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Great minds don’t think alike at TEDxTauranga

31st July 2013

Great minds don’t think alike at TEDxTauranga

“Great minds don’t think alike” was the message at the first ever TEDxTauranga, which took place Tuesday 30th July at ASB Arena, Baypark. The sold out event included 4 of the Bay’s leading thinkers who gave 15 minute talks about ‘ideas worth spreading’ as well as 2 of the best pre-recorded talks from the extensive archive.

Event organiser Sheldon Nesdale said the event was the start of something incredibly exciting and he hopes to hold more in the future. More than 200 people applied for tickets with only 100 available, reflecting the excitement around the event from the local community.

"I've been watching TED Talks videos for years (I've seen over 700) and when I heard that you can run a TEDx event in your own city that you love, I couldn't wait to get started! I had been to other TEDx events in New Zealand and it was definitely Tauranga's turn. For me, this event is much more than entertainment and learning new things, it's about hearing extraordinary stories from ordinary, every-day people so that you realise that you can do great things too, and that it's your turn to stand up and make a dent in the universe."

The speakers and videos at the event included:

#1: Dean Parchomchuk & Charlotte Yates "Tokelau: Bringing Solar Power to a Nation"
Dean Parchomchuk & Charlotte Yates told their amazing story of how they changed the lives of the people on a small tropical island of Tokelau by replacing their crippling dependency on diesel generated electricity with solar power.

#2: Hans Rosling "The Magic Washing Machine"
Hans bought to life the global division in wealth using his famous infographical style, and how the washing machine can be transformed into an intellectual day of reading.

#3: Peter Blakeway "Should we eat our pets?"
Peter Blakeway talked about his unique perspective on the choices we make when we put food in our mouths and how we need to take more ownership over where our food is sourced from.

#4: Nik Gregg "Compassionate business"
Nik Gregg who highlighted the importance of living in a compassionate business for the common good of humanity for the benefit of future generations

#5: Joseph Kim "The family I lost in North Korea. And the family I gained"
A refugee now living in the US, Joseph spoke about his life in North Korea during the famine and how he found new opportunities within this tragedy.

#6: Tommy Wilson "Edu-tainment is the silver lining of the long white cloud"
Tommy Wilson told his amazing story of his life and, in particular, his startling, bold, global vision for preventing crime through story telling.

For those that were not lucky enough to get a ticket, the talks were recorded and will be posted on the TEDx YouTube channel.

Based on the success, the team behind TEDxTauranga are considering a bigger scale event in the middle of next year (up to 1000 people). Those that are interested in buying tickets for the next event can subscribe to the website at

TEDxTauranga was proudly sponsored by ASB BayPark, McKensie Elvin, Grow Coaching, and Comvita.

About TEDx, where x = independently organized event
In the spirit of "ideas worth spreading," TED has created TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDx[place name], where x = independently organized TED event. At TEDx[place name], TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, 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. Three major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Vancouver, Canada, simultaneous with TEDActive, in Whistler, BC; and the TEDGlobal Conference takes place each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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 into more than 90 languages. 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 organize TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. More than 5,000 TEDx events have been held, and 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 program 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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