. It takes great personal courage to speak publicly about your own flaws and to express gratitude for the people who love you because of them, and Toni did this so wonderfully.
Janet McGeever then talked about one of the most intimate connections — the sexual relationship between two individuals. After some sobering statistics on the consumption of porn among young people she spoke about the divorcement of sex and love, which have become “strange bedfellows” in contemporary society, and how to bring the two back together to create happy, healthy sexual relationships, and therefore happy couples and families.
This relationship-based change was key to the ‘Outer’ part of the day and I think it’s been fruitful for each audience member. Not everyone has a key business or financial goal (or feels ready to enact change on a community or global level), but most of us have families, partners or close friends, and would agree improving and cementing these relationships is a worthy pursuit.
After a wonderful welcome to country from Lyndon Davies, our first speaker took the stage. The delightful Rob Nixon opened with two topics in slight contrast with his energetic nature: death and denial. He said the only certainty in life is that we’re all dying — he’s decided he’ll die when he’s exactly 100, so he has an app on his phone counting down the time he has left, which was also handy for keeping his talk to its time limit — and another certainty is that most of us are in denial.
We’re in denial about whether we’re living the best lives we can be in the time we have left. In keeping with the theme of embracing change, Rob spoke about the decisions we each have in our lives, and the vehicles we use to seek success. We have countless choices everyday, and while we always say we’ll change many people find it difficult to commit; so a huge change is recognising that we decide how we live, what we do with our time and who we surround ourselves with.
Dr Alanda Thompson and Dr Samantha Clarke also spoke about choices and change, but focused more on our interpersonal relationships. Often, they said, their clients are struggling to come to terms with their relationships because they are trying to change someone else, rather than themselves. How often have we tried to change other people? Have other people tried to change us? How did that make us feel? For Alanda and Samantha, acceptance is the key catalyst for change: the richest relationships come from acceptance of one another, which doesn’t necessarily mean liking or condoning someone’s behaviour, but seeing a situation clearly and making an informed choice based on that information.
Our third speaker, Dee Light, also spoke about acceptance, but of ourselves and our bodies, kicking off with a list of the ways we try to change our bodies — and contrasting this with the real problems the world is facing while we worry about the size of our thighs. As a Gen Y woman I found this particularly poignant, as did many others in the audience, as it challenged us to account for the ways we think about ourselves and whether we’re putting our gifts to best use.
Designer and all-round good guy Craig Mounsey finished with an example of how to utilise change in our everyday lives, talking us through an amazing project he worked on to solve that most human of problems: a baby that won’t go to sleep.
The common thread running across this morning’s talks has been the challenge of creating and accepting change within ourselves, in a world that often encourages the opposite. We know we should be happy, productive and successful, we should have healthy relationships and always look lovely — but how do we get there? And are we on the right path? Like everyone else in the audience, I’m asking these questions, and think I’m in the right place for it.
If you’re in the theatre and are trying to download the TEDx app, here it is step by step:
Click ‘schedule’ on the top menu ↑. Click the text that says ‘download the TEDx Noosa app for your smart phone’. This will take you to your App Store, where you’ll need to download the free app called YappBox. Open the app and select ‘I’ve been invited to an app’, and the TEDx Noosa app will load for you. Any dramas, send us a tweet @tedxnoosa!
After months of planning, TEDx Noosa is finally here. The team spent yesterday turning The J into a hub of creativity and inspiration ready for 17 speakers to grace the stage with their talks, starting in just under half an hour. While the speakers come from diverse backgrounds — at yesterday’s rehearsal I saw the tail end of Peter Fries’s presentation on solar energy and clean tech industries before being treated to a snippet of sound artist Leah Barclay’s composition, all in the space of 10 minutes — their talks are centred on change: how to create it, how to harness it and, most importantly, how to share it.
Registration opened at 8am, and there was a lineup at the door at least half an hour before. The stage itself looks amazing, and Guy Harrison and Josh Williams are busy putting the final touches on the audio and visual production that will live stream the event from right here on the website.
At its heart today is supposed to be one big conversation — about the ideas that shape us and our communities, and how to best work together to implement these in our lives. At last Sunday’s team induction we watched a short video from TEDx (if you watch the stream you should see it first up) about the movement’s origins and what it has achieved, and in that a delegate from Beirut said his country needed TEDx because it’s not like other Middle Eastern nations: “We don’t have oil,” he said. “All we have to offer are our ideas.”
That thought has stuck with me this week. Australia is one of the most prosperous nations on the planet, and we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. And yet if you listen to our public discourse, it seems so often we get mired down in negativity and petty squabbling. What countless other gifts do we have to offer? Why aren’t we talking about those?
You’ve been hiding some amazing ideas from us, Noosa. It’s time to share.
Turn up early to receive an early bird goodie bag. Registration starts at 8am.
In this edition, we’ll give you a behind-the-scenes sneak peak at all the preparations and a few tips for the day.
Behind the Scenes
Behind this event is a dedicated team of volunteers who can’t wait to bring you TEDxNoosa tomorrow.
Join the conversation
We want to hear your views. To enable this please use the #Tedxnoosa hashtag in your tweets.
If you are using social media during the sessions please sit towards the back of the theatre so that the speakers and fellow attendees are not distracted. We will be posting on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day also. Our guest blogger Jarna will be posting her perspectives on the blog on our website.
Let’s face it not all of us a blessed with brilliant networking skills. Here are a few tips on starting conversations at TEDx events. Not all apply, but you’ll get the idea. http://blog.ted.com/2013/02/27/10-tips-on-how-to-talk-to-people-at-tedactive/ Have fun mingling and making new connections.
If you have been unlucky enough to miss out on a ticket, don’t despair because we are livestreaming the event on our website tomorrow. ABC Coast FM will also be broadcasting live from the J.
It all starts tomorrow!
It’s a sell out! There are no more tickets available. For those that have missed out there will be a livestream of the event on the day. Go to http://tedxnoosa.com/live-stream/ from 9am on Friday, or tune into ABC Coast FM who are broadcasting on the day from The J.
TEDxNoosa was featured in the Sunshine Coast’s My Weekly Preview on 22/03/13. We were delighted about making the front cover as well.
Great coverage of our event in the Sunshine Coast Daily over the Easter Long Weekend. Great to read what our speakers had to say too.
There are only a handful of tickets remaining for TEDxNoosa. At last count, only 20 remain. It will be a sell-out!
TEDxNoosa ready to inspire, innovate and create
In less than three weeks, Noosa’s first TEDx event will present 16 speakers who will light up the stage with their ideas and stories. Most speakers are connected in some way to the Sunshine Coast and many operate at a global level in their field of expertise. Addressing the theme of catalysts for change is a leading digital tastemaker Ben Johnson, a Futurist, Architect, Technology Innovators, Psychologists and an Industrial Designer. TEDxNoosa attendees are preparing to be inspired, fascinated and moved, and are looking forward to making connections with like-minded people.
Along with the thought-provoking speakers on the main stage there will be a range of interactive experiences on offer for attendees, who will experience the interactive spaces of Innovation Alley, where ideas are brought to life and participants can touch and feel new technology and get involved in art projects. They can also get active with ABC Open’s interactive media experience. There will be opportunities to explore new ideas, browse rare books and experience technological advances such as a solar thermal model and incredible 3D printers.
As night falls, the spotlight will fall on the projection performance curated by local artist, Leah Barclay. This performance will provide a space for contemplation on the intersection between art, science, technology and indigenous knowledge. To be followed by the sounds of the Hayden Hack Infusion.
The event has attracted major sponsors including CQ University, Cloud IT, Sunshine Coast TAFE, Sunshine Coast Council and ABC Coast FM. Tickets are limited and are selling fast.
Experience the all-day, fully catered TEDxNoosa on Friday, April 12, from 9am until 6pm at The J Noosa, 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Junction. For more details see www.tedxnoosa.com or follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TEDxNoosa.
TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then, its scope has become ever broader. Past speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Bono and Philippe Starck. Along with annual conferences, TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site and local TEDx programs such as TEDxNoosa.