A barrage of stuff to wade through and be delighted / surprised / challenged by.
The moment Wales went into national two-week ‘firebreak’ Covid lockdown.
This thread of me handing out the TEDxWellington Call for Speakers / Performers cards.
The Rasterbator: enlarge images to multiple pages so you can print and combine them into huge posters.
If you need to chill and with 8 hours of sounds / views from sleeping in a tent when it rains outside.
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.
Boldly planning a mammoth capital experience.
For the past seven years or so I’ve been dedicating my pro-bono time to the TEDxWellington endeavour and last night we announced our public call for speakers and performers.
This is a not-for-profit venture for the wider community organisers by a wonderful bunch of humans volunteering their precious time to enable local stories go global.
The next event will be the biggest of its kind with 2,000 delegates at the award-winning Michael Fowler Centre, held on 8th May 2021.
What a time to be considering such a grand thing, however, with the ‘team of 5 million’ again pulling together to eliminate community transmission of COVID-19 from our shores, we’re leaning into the hope this will sustain through to next year and beyond.
So if you know anyone in or associated with the Wellington-region who has an idea worth spreading, here’s their chance to get considered for the TEDxWellington 2021 stage:
Time to get clicking and fill your eyes / brain / heart.
Boris Johnson’s threat of a no-deal Brexit will not break EU unity, says the the Brexit coordinator for the European parliament.
Seven of the top carbon emitters are being sued for their failure to protect New Zealanders from climate change, in a new High Court proceeding.
Facebook launches ‘clear history’ tool – but it won’t delete anything.
Electric scooters aren’t as eco-friendly as they seem, study finds.
“For the first time in a thousand years, I have no path”:
Official 10 Hour Version of a track which is scientifically proven to chill you out:
The hope generator that is TEDxWellington (full 2019 event review here):
This online collaborative effort to name every color in the RGB/web space.
Image credit: Photo by Alfonso Ninguno on Unsplash
My eighth TEDx event as licensee.
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).
There’s a full write-up of the whole event on tedxwellington.com but here are the choice cuts relating to the experience (we’re still waiting on the final videos of the talks to be edited):
- 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:
ADDENDUM 21.8.19 Here’s a short video from the day of me talking about the above, full reflections here:
The innate goodness of humans.
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.
Follow the links for connect to stories and wondrous things.
The news that Amazon got sued over Alexa child recordings in US (shudder).
The launch video from (along with the 2019 speakers / ticket registration announcement):
The anti-CEO playbook by @hamdiulukaya:
A jazz pianist improvising in tandem with a piano that plays itself:
Search NASAs library of 140,000 high definition photos, videos, and sound clips.
There are 91,000 historic maps in this collection to play around with and remix.
Attend the Weta Workshop Workshops (if you’re in Wellington): from sculpting to leather & chain-mailing to movie make-up.
Back in the TEDx groove!
Ticket registrations are open for this years TEDxWellington event.
As the theme launch video illustrates above, our theme has informed our ticketing approach this year as every one of our previous events have sold out and we receive many communications from folks who missed out. Add to that, TEDxWellington is going from a 1,000 person event down to a 200 as our 2017 venue is still closed for earthquake restrengthening, so, a ‘lottery’ system for the tickets is the fairest approach to take.
We will also extend the theme into the interactions on the day.
This year, 75% of our speaker applicants were female which is reflected in the final line-up of impressive talent:
So if you’re Wellington-based or in the area around the 11th August, please do take a chance and register for a ticket, plus, if you can assist in disseminating the offer through your networks that would really be ace also!
Still learning and hungry to get better.
Last night we announced this years TEDxWellington event along with opening the call for speakers and performers.
This will be my eighth as licensee (2x TEDxWellingtonWomen, 2x TEDxTeAro, 3x TEDxWellington) and have mentored other events in the city (Women and Youth plus University) plus other new licensees in other parts of the country, although I’m still learning so much and find it incredibly challenging.
After taking a break last year it’s good to be thinking with a TEDx lens again and serving my fundamental why: to give people voice (not just those on the stage but also my fellow volunteers who work their bits off to bring the event to life and allowing them space to grow into action).
Please do share this opportunity to those across the region who might have an “idea worth spreading”, with thanks.
Why TEDxWellington isn’t happening this year.
A few weeks ago I had to share with the TEDxWellington leadership team that I needed to take a break. A venue had already booked for the 2018 event and we were days away from announcing. It was a tough but right decision to make.
For a little over 6 years I’ve been the licensee / creative producer for 5 main TEDx events here in Wellington, plus the two livestream TEDxWomen events and also 8 Salon evening events (which keep the community engaged in between the main ones plus celebrate the success of our previous speaker / performers). Every event has been sold out and all finances are run through the xWellington Charity (which was set up with myself and fellow trustees Helen and Hannah).
*The chunky time commitment has also been matched by a personal monetary investment with three trips to attend two TEDActives (the first to enable us to get the city license and name) and one TEDFest (whereby nearly every other TEDx organiser I spoke to knew about our creative efforts with the TEDx format, specifically our 2016 trust event which sold out in two minutes flat, did things no other TEDx had ever dared and got featured on ted.com).
So why take a break now?
Especially after the massive success of last years 1,000 strong event (with 5,000 souls watching online)!
Well, it came down to three reasons:
- needing to pay the rent—as you can imagine producing events at that scale is a full time job in itself. Under the TEDx rules (see General > Funds) no TEDx and its organisers are allowed to make money as it’s a voluntary venture only. Very much agree and champion this, although, at the moment there are other things which need to take priority (like paying the rent sustainably);
- reciprocal energies—on occasions we’ve literally had to expend so much energy just to get access to certain venues or to available dates that it impacted on other aspects of our endeavours. We were hoping for a growing support from certain sections of the community based on the demonstrative success achieved rather than diminishing assistance. Obviously, big learning opportunities for doing things differently to get different results, and another reason to take a break to reflect on future strategies;
- continued impact momentum—with any growth you certainly don’t want to retract and the 2018 plans, due to some odd factors, meant we were left looking at significantly reducing the event size (which would have a massive negative effect on other areas like sponsor / partner agreements). As a capital city event we were hoping to continue the legacy building and I’m certainly not interested in leading something that is less.
So the public announcement was made at our last community Salon event and the feedback was vastly positive plus highly compassionate.
Special thanks to the leadership team who have been so courteous in supporting my decision as it came so late in the day.
After a few months sights will be realigned for the 2019/2020 events and a slow run up will begin with new ideas / approaches to hopefully get to that desired different outcome.
Efforts will be made to gain support for a sustainable TEDx in the nations capital, a cornerstone in the calendar which uniquely amplifies the regions talent through the talks / performances / global platform, continue to build the social capital via the amazing community, plus proceeds to provides opportunities for the organisers to craft experiences that develop our city’s reputation as forward thinkers and audacious doers (and all the while developed / delivered by volunteers).