For nearly a decade, a huge part of my life has been devoted to a pro-bono endeavour of producing the community TEDx events here in the capital.
The decision to cancel this years event really hurt—read the full announcement here—as the 2021 event was going to be my last and boy I was aiming to go out on a high (with a 2,000 person event plus some wicked delegate experience ideas to boot as well).
Then explore new paid opportunities which align to my skill set and serves my individual purpose regarding enabling people to find and have voice through delicious learning experiences.
Am looking to work with kind humans who reach beyond their grasp and have complex problems to solve—I like intersecting disciplines, leading on collaborations and crafting outcome-based connections through content creation.
Big words for basically saying making cool and complicated stuff with nice people!
Let me know if you are in need of a DK-shaped human to assist in any creative project directing / producing.
And I will continue to offer and deliver speaker coaching (one-to-ones and group masterclasses) for select clients as well as developing out the fourth Creative Leadership NZ 2021 conference for the end of the year.
Tickets go on sale Thursday 4th March 2021 at noon.
As announced back in October, TEDxWellington 2021 will happen on 8th May 2021 and will be the biggest of its kind in the capital with 2,000 delegates at the Michael Fowler Centre.
This will be the 7th TEDx I’ve produced plus held the license for and hopefully will match all previous ones in selling out. As it’s reserved seating it will be first-come-first-served on getting the best spots in the house so knowing when the tickets are available is very important.
Top video: Learning and Work Institute’s Annual Raymond Williams Memorial Lecture was presented by the Actor and Campaigner, Michael Sheen. The event was organised in partnership with The Open University in Wales and took place on the 16th November, 2017 (LINK). Full (pdf) transcript here.
Am still reeling from the TEDache which comes from running a TEDx event, although, still smiling.
Everything we tried this year worked, even though we had no cash sponsor and had to cut the livestream option plus be very creative with the budget, all whilst going from a 1,000 speaker venue to 200 (as currently St James Theatre is undergoing earthquake restrengthening).
treasure hunts: with the first clue being handed out by our MC’s, this interaction provided an opportunity to gamify building connections between delegates. There were five clues that enabled the team participating to journey through the space, experiencing ‘chance’ encounters with TEDxWellington team members and the installations around the venue;
photobooth: creating digital takeaways to share through social channels;
head / neck / shoulders massage: because sometimes you need help in getting those ideas into your brain plus to shake off the emotions a little from the challenging talks of the previous session;
speaker stations: allocated spots for delegates to both find and connect with the speakers to dive deeper into their shared idea;
toilet interactions (yes that’s right): on the back of the cubicle doors we had a matrix of the speakers with an opportunity to mark how the talk made them feel.
silent disco: again utilising the colours related to the wristbands so that participants were grooving to tunes by ‘chance’.
The lessons learned from previous years were hard learned but oh so precious:
keep the leadership team small
outline (via ‘job descriptions’) the specific expectations for each role plus interview for these key positions
highlight this is not volunteering but actioneering (professionalism and quality is key).
Again, none of the above would’ve been possible without a dedicated group of humans (volunteers, leadership team, speakers alike plus our partners), devouting their free time / products for nothing (or a reduced rate) but feeding on the hope generator that is TEDx:
Last night was the first of five TEDxWellington speaker coaching sessions with these people:
Being surrounded by impressive souls (full bios) was a much needed reminder of the innate brilliance of humans doing superb things (from an initiative to track human rights violations to how to build homes so that the materials can be reused, a programme to teach mindfulness to children to new technology to help diagnose breast health, from ethically built sensors to monitor the health of your home to an ongoing project which cleans our underwater environment, from teaching communities to cook on a budget to an evolving body positive programme for females, from championing the use of menstrual cups for system change to rethinking our criminal justice system).
To feel that warmness of hope and genuine awe seems rare these days in the global gloom which blasts through the news and our other media channels.
Devoting time to remind oneself that the world is not what the media tells you is a must for our mental health. So thank you TEDx for continuing to offer opportunities which lightens the soul.