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Speakers/performers announced for TEDxWellington 2017

MEDIA RELEASE | 18 May 2017

Embargoed until 1pm Thursday 18 May

Speakers/performers announced for TEDxWellington 2017

TEDxWellington is excited to announce the 15 speakers/performers who will be centre stage in front of a 1,000 strong audience at St James Theatre on Sunday 18 June.

This year's speakers/performers will delight the audience with an exciting range of topics covering everything from toy designing to surfboard shaping, musical robots to little penguins and tree nuts to sharks.

All but two of our 15 speakers/performers are based in the Wellington region, with John Cockrem based in Palmerston North and one international speaker - Phil Sage - travelling from the United States to be on the TEDxWellington stage.

The wide range of topics and diverse backgrounds of our speakers/performers reflect the 2017 theme 'what's your perspective?', which was announced online last month.

There will be 13 talks at this year’s conference. The 15 speakers/performers are:

· Bop Murdoch, Sarah Tuck and Jody Burrell: launched CoLiberate, with a mission to shift the perception of mental health and enable emotional wellbeing in the workplace.

· Clare Christian: project manager of The Canarium Nut Company Ltd, an initiative exploring the commercialisation of a tree nut that grows throughout Melanesia.

· Irene Wakefield: founder of Prepair NZ which has a vision to empower and inspire young women across the country.

· Jack Candlish: Organic Dynamic produces surfboards from locally recycled and renewable materials that compliment the natural integrity of the sport and contribute to the protection of the marine environment.

· Jason Long: a composer, sound artist and researcher, currently undertaking a PhD in Sonic Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington, focusing on musical robotics.

· Jo Cribb: has worked with some of New Zealand’s toughest problems including child poverty, violence against women and child abuse.

· John Fenton Cockrem: Professor of Comparative Endocrinology at Massey University, developing methods to bring back kororā (little penguin) to coastal communities.

· Marjan van den Belt: Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability) at Victoria University of Wellington, facilitating a transition towards a more sustainable future. She is also the former director and principal ecological economist of Ecological Economics Research New Zealand.

· Melissa Cristina Marquez: founder of The Fins United Initiative, a program that brings attention to the unusual and diverse sharks (and their relatives) of the world and the threats they face.

· Nik Curry: a posture and movement specialist who has developed Postural Patterning, an alternate approach to body wellness that is educational, not treatment based.

· Phil Sage: a toy designer and technologist at Hasbro, discovering and innovating the world’s best play experiences.

· Rebecca Stewart: co-founder and general manager of Pomegranate Kitchen, a social enterprise which trains and employs cooks from a refugee background.

· Tuaine-Nurse Tamarua Robati: artistic director and tour director of the Bachelor of Applied Arts programme at Whitireia Community Polytechnic.

Full bios and photos of these speakers/performers are available on the TEDxWellington website at tedxwellington.com/#speakers

Registrations are now available for TEDxWellington 2017, and have been selling fast. There are only a limited number of places remaining, in our 'pay it forward' category. For $175, you’ll receive one place for yourself, while gifting a seat to one of our fantastic chosen charities who will pass it on to a deserving member of their targeted community:

· Change Makers: a rights-based, non-Government organisation (NGO) representing 14 refugee-background communities in Wellington.

· Dress for Success: an international not-for-profit organisation that empowers women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

· Kava Club: a community of Wellington-based Māori and Pasifika practitioners who create events for our creative communities.

· Seniornet: a community training network that supports and motivates people aged 50+ to enjoy and use technology in their everyday lives.

· Young Enterprise Scheme: excites New Zealand youth about business and entrepreneurship, delivering a range of successful programmes and resources to educate and connect students with both the business and start-up eco-system.

TEDxWellington 2017 is sponsored by Powershop, Talent Army, the US Embassy and Victoria University of Wellington. Partners include BizDojo, Blue Star Promote, Bradley Garner Creative, Enspiral Accounting, Eventfinda, Fox & Co, Mojo, Museum Hotel (QT Hotel Group), NW Group, Strategy Creative, The Big Picture, Tuatara Brewing, Wellington City Council and WREDA.

ENDS

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; theOpen Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.


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