TEDx event features Kiwi innovators
Fri, 05 Oct 2012 9:04a.m.
By Adrien Taylor
The internet has changed many aspects of our lives, the way we socialise, the way we consume, the way we entertain ourselves and the way we learn.
At the fore of the online learning and entertainment phenomenon are TED talks, which come to Auckland today.
Dropping your mobile phone in water can happen to the best of us, but thanks Michelle Dickinson, soon it won't be too much of a problem.
She's developing a nano coating spray in a can that creates a rough surface on any object at the nanolevel.
“And what it will do is make it super hydrophobic which just means that water will roll off it. Water doesn't actually stick to it, and the phone is fine.”
Ms Dickinson is just one of 16 speakers and three acts to appear at the sold out TEDx event in Auckland tomorrow.
TED is the non-profit organisation that holds two annual TED Conferences in the United States and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh.
The conferences aim to bring together "the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers" and provide the platform for them to share their passion on a wide range of topics in under 18 minutes.
TEDx stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design and the X is for independent. The Auckland event is one of thousands of independently run events worldwide that have been licensed by the TED head office.
Organiser Elliot Blade is excited about the New Zealand conference.
“We just really want to showcase the great stuff that's happening in New Zealand to New Zealanders and the world.”
Ms Dickinson will be joined by up and coming Auckland band Five Mile Town in tomorrow's event.
“We're the ‘E’ in TED,” band member Adam Quigley says. “We're the entertainment I think.”
“It's a good chance to get in front of people who care because those are the kind of people that watch TED,” vocalist Louis McDonald says.
Also on the line-up is documentary maker Peter Young.
He'll be talking about the issues raised in his latest film, The Last Ocean, which argues for conservation of the Ross Sea in Antarctica.
“It's about big ideas, TEDx, and this is a big idea,” Mr Young says. “We want to protect an entire ocean.”
And he is very clear on why he is doing this.
“I do it because I want to share a story. It doesn't matter whether that's online or live, or on television, I don't care, I just want to share my stories.”
Mr Young will join the impressive list of past TED speakers that includes Richard Branson, James Cameron, Jamie Oliver, and Richard Dawkins covering topics as diverse as human psychology, technology, science and religion.
TED talks can be seen free online, something that TED is keen to keep up.
“And hopefully it will inspire others to do some research and get interested in things that maybe they don't specialise in but they want to find out a little more about and that's the magic of TED,” Ms Dickinson says.
The online talks have amassed over 800 million views between them, and an average of five TEDx events happen every day in roughly 130 countries.
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