Our Blog

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

Announcing TEDxWellingtonSalon #5 | Pataka Museum, Porirua

pataka museum

Taking TEDxWellington beyond the city limits.

This years second TEDxWellingtonSalon community event is being hosted for the first time by Porirua’s Pātaka Art + Museum. They’ll welcome us on the evening of 2nd November to share ‘ideas worth spreading.’

TEDxWellington license holder DK says it’s a brilliant opportunity to bring the salon events to a new community: “We’re excited to share smiles, thoughts, hugs, interactions, conversations plus ideas worth spreading across the wider Wellington region.”

The salon will be a shared experience with a chance to hear from some of our fantastic previous TEDx speakers:

  • Flight Coffee’s co-founder Nick Clark who spoke about ethical bean sourcing
  • Dan Khan who ran the first Lightning Lab startup incubator in the city
  • The team behind Good Bitches Baking who will give an update on how they’re saving the world with cake.

Tickets go on sale on 7pm, Wednesday, 19 October.

Please make sure you don’t miss out, sign up to our email list, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

See you there.


Official Press release

TEDxWellington Is Back | 2017 Date & Venue Announcement

tedxwellington 2016 speakers

Special announcement—mark it in your diaries now!

Announced this evening, TEDxWellington 2017 will be held on Saturday 27th May at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and will be the largest TEDx event ever held in the capital.

It will be the fifth event and the TEDxWellington team are eager to create another fantastic and unique experience (like this years) for those in the city and wider region. We have something very special lined up for 2017 which will again deliver on the promise to prove we’re the creative capital.

Tumultuous applause and thanks to our partnership with Wellington City Council who are sponsoring the venue for the 2017 event. Every year the Council have supported TEDxWellington in our endeavours and growth, we are deeply grateful for their continued involvement in the biggest voluntarily run, non­profit event in the region.

TEDxWellington has also started discussions with partners and sponsors who wants to support this unique event. If your organisation / company would like to explore a conversation about this get in touch via tedxwellington.com/contact.


Photo link

Call For Actioneers | TEDxWellington Needs Doers

TEDxWellington claps

Get involved in TEDxWellington and become a legend.

Imagine being part of an event which finds and amplifies amazing local voices, crafts opportunities for curious souls to connect deeply and interact playfully, forges relationships with regional stakeholders and supporters to participate in creating a platform for Wellington stories and ideas to spread.

Building on the success of the recent TEDxWellington (which sold out in two minutes flat, did things no other TEDx had ever dared and got featured on ted.com), 2017 will be the biggest the city has ever seen plus will also again prove we’re the creative capital.

Others have already asked so thought it’s time to announce our call for actioneers (think, super-volunteers), a chance to get involved at this early stage and to form the foundation for delivering something which has epic legacy.

The opportunities available are:

  • Partners and Sponsors Lead—securing the cash sponsors and delivery partners to match budget / plans;
  • Marketing and Communications—this should be obvious for those who apply (smirks);
  • Speaker Curation / Coaches—diplomacy and relevant experience needed for this one;
  • Community Activators—specifically focussed on coordinating the livestream events and wider community activities;
  • General Actioneers—none of the above although you got other fantastic skills and want to be involved.

You, as an incredible human, should be:

  • ambitious—we want to put Wellington on the creative world map (again) so prove to us you have a hunger for the same ideal;
  • ego-light—this is a volunteer role (none of us make money and certainly don’t do it to further our financial aims), it’s focussed on a bigger ideal of leveraging a global brand that is TED for local ideas to accelerate beyond this region;
  • committed—this will take up a year of your life, please don’t get involved if you don’t have the time;
  • empathic—understanding this is a team effort is essential, no silo-thinking allowed;
  • doers—we’re asking for more than volunteers, an emphasis on action based in experience is the key we’ve found in building a tremendous ‘doing culture.’

If the above excites you then get in touch by Friday 5pm, 1st July 2016, and show us what you got.

We’ll be announcing soon a bevy of events between now and the main TEDxWellington 2017 including the Salon events which focus on the community plus a few other treats.

Looking forward to hearing from you:

Image credit

TEDxWellington 2016 Talks Are Live | Watch And Share

Watch the TEDxWellington 2016 Talks

Devour and send on.

With this year’s TEDxWellington theme being “trust”, organisers kept key details secret until the day, such as the venue location, speaker line-up and programme—an approach has never before been done before at a TEDx event anywhere in the world (watch the short documentary and read the event review).

And now the talks (in order of appearance at the event):

A Million Conversations In Te Reo Māori | Glenis Hiria Philip-Barbara

Glenis is a public servant based in Wellington who belongs to the Tairāwhiti region where generations of her family have lived since Maui fished up the North Island. As the former Chief Executive of the Māori Language Commission her passion for social justice and the revitalisation of indigenous language and culture remain key drivers in her life and work.


The Prefab Housing Puzzle | Pamela Bell

Pamela Bell is CEO of PrefabNZ, the hub for prebuilt construction – informing, educating and advocating for an innovative built environment. PrefabNZ hosts the annual CoLab event. Pamela has experience in architecture, Olympic-level sport, business development, governance, book writing and exhibitions, and general management (two small children!).

http://prefabnz.com / http://twitter.com/prefab_pam

Need To Dance | Sacha Copland

Sacha Copland is the founding artistic director of Java Dance Theatre. Since 2003 Sacha has developed Java’s distinctly sensory theatrical style, choreographing and producing more than 15 full length dance theatre works and commissions, garnering critical acclaim, box office success and international tours. In 2012 Sacha received a Distinguished Graduate award from the NZ School of Dance.

http://javadancecompany.co.nz / http://twitter.com/JavaDanceCo

Sequencing That Stimulates The Sensors | David Andrew Eccles

David Eccles is a computer whisperer (bioinformatician), working for the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and other clients around the world. David is an advocate for Free and Open Source Software, with the majority of his work done using a Linux system. His days are spent teaching computers to understand scientists, helping to make scientific research faster, cheaper, and better.


The Possibilities Of Uncommonalities | Charles Babb

Charles is an entertainment industry production professional that loves all things technology. He has worked across a number of entertainment industries including music, comics (manga), television, film, and games. Charles has shipped game titles published by Warner Bros., Activision, Sony PlayStation, and Koei Tecmo. He’s a futurist working on a few Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality projects.

http://charlesversus.com / http://twitter.com/charlesbabb

A Natural Undertaking | Fiona King

Born in Christchurch but raised in Wellington, Fiona left New Zealand for an extended 14 year OE living in England and France. An eclectic background in the design and restaurant industries, the zoo and museum sectors. She established Broadbent & May funeral company four years ago believing that funerals should not be a spectator event and encourages full family participation.


The Dangerous Myth About Libraries | Laurinda Thomas

Laurinda is an advocate for libraries as a human right that enable everyone to participate fully in society. She is a former President of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA), and a Director on the Aurora Foundation’s Leadership Institute for Information Professionals. You’ll find her collecting, and happily busting myths about libraries.


How I Gain The Trust Of Strangers | Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong is a man of surprising talents. Originally from Christchurch where he studied both Law and Circus, he now resides in Wellington.
He spreads the joy of circus through both teaching and performing under his alias Mr Wizowski.


Spreading The Cure | Dr. Shaun Holt

Shaun holds Pharmacy and Medicine degrees and is an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of 8 books and 180 scientific publications and has been a regular contributor on TV1’s Breakfast programme and national radio shows. In 2015 he was a finalist in the New Zealander of the Year Awards in the Innovator category.

http://shaunholt.flavors.me / http://twitter.com/drshaunholt

Begin To Obsolesce | Asher

Skymning is a Wellington based composer and producer, who creates contemporary electronic music with obsolete live instruments. Using his guitar, sampler, keyboards & cassettes, Skymning produces melancholic, environmental soundscapes, the aural equivalent of impressionist paintings. With his new material Skymning adds the use of a drum sequencer, pushing his sound further towards a more energetic, dance music sound.


Hearing The Voices Of Our children | Deborah Morris-Travers

Deborah is National Advocacy Manager at UNICEF NZ. For 12 years now she has been advocating for improvements in the wellbeing of children. She is passionate about the place of children in our society and how we build communities that enable all children to thrive. She is a mother of two and a committed fan of New Zealand music.

http://fairfuture.nz / http://twitter.com/DeborahMTNZ

Changing The World With Cake | Good Bitches Baking

Marie Fitzpatrick and Nic Murray believe that kindness is cool and could save us all. So they got drunk and accidentally started a charity.

http://goodbitchesbaking.co.nz / http://twitter.com/goodbitchesbake

The TEDxWellinton are already working hard on securing a venue for next years event to continue to craft unique and exciting TEDx experiences for the capital. Please stay in touch with our developments by signing up to the email newsletter via the front page and / or follow TEDxWellington on Twitter / Facebook for news and other updates.

Download official press release for the above.

TEDxWellington 2016 Review | The Story Of Trust

Crafting a unique capital city TEDx experience.

Imagine announcing the details of a TEDx event with just the date and theme, then putting the tickets on sale keeping secret the speakers / performers plus details of where the event is being held.

TEDxWellington was held on Saturday 5th March 2016, and our theme this year was trust.

We had the privilege of being invited to a very special venue and decided to surprise our attendees by not announcing this location along with no information on speakers / performers or any details of the day as well.

Here’s what happened…


Tickets for TEDxWellington went on sale a month before the event and sold out in two minutes.

That’s right, two minutes.

We were so amazed by the response we had to get a statement from our ticket provider for clarity:

“Demand for the 2016 event has been huge with this morning’s sell-out one of our fastest ever across all event categories. The TEDxWellingon team have a proven record creating unforgettable experiences and no-one wants to miss out.”
James McGlinn, Eventfinda CEO


On the day itself, three red double decker buses transported the excited delegates to the venue. Inside the buses were ‘whited out’ with quotes from the most popular TED talks to inspire conversation and prime them for what was going to happen:

Upon arrival, as you can see in the documentary above, a tunnel and black out curtains led the delegates straight into the theatre still obscuring them from knowing where they were.


Nearly 200 madly curious souls packed into the glorious and exclusive Park Road, the film post production facility in Miramar, Wellington owned by Sir Peter Jackson:

We were one of a very select few public events to be held in the space and totally honoured to be invited. This rare offer was the catalyst for the idea of keeping things a secret and in turn, attempting something which has never been done before with a TEDx event.


After receiving nearly 180 applications, the chosen speakers / performers underwent a five week coaching programme in the run up to the day. All in secrecy after signing an NDA to agree to not tell anyone.

It’s our privilege and honour to finally share the TEDxWellington 2016 speakers / performers below (click to enlarge):

Remember, none of our delegates knew before hand who they were coming to watch and more over, there was no programme to outline who the next speaker was (keeping delegates in a constant open state of trust).

At the end of the day though, delegates were handed a small takeaway with all the speakers bios (click to download PDF 2MB):

TEDxWelly Take Away - click to download

ADDENDUM (6 April 2016)—talks are now live:

Watch the TEDxWellington 2016 Talks


New this year was our effort to create livestream viewing parties across the wider Wellington region. The following hosts played a wonderful role in ensuring accessibility to the event and it’s content for those who weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket or didn’t have the means:

TEDxWellington Livestream Venues

The livestream was accessed over 5,643 times (unique visitors—meaning, one person dropping in several times on the day would be counted as one visitor and a library housing a 150 folks across the course of the day, would also be counted as one). This figure more than doubled our last years efforts.

We also did video interviews at the livestream venues and showed it at the main event to ensure those in the theatre understood they were part of a wider community effort and experience (check out the videos here, here and here):

The embed of the livestream was also featured with our gracious thanks on our media partner stuff.co.nz.

Check out the photos on the livestreams Flickr album.


We were honoured this year to be joined by 10 other TEDx’s. Their attendance illustrates further the wonderful wider community our event is part of:

TEDxWellington TEDx's


Every break this year we attempted to delight and surprise our delegates. Whether that be the mystery lunch option, the photo / video interactions, the ‘mystery door knock’ coffee station or even the bunch of kittens we had ready for a cuddle, it was all focussed on complimenting our theme and adding an element of evolving wonder of not knowing what’s next:

Delegates were also invited to complete a postcard for the speakers / performers as we appreciate some folks are a little nervous about approaching someone they don’t know. We also had colouring-in options for folks who wanted to chill and be creative in the breaks:


Bearing in mind our delegates weren’t allowed to take photos in the exclusive location due to the artwork and prestigious awards and artefacts on display, we still were trending all day on Twitter. There were 4,665 tweets using the #TEDxWelly hashtag from 406 contributors. This gave 5.1million potential impressions with a potential reach of 791,300.

Throughout the day we also shared and distributed across Facebook and Twitter content created, specifically to celebrate the wonderful ideas worth sharing in the talks / performances:

Again, the engagement of our efforts ensured the conversations travelled beyond whilst also connected our speakers / performers to a wider audience.


With nearly 160 applications, the 30 volunteers who were chosen were amazing. They provided a backbone to the event, from helping out during dress rehearsal, dressing the buses, facilitating at the livestream events, to looking after the delegates and helping with the interactions on the day.

It was wonderful to thank them all on the TEDxWellington stage (along with our speakers and the rest of the core team) at the end of the event:

TEDxWellington All

Check out the photos on the event Flickr album.


And last but not least, TEDxWellington is a non-profit event run wholly by volunteers (no-one in the team makes any money off this), and we rely on the generosity of sponsors and partners.

Uniquely this year, they were also asked to ‘trust’. They didn’t know where the venue was, what the interactions were going to be, who the speakers / performers were—so a special thank you to those who funded us financially and also supported us in kind:

TEDxWellington Sponsors Partners


So, as for 2017, well, if you sign up to the email newsletter via the front of this site, we’ll let you know shortly…

ADDENDUM 18.3.16: our little event got covered on the TEDx Innovations blog on ted.com.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.