TEDxAuckland 2013 - Creativity Is Disobedient Thought

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TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED (standing for Technology, Entertainment, and Design) has grown to become one of the world’s foremost events, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18mins or less. On TED.com, talks from TED conferences are shared with the world for free as TED Talks videos, and have been watched by millions.

The TEDx initiative has been built off the success of the parent TED conference, and grants free licenses to people around the world to organize TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. More than 5,000 TEDx events have been held to date, and selected talks from these events are also turned into TED Talks videos.

As long time fans of both TED and TEDx, we were excited to come onboard formally this year as an event partner for TEDxAuckland, and after last year’s hugely successful event, we were pumped to see what the TEDx Auckland team could come up with this year.

And it’s fair to say they didn’t disappoint.

With a massive turnout of well over 2000 people last Saturday at Auckland’s Aotea Centre, TEDxAuckland has vaulted to the forefront of global TEDx events with an attendance rivaling previous record holder TEDxSydney.

Both our team and our residents were involved at all levels, from Auckland resident Joseph Michael speaking about his Dark Cloud: White Light 3D time-lapse project, through to a number of our other residents working with the #ScribbleAKL team on the stage design, and our Co.Space team delivering all the print collateral for the event from our in-house print shop.

Standouts for us from a top notch list of speakers were:

- Live More Awesome’s Jimi Hunt, with his colourful take on living life to the full, and doing things that are adventurous - “Bite off more than you can chew, then chew like hell.”

- Wiki New Zealand’s Lillian Grace, who made a great case for enabling all of New Zealand to have broad access to data to support better decision making.

- Poet Grace Taylor, and her Poetry Slam crew delivered some of the most powerful emotional moments of the day, and we can see why she’s just been selected as a 2013 Venture programme recipient by Auckland Dojo residents, the Arts Regional Trust.

- Our own Joseph Michael - his stunning imagery made him a crowd favourite, need we say more!!

- Double Oscar winner and director of the Auckland based Laboratory for Animate Technologies Mark Sagar blew us away with his ground breaking work on autonomous animation and his Baby X artificial intelligence project.

- AUT design professor Welby Ings, who surprised and delighted with his views on creativity - “Creativity is disobedient thought” and “You’re never going to make a choir if you all sing from the same song sheet.”

- New York based Brian Sweeney of PR agency SweeneyVesty won us all over with his work creating NZEdge.com which aims to reposition how New Zealand presents itself to the world regarding innovation and creativity. His theory of Punctuated Equilibrium as a driver of evolutionary (or revolutionary) change from the edge is a very powerful metaphor, and absolutely resonated with us and our own views on innovation.

All in all, this is an event that has rapidly become a must-see on the Auckland calendar. If you missed out this year, look for videos of all the talks to be up on the official TEDx YouTube channel in the coming month.

Roll on 2014!

Photo credit: Co.Space resident and photographer Paul Petch. Check out more of his great images from the day over on his blog.