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TEDx Auckland 2015

TEDx Auckland 2015: Discovering new life, creating new vision and transforming health

TEDx Auckland 2015 is offering a rare opportunity for Kiwis to hear about the ground-breaking research to discover life on other planets, prevent blindness in Third World countries and transform public health systems – all being conducted in our own backyard.

Leading the second and final round of inspirational speakers confirmed for this year’s event on 2 May at the Victory Convention Centre are scientists and academics Steve Pointing, Grant Schofield and Hong Shen Chiong.

Organiser Elliott Blade says the three speakers exemplify the TEDx Auckland ethos of bringing radical New Zealand ideas, creativity and innovation to a global stage.

“These people are world leaders in their fields and we’re thrilled to have them because they will cement TEDx Auckland’s reputation as the Pacific’s leading platform for innovative and actionable thinking to make our world a better place,” says Blade.

Professor Pointing has pioneered the use of molecular techniques to understand how microbes survive in extreme environments, leading to collaboration with space agency NASA. He led the astrobiology research team for more than a decade to try and determine if life could exist beyond earth. His work has led the professor of applied ecology at Auckland University of Technology to now consider the social impacts of finding alien life and to ask profound questions of our perceptions of humanity.

Fluency across a wide range of scientific disciplines has allowed Professor Grant Schofield to redefine the parameters by which we construct our health system to develop a new paradigm in the way people are treated. The present system, Professor Schofield cogently argues, is a sickness or deficit model and we need to move to a system of improving human potential through science, where we aspire to be well. He will present old problems through a new lens and report on findings from his Sovereign Well-Being Index.

Dr Hong Sheng Chiong has invented a range of eye-imaging adapters to be used in conjunction with a mobile application to diagnose and monitor eye diseases. Presently serving the public at Gisborne hospital, Dr Hong has spent time working in Kenya, Nepal and Malaysia where his interests in regenerative eye medicine, bioengineering and telemedicine were brought to the fore. He will speak on his primary mission: fighting preventable blindness.

Blade says the juxtaposition of new speakers Gavin Healy and Tama Iti is inspirational in showing how different cultures respond to the scourge of invasion and colonialism.

Healy, the Irish-born director of social good publishing company Viridian Media, will talk about the impact of growing up in a country devastated by centuries of conflict, including civil war, and how the 5,500-year-old spiritual sites surrounding the area where he was raised gave him hope and shaped his current mission to create new media to effect positive social behavioural change.

Iti needs no introduction having forged a controversial reputation amongst two generations of New Zealanders as an activist, artist, alleged terrorist and cyclist. He will explore communication and dialogue in the public and private arena through the concept of “Te ka nohi ki te ka nohi”: dealing with it eye to eye.

It is his belief in these methods that led Iti to appear at public meetings atop a ladder so that the 5ft 4’’ tall provocateur could eyeball the protagonists standing on stage.

Other new speakers include internationally recognised and provocative artist Michel Tuffery, renowned polymath and etymologist Max Cryer, award-winning political columnist, editorial cartoonist, documentary maker and dramatist Tom Scott and performances from innovative and eclectic electronica group Sorceress Soundsystem and neo-soul classicist Bailey Wiley.

With a stellar line up announced, TEDx Auckland 2015 will be a must-attend event. Tickets are available on EventFinder – click here for details. A full list of speakers can be found here.

Partners confirmed for TEDx Auckland 2015 are AUT University, Eventfinda, MYOB and Invivo Wines.

First Round Tedx Auckland Speakers already confirmed are:

Dr. Siouxsie Wiles - Microbiologist and Bioluminescence expert.

Shaun Hendy - Founding Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland.

Riley & Steve Hathaway – Ambassadors and presenters of ‘Young Ocean Explorers’.

Lisa Matisoo-Smith - Professor of Biological Anthropology in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago.

Janette Searle – founder of ‘Take My Hands’, a charitable organisation that redistributes prosthetic, orthotic and medical equipment to those in need.

Sir Bob Harvey – veteran leader in the New Zealand creative arts and politics.

Billie Jordan – founder of Hip Op-eration.

For more info on TEDx Auckland, head to Tickets are available here.


About TEDx
x = independently organised event

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

About TED
TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’. Started as a conference in California 1984, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.

At a TED conference, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED speakers have included Roger Ebert, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Brian Greene, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

On, talks from TED conferences are shared with the world for free as TED Talks videos. A new TED Talk is posted every weekday. Through the Open Translation Project, TED Talks are subtitled by volunteers worldwide. Through our distribution networks, TED Talks are shared on TV, radio, Netflix and many websites.

The TEDx initiative grants free licenses to people around the world to organise TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. Selected talks from these events are also turned into TED Talks videos.

The annual TED Prize grants $1 million to an exceptional individual with a wish to change the world. The TED Fellows programme helps world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. TED-Ed creates short video lessons by pairing master teachers with animators, for use in classroom instruction or independent learning.

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