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Updates, behind-the-scenes developments and other interesting stuff related to the event organisation.

Choosing TEDxWellington Speakers / Performers | Our Process

TEDxWellington 2015 Speaker -Performer Nominations

Sharing the effort that goes into how speakers / performers are chosen.

Last week the curation team met to go through all 177 speaker / performer nominations. It took over 5 hours to reduce the list to a manageable number to now contact and explore further via interviews.

For transparency here’s our process for what makes a fantastic TEDx speaker / performer (on top of the principles TED outlines):

  1. Idea Worth Spreading—a distinct and simple idea which resonates is the anchor for everything (those in the public domain get even more scrutiny to ensure the idea is valid and not just promotional / simple storytelling of life experience). This year, the team first looked at the ‘ideas worth spreading’ only, with nothing else to distract. After selecting the most intriguing we then cross-checked their background via the supplementary information to narrow down the list some more;
  2. Pedigree—without a level of expertise in the arena stated then there’s no foundation for the audience to trust or engage with the concept. After scaling down the numbers via the idea plus information we’re now pursuing in person interviews to validate along with extra research around both the topic pitched (to see if it’s been covered before in another talk elsewhere) and the individual in question;
  3. Availability—this year there will be a six week coaching programme in place for all those invited to appear at TEDxWellington. Even those with deep experience of public speaking need to agree to this (as we don’t invite those who are just doing their standard talk) and be willing to attend group plus one-to-one coaching sessions;
  4. Location—the TEDx initiative exists to give local voices a platform under the TED brand. We’ve had a few nominations from other areas of the country and these will be passed on to the respective TEDx in their area for first refusal. We are open to hosting one or two from outside the Wellington region each year with their local TEDx permission;
  5. Nice—as you know, TEDxWellington is a non-profit, meaning all those in the team are spending their precious time putting this together, therefore, being nice to work with is a crucial component in our decision making.

And for those who are interested, here are some stats about the nominations as well:

2015 speakers / performers nominations stats

Thank you again for all who nominated, you made our job superbly tough. If you don’t hear from us in the coming weeks then I’m afraid that for this year at least, we’re going with some other ideas worth spreading. Please come back and try again next year or attend this years event to get a better flavour of what we’re after.

177 Speaker / Performer Nominations | Gratitude

tedxwelly thanks

Triple the number from last years call for speaker / performers.

As the graphic above states, thank you, for the 177 nominations regarding this years TEDxWellington event. You have made the job of the speaker curation team very hard, which is a brilliant challenge to have!

We’ll be meeting next week to start the process of deliberating, filtering and following up, so please bear with us as there’s a lot to get through…

TEDxWellington 2015 Date Announcement | Call for Speakers & Performers

2015 trust image

TEDxWellington is back!

We are looking for speakers/performers for our Saturday 21 November 2015 event (see below).

The 2015 theme is trust and it will be an experience that starts with anticipation as many of the event details will be kept a secret, including:

  • location
  • speakers / performers
  • exact number of tickets
  • programme for the day
  • breakout session details

All three previous TEDx events have sold out and have been highly successful in delivering an ever increasing quality experience. A legacy that lays the foundations for this year’s experimental approach and pushes the boundaries of the traditional TEDx format.

Our key goal for this year’s event is to craft deeper participation between the delegates and the ideas worth spreading from the speakers / performers during the day, and then beyond into the wider community of the Wellington region, New Zealand and the world.

The TEDxWellington team is collaborating with an amazing venue to put together a unique experience for TEDx fans in the creative capital once again.

Our approach of keeping many of the key details a secret is a first for any TEDx in the world and will surprise and delight everyone who attends.

UPDATE (27.5.15): Here’s some stats from the first 24hours after our announcement:


Call for speakers

The deadline to apply is Wednesday 17th June 5pm, and even though our event theme is trust, we’re open to ideas worth sharing on other topics.

Here are the guiding principles for choosing speakers / performers as laid down by the mothership of ted.com which we adhere to—please read before completing the form below. You can nominate yourself or someone else—remember, it’s the idea we’re after, not the speaker. For further inspiration check out last years talks) and we’re looking forward to receiving your application:



Photo credit: Flickr (cropped) – cedwardbrice/5887099054 (CC BY NC-2.0)

TEDxWellingtonSalon #2 | Event Review

Around 80 creative souls attended the second TEDxWellingtonSalon for a night of inspiration and discussion on 8th April at Bizdojo. Oh and there was pizza, coffee and kombucha! Here is a re-cap of what we did and if you were un-able to attend it will hopefully give you an understanding of what a TEDxSalon event can be like:

We heard about the value of sharing your story from TED Prize winner Dave Isay, particularly with those closest to us who we might not REALY know much about. Take your father or grandfather for example; do you know what most inspired them in school? Or how they viewed the world when they took their first job? You never know, you might find a little more about yourself through the process.

Crowd funding is one way of getting your story out there and known to your community. We heard from Anna Guenther about what she has been up to and learned since her TED talk at TEDxTeAro back in December 2012. We also heard from Fraser and Oliver who spoke at TEDxWellington last year and got an update on their idea of a cardboard desk that has the ability to change the way you work.

We took Shimpei Takahashi’s challenge and stepped away from trends and data and we looked at creating ideas from a completely random set of cues. In fact, we played a word game, a small and seemingly insignificant game. The delegates started with the word Wellington, and came up with three sequential words. From this they had to come up with a toy or a movie idea. Here are some of these words:

1. Nature, Egg, Goat, Teapot
2. Noodle, Eskimo, Olympics
3. Netball, Lettuce, Environment

1. Wellington Naughty Yacht Club
2. Nana Asteroid Defends Skiing
3. Never Resting Girls School

Google Maps lets us view Wellington via satellite, street view and by playing Pac man, but there are many other ways to map a city. In answer to Dave Troy’s talk the Salon delegates described how they thought Wellington could be mapped. Here are some of their responses:

  • By dog size: starting with ‘Cuba’ small, ‘Spitztown’ Medium and going right out to the suburbs, ‘Labrador’ City.
  • By alcoholic drink choice: Cocktails, Shots, Beer, Craft Beer, Cider, Wine and make your own.
  • By groups of people: Wellywooders, Coffee lovers, 1984ers, Bogans, Students, Outdoorsy people, Pet lovers, Exercisers, Hipsters, Government.
  • By caffeine groups: Coca-cola, Redbull, Flat white, Espresso, Tea, Chai.

We hope to see you all at the next TEDxWellingtonSalon in a few months’ time (date and venue TBC) plus there’ll be an announcement soon about TEDxWellington 2015.

And if you can’t wait, here are the details for other TEDx events going on around New Zealand in the coming months:

TEDxWellingtonSalon #2 | Important Event Information

hannah tedxwellysalon

A big thanks to everyone who registered for our Salon event tomorrow—it sold out quickly (8 hours).

If you missed out this time, don’t worry as there will be other Salon events this year plus you can also watch out for announcements about the main TEDxWellington event in the coming weeks / months (sign up for updates in the sidebar).

Here’s the details:

    When: Wednesday 8 April (doors open 5.45pm, event starts 6pm, finished about 8.30pm)
    Where: Biz Dojo, 113 Tory St entrance
    Cost: Koha* on the door with ticket

*Please note that the event entry is Koha on the door. This will help us cover the cost of the venue and the food we are providing. If you can afford it, $10 per person will help us meet these costs. If you can only give less we understand. Every bit helps as TEDxWellington operates as a non-profit entity.

We’re excited that at this Salon event we’ll have Anna from PledgeMe (2012 event speaker) giving us an update, along with Fraser and Oliver from Refold NZ (2014 event speakers).

We’ll have refreshments from Flight Coffee, Goodbuzz Brewing Co. and pizza from Tommy Millions. Make sure you have a snack beforehand as we’ll be eating at around 8pm.

Remember that we’ll be watching other TED talks on screen so bring along your glasses if you need them.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

TEDxWellingtonSalon is back!


UPDATE: That was quick – we have sold out! A big thanks to everyone who registered and sorry if you missed out this time. There’ll be other Salon events this year, and of course watch out for announcements about the main TEDxWellington event in the coming months. Make sure you subscribe to our email updates for the latest news from the front page or alternatively sign up to our blog posts in the sidebar.

On 8 April we are putting on a second Salon event that will give you insight into what TEDxWellington is all about. We are giving you the space to think and interact, whether it’s about your own ideas or someone else’s. There’ll be updates from previous TEDxWellington and TEDxTeAro speakers, TED videos, and interactive discussion.

  • When: Wednesday 8 April, 6pm-8.30pm
  • Where: Biz Dojo, 113 Tory St, Wellington
  • Cost: Koha* on the door
  • Tickets: via Eventfinder

We’re excited to welcome Fraser and Oliver from Refold, who spoke at last year’s TEDxWellington. They will update us on what they’ve been up to over the past few months and we think you’ll find it fascinating.

Biz Dojo has kindly agreed to host us in their new space. We’ll be providing refreshments and pizza from Tommy Millions, with Flight Coffee generously providing the good brew.


Numbers are strictly limited so grab your ticket from Eventfinder to secure your spot.


This Salon event is aimed at the TEDxWellington and TED-talks-watching community (full explanation here). Everyone’s welcome – attendance is open to the public and not restricted to just those who have attended a previous TEDx event in the city.


Hannah Wignall on the last TEDxWellingtonSalon event:

“It was really inspiring to hear the noise in the room lift up when we broke off for the discussion portions of the evening and it was a privilege to talk to some of you throughout the event. Whether it was your first bit of TEDx interaction away from the computer screen, or whether you have been to a previous TEDx event I hope you got something out of the evening.”


*There are costs we need to cover like food and venue hire, if you can be aware of this when you contribute we can make the next TEDxWellingtonSalon bigger and better!


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