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Powerhouse speakers head to Antarctica for TEDxScottBase

Powerhouse speakers head to Antarctica for TEDxScottBase

Tomorrow (Tuesday 10 January) leading artists, entertainers, scientists and business people are heading to the most remote place on earth – Antarctica – as part of a global event for the 60th anniversary of the New Zealand Antarctic programme.

TEDxScottBase will celebrate, on a global scale, New Zealand’s six decade strong relationship with Antarctica. Its aim is to turbo-charge a conversation on climate change from New Zealand’s furthest outpost, Scott Base.

To achieve this, ten incredible speakers will join forces:

• Dr Dan Barry - an American astronaut who has logged over 734 hours in space – including more than 25 hours in space walks.

• Ashlan Cousteau - a veteran journalist, adventurer and advocate for the environment. Ashlan travels the world collecting and sharing some of Earth’s most incredible stories. Together with husband Philippe (Jacques Cousteau’s grandson), Ashlan’s worked on initiatives to document environmental phenomena and bring science alive for young people.

• Gin Wigmore - one of New Zealand’s favourite and most-awarded musicians having won Best Female Artist at the Vodafone Music Awards in 2015.

• Anthony Powell - the multi-award winning filmmaker behind the documentary ‘Antarctica: A Year on Ice’. He has spent a total of 114 months on the ice, including ten winters, documenting mind-blowing changes in the environment.

• Jane Ussher - New Zealand’s foremost portrait photographer and a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. She went to Antarctica in 2008 to photograph the historic huts of Scott and Shackleton before they were restored.

• Professor Gary Wilson - has led more than 20 expeditions to the Antarctic and Subantarctic Islands.

• Dr Christina Hulbe - a scientist who is currently investigating the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice mass on the planet.

• Professor Craig Cary - a scientist who is looking at the vast microbial life in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

• Jeremy Moon and Claudia Batten - prominent business leaders - will also speak at TEDxScottBase. Each is well known in the sustainable business movement both in New Zealand and internationally.

Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive Peter Beggs says TEDxScottBase will help raise awareness about climate change across the world.

“What happens in Antarctica will significantly impact the entire planet, and we are thrilled this line-up has so much expertise and appeal to such a broad range of people. Whether you’re interested in space, music, oceans, film, sustainability, photography, history, exploration or business, TEDxScottBase has something to offer. We have no doubt the speakers’ messages will make waves around the world.”

“Whether it’s your first trip to Antarctica or your twentieth, going down to the ice changes you. It affects everyone in different ways, but what’s universal is the feeling awe and wonder you experience. I have no doubt the speakers will come back with a renewed passion and commitment to protecting this very special and significant part of the world.”

TEDxScottBase will be broadcast in its entirety around the globe on Sunday 22 January 2017 (NZST).

“The event has already achieved significant global interest with more than 50 public broadcast events confirmed, covering each continent on earth,” says Antarctica New Zealand General Manager of Communications Jeanine Foster.

“It is has been an honour working with the incredible TEDxChristchurch team to bring this event to life over the course of the past year. Of course everything in Antarctica needs to be considered against its environmental impact, and the weight of cargo must be kept to a minimum. Not once did anyone say this was too hard – and as a result we have an event which hand-on-heart stands by the values of Antarctica New Zealand – Valued: Protected. Understood.”

For more information on the speakers, for screening times and a full Q&A about TEDxScottBase please visit

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