When I saw TEDx Auckland 2014 announced I really wanted to go but was a bit torn. I loved the 2013 event but it meant a precious day of weekend gone. Weekends were crucial as I was trying to get fit for a rather demanding cycle tour in the Himalayas.
The TEDx 2014 theme was ‘Ascending’:
Ascending is about individuals and society rising to a higher level of consciousness.
Ascending is about finding the positives in any situation and building on them to make our lives, community, business and planet better.
As it turned out, the day spent at TEDx may have been the most valuable trip preparation I ever did thanks to Mike Allsop!
Click on the speakers name to link to a video of their talk (if on YouTube)
Bullet points in italics are unedited notes I took during the day using OneNote on my Nokia Lumia 1520 phone. I also used it for all the photos and John Boone session video clip.
The gathering crowds, the Aotea Centre was a near sell-out!
While buying my ticket to TEDx Auckland 2014 remembered I’d never gotten around to writing a post about the 2013 event.
Earlier this year there was some flack about TED, prompted it seems by some ‘dubious’ TEDx events. From my experience at TEDx Auckland it certainly wasn’t one of those. The Aotea Centre was full, the speakers uniformly excellent and it covered a wide variety of topics.
In his intro MC @VaughnDavis (below right) made a comment which summed up my TEDx experience. He said with TED on-line you tend to self censor, focus on the familiar, topics of interest. With the live event you can’t and it is a good thing. It was, as he suggested, the unexpected which made a real impression.
For example I’m not a fan of poetry but one memorable session was Grace Taylor’s Rising Voices (Youth poetry movement) and the powerful performances by Marina Alefosio & Brian Gashema. They’d never been on stage before and got a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from the full house Aotea Centre audience.
I had heard of Dr Richard Nunns but never seen him lecture. His style was awesome, building from a slow, seemingly rambling, start to an amazing mash up of traditional Maori instrumentals, a string quartet and hip-hop (with King Kapisi). Pity there isn’t a video of that session
Rather than trying to review all the sessions in detail, it was a while ago!, here are the notes I made on the day with a few [added comments]. I’ve added links to the actual presentation page, most of which have videos, if you want to see what inspired them.
The photos are all mine (my TEDx 2013 Album on Flickr). It was nice to be at an event which encouraged photography, tweeting and recording!
[loved his opening remarks] “I can speak for hours on a marae and people love it, but TED organizers expect something profound in 15 minutes”. “Took me 7 minutes to turn off my cell phone in the green room”
Career advice tertiary education not employment focused
Local solutions for local problems
Established local careers expo
School leavers connection program. If no plans contacted every 14 days
Work readiness training - time management, drivers license, tools, skills - with mentoring
Result: Nobody under 25 unemployed since 2006, low crime, no graffiti
Why isn’t he Mayor of Auckland, a thousand times better than Len Brown [and this was written before the Bevan debacle]
Wrap Up - A chance to thank the TEDx Auckland team
Between sessions the foyer included exhibits from some speakers and even live art. Lovenotes, handmade stationery from waste paper, were being made and sold on site. There was also a chance for some to experience Baby X but the queues were too long for me.
If I’d written this soon after TEDx Auckland 2013 I would have said keep an eye on the site for 2014 news. However, the tickets for 2014 are on sale at http://tedxauckland.com with one already sold to me! See you there?
A recent trip took me through the little country settlement of Waitoki in Rodney. It was nearly lunch time and I was heading back to work without any. DD’s sign got my attention so stopped to get something to take back.
A healthy Ham Wrap (with lots of salad fill) left room for something more decadent and their “Ultimate Chocolate Slice” caught my eye.
A dark crumb (cheesecake like) base was topped with shredded coconut, raisins, chunks of dried apricot and chocolate buttons bound in a sweet rich topping (which I suspect included condensed milk). I had already eaten quite a bit before “doing a Sandy” and snapping the photo right.
Beyond Ultimate, it was totally awesome but very rich and best consumed with strong coffee. It’s worth a stop if you’re in the area, a detour if anywhere near there!
Mention fine dining and I suspect many Aucklanders would not immediately think of Henderson unless they have visited “The Falls”. As a kid I remember this former Hotel as a run down, virtually abandoned, building behind Henderson’s Railside Avenue shops. About a decade ago it was relocated & restored to become a landmark restaurant & café.
Now it operates, literally, from dawn till late in a number of guises. In the morning you can get anything from a coffee to go to full breakfast. It transitions into a quality casual Café for brunch/lunch, later a great place stop for afternoon tea or after work drinks. As the sun sets the pace changes to offer dining of the highest standard. I’d say “Fine Dining” but that term is often associated with a stuffy sterile atmosphere & service that you won’t find at The Falls. The food is fine, created & served with obvious care by a team who do it with a friendly Westie smile. The Gallery aspect refers to the quality local art featured in the dining areas which changes regularly.
Although the venue is a historic building The Falls offers an up to the minute menu and is at the forefront of social media. Although I’ve been an occasional customer for years it was Alan’s activity on Twitter caught my attention over the past year or so. He also does “Coffee Training” videos on YouTube and Gary occasionally adds brilliant “Garry's moment of Zen” comments to their Facebook page like:
"Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not".
They hosted a couple of Tweetups but I didn’t manage to get to any as clashed with other events. I had lunch soon after recognised Alan @thefalls so introduced myself as @robincapper.
A couple of months later I booked for my Mum’s birthday. She hadn’t been well and “didn’t want a fuss” so it was just a low key dinner with her sister & a family friend (my American “cousin”, visiting from Taupo). I didn’t mention the birthday or Twitter when booking. We had a lovely, memorable meal which cheered my Mum up immensely and confused my Aunt. She couldn’t figure out how I knew Alan (Mr eagle eye had noticed my name in the reservation book) and telling her it was via Twitter didn’t really help! Later I showed her what Twitter was about, It made more sense but she now calls me a Twit...
I only snapped my meal (below) with the iPhone (click for the full images) but the others were equally impressed with their selections. I had an Oyster Entrée followed by a rare (as I love it) aged steak with vegetables.
This was followed with a Gelato Trio (with matching scrummy chocolate, Berry & Vanilla dipping sauces) and coffee that tasted as good as it looks. It was a great evening enjoyed by all.
For fine dining in a friendly atmosphere, experience the best in the West at:
The Falls Hotel is an historic jewel in Waitakere's crown. This first class setting has inspired owners Garry Bates and Alan Parry (ex London's Ivy restaurant) and Nina Parry to bring a quality dining experience and an award-winning menu to West Auckland…
Supermarket operator Progressive Enterprises' Onecard loyalty programme is going high tech. Marketers can now "rent" information for email campaigns from the 1.5 million-name database.
“Progressive Enterprises' loyalty programme manager, Bridget Lamont, said companies previously ran traditional direct marketing campaigns using the data, but email gave an additional, low-cost channel. The company had email addresses for about 15 per cent of Onecard members, but was aiming to collect more.”
"It cost us a fraction of a traditional direct marketing campaign," said Lamont.
"I'm still a big fan of having a presence in people's letterboxes - email is just another option."
Lamont said following best practice was uppermost in the company's mind and protocols would be followed.
Update: 25–08–2006 21:12:11
I got a very prompt reply. Although the email has the usual “If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this information is prohibited.” footer I have reproduced it here, with only contact details removed, for balance.
-----Original Message----- From: customerinfo Sent: Friday, 25 August 2006 20:25 To: Robin Capper Subject: RE: To Bridget Lamont
Thank you for your email. I have forwarded your email to Bridget Lamont, We adopt a best practice approach to this activity so ensure that customers' personal information, including email addresses, is protected, and we do not send marketing messages to customers who have advised us that they do not wish to receive them. We do not distribute any customer information to third parties, but we do send direct mail and email campaigns to customers groups on behalf of FMCG companies. Kind regards, Customer Care Representative Progressive Enterprises Ltd
It appears that the story gave the wrong impression and email addresses are not transferred when the list is “rented” but rather Onecard send spam on behalf of others. For me thats just as annoying as it still hits my inbox* so my email “remains removed” from their database and the original statement stands.
* Spam doesn’t actually get that far thanks to MailWasher