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TEDxWellingtonWomen speakers unveiled

11 May 2015

TEDxWellingtonWomen speakers unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading.

TEDxWellingtonWomen explores the ideas and innovations of individuals who are inspiring change, featuring talks from:

• Wellington writer Pip Desmond who worked at the forefront of New Zealand feminism during her time in the cooperative Aroha Trust. She recently spent two years volunteering in Timor-Leste teaching creative writing so the local language, verbal history and stories can now be recorded;

• Zen peacemaker Marianne Elliot. A former human rights lawyer, Marianne is now a writer, co-owner of a Mexican eatery in Wellington and teaches yoga. She has worked on human rights in the Gaza Strip, with the Government of Timor-Leste, and in Afghanistan where she co-wrote a report on gender-based violence;

• Louisa Wall submitted the revolutionary Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill to Parliament that changed New Zealand’s laws, allowing same-sex couples to marry. She is a full time politician for the Labour party. Louisa previously was a member of the Silver Ferns and Black Ferns, and was once named New Zealand Women’s Rugby Player of the Year. She is passionate about ensuring all kiwis live equally in dignity and rights;

• Entrepreneur, photographer and former magician Stu Robertson whose Peace In 10,000 Hands art project is gaining international attention. It features photos of supporters holding a single white rose for peace, with funds raised going towards charities. Participants in Stu’s project include a Tibetan monk, Demi Moore, Lucy Lawless, Danny DeVito and more;

• Elizabeth Connor, science communicator, storytelling competition organiser and rebellious optimist. Elizabeth grew up in a spiritual community, went on to study science, worked with the late Sir Paul Callaghan and now wants to connect the huge potential of science and technology with arts and the real opportunities and needs of our country. She is interested in cutting the cord of rationality to have more fun;

TEDxWellingtonWomen will also include an exclusive streaming simulcast of international speakers from the esteemed TEDWomen conference in California.

Event performers and MC will include:

• Improvisor, producer and Pledge Me chief people wrangler Jennifer O'Sullivan will MC;

• Taikoza is a Wellington-based Taiko Drumming performance group, dedicated to keeping the sounds and spirit of Taiko alive, with beautiful, strong bass tones, powerful group rhythms and dynamic choreography.

• Emerging young and vibrant talent will be showcased by a performance from the the New Zealand School of Dance, led by the Director of Contemporary Dance, Paula Steeds-Huston.

• And more!

This non-profit project is the one of two TEDxWomen events happening in May in New Zealand, unique in that it will include live speakers and performers.

Curated locally by an all female team, TEDxWellingtonWomen takes place on Saturday 30 May at the City Gallery. The theme is ‘Rhythm: Finding your groove. Building momentum. Inspiring change’. It includes live speakers and performers as well as a simulcast of the official TEDWomen event in California.

TEDxWellingtonWomen director Natalia Albert says that the lineup of speakers is diverse and bound to inspire.

“Each of the people on stage at TEDxWellingtonWomen has gone outside their comfort zone to find their groove in the world, challenging norms and exploring new ideas. I look forward to their stories sparking meaningful discussions,” Miss Albert says.

“This event is for passionate females and driven men who'd benefit from learning a little more from one another. Attendees will stretch their world views, diversify perspectives, kickstart personal and professional relationships while learning about powerful ideas that are taking shape in both our local and global communities.”

Tickets sold out within one week, prior to speakers being announced.

For more information visit


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