My notes & photos from TEDx Auckland 2015. I only took the phone (for both notes & photos) and was sitting right at the back of the hall so my shots are a bit ‘distant’.
- The italics are the speaker profiles sent out by TEDx Auckland
- The bullet points my OneNote notes taken on the day (which may contain errors) and a few post-TEDx thoughts after.
Award-winning scientist Dr. Siouxsie Wiles describes herself as a microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast but to others she is “that pink-haired science lady”. She believes that playmakers like Lego should lead the way in stamping out gender-stereotyping in toys.
- 18/150 minifigs feminine when first looked
- 20% feminine 2014
- Lego friends mostly feminine but they suck
- Hands don't move
- Can't ride a bike, can brush hair
- In NZ: 98% plumber mechanics builders men, 97% teacher female
- Lego have had a solution for years, the two face Voldemort minifig could be male/female
- Of 200 head introduced 2013 had 2 expressions
- Just make all figures with both gender two sided faces is a simple and elegant solution
I know Siouxsie, from Skeptics in the Pub, and had seen her speak before so wasn’t at all surprised she was great. Must be a double edged sword being first up to kick off a big day. Big expectations but the benefit of getting out of the way to enjoy the rest of the speakers. As a life long Lego fan (having Grandparents living on duty free Norfolk Island helped that) I the topic was of interest. I loved the simple solution Siousxie offered, something Lego could, and should, easily implement.
Grant Schofield lives and breathes the motto “be the best you can be”. Through his work as Professor of Public Health and director of the Human Potential Centre at AUT, his focus is on preventing the diseases of modern times, and seeing what it takes to help people live a long, healthy and happy life.
- Ever think about how you are going to die?
- Aspire to live long, then drop dead without lingering
- Worked on pacific atoll, still had population of 40k, 50% have diabetes
- Lost traditional values, living on instant noodles not the best
- How did we get to the point where butter is like marijuana, most have tried it but wouldn't use it daily
- Grant found him after he commented on a blog post, looked a bit like a rock star.
- Drug user with hepatitis c
- Figures out new way of eating, health improves
- Was on benefit in West Auckland, now research assistant at AUT public health
- George’s journey enabled by internet
- Public health should involve the public
Sometimes complex problems have simple solutions. Public health should involve the public.
RILEY & STEVE HATHAWAY
Riley Hathaway is a 14-year-old ocean ambassador, who presents her own TV series called ‘Young Ocean Explorers’. In it, Steve and his daughter Riley present captivating stories about what happens when a teenager comes face to face with the marine animals we’re all curious about.
- Started with dad helping daughter with school project in waste plastic on turtles, fantastic response, inspired the series
- Using Kids to inspire kids works
- If we win the kids we all win
Great message and amazing where a school project can lead.
Shaun Hendy is the founding Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland. Shaun believes that the challenge for New Zealand is to overcome our relatively small and widely dispersed population base and build a city of four million people.
- NZ primary sector ~50%
- Denmark similar size
- same primary sector
- 4x other export
- NZ 1 patent/1000 people, chch 1/1000, akl 1/750
- Sydney 1/500
- Larger city, more innovation
- To improve:
- Connect innovators
- Create social network
- Cities enable connection but technology can too
- Barcode invented by AMTRAK, didn't work till combined with laser
- Innovation is diverse ideas connected
- Diversity drives innovation: Detroit (old Auto) vs S.F. (Tesla)
- Barcode invented by AMTRAK, didn't work till combined with laser
- Hitachi in Japan led idea/ patent sharing
- Dominant global business model of shared patents responsible for 2/3 patents worldwide
Interesting to compare the culture of patent sharing to some of the patent trolls who hoard and stifle innovation. I wonder, in spite of some awesome examples, if New Zealand will ever get beyond the commodity mentality.
People rush out for coffee at the end of the first session
Steve Pointing is Professor of Applied Ecology at AUT and for over a decade has led an astrobiology research team collaborating with NASA. He has broadened his interests to consider the societal impacts of discovering life on other planets: How will this change our perception of humanity?
- Science was his escape from bullying
- Studies extremophiles in Antarctica, NZ, Tibet
- Is there life on Mars
- Almost certainly
- Aliens likely to be microbes, imagine bio security risk of returning samples
- Will discovery of alien life impact faith?
- Probably not
- Pope Francis happy to baptize alien
- Consider impact of Spanish on Aztec South America
- Cultural loss
- Genetic changes from interbreeding
- If we discover alien life, are we going to be the colonists or the Aztecs?
Strange leap from potential of alien microbes to the Pope being open to welcoming Aliens!
Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong is currently an eye doctor in Gisborne hospital. In 2014, he founded OphthalmicDocs, an R&D company that focuses on the development of ultra mobile and economical eye tests and diagnostics devices.
- A dream to end preventable blindness
- Has worked in Kenya, Nepal
- 285 million vision impaired, 39m blind 80% preventable
- Human Eye 576 megapixels resolution equivalent
- Invented device optical camera for smartphone
- Tested on Wife, baby & a fish he caught!
- Didn't work well
- Got engineering help from Facebook
- Created working product
- Now open source 3d printable item
- 3d house
- $25 instead of $25,000
As I have fairly poor vision — short sighted, astigmatism and a risk of glaucoma — I know how it would impair life without treatment. Hong Sheng got a deserved standing ovation for a brilliant combination of invention, technological innovation and creative distribution to get affordable health care to people who really need it.
Tom Scott is an award winning political columnist, editorial cartoonist and documentary maker. Some of the films and television dramas he either wrote or co-wrote include Footrot Flats and Tiger Country. He's currently working on a six-part television series on Sir Edmund Hillary.
- Charlie Hebdo: Not great drawings, but great messages
- Father came to NZ after war, in part to escape religion in northern Ireland
- Cartoons in the French Peace cartoon gallery
- Why do states like Pakistan & North Korea devote so much of limited GDP to nuclear weapons? Where are the keys? Tucked under the drivers sun visor probably!
- His biggest concern: Global Warming
- 95% of people are decent, 5% nutters and shitters try to ruin it for the rest of us.
Have known his work my whole life. Great to hear Tom speak about his work, our world and some of the bizarre things that are considered normal.
Gavin Healy, who is originally from Ireland, will speak about the impact of growing up in a country devastated by centuries of civil war, and how the 5,500 year old spiritual sites that surrounded his childhood home gave him hope...
- Thoughts determine behaviour
- Brain rewired by thought
- Denial is easier then acceptance and behaviour change
- Suggested religion but wouldn't give car keys to a stranger, wouldn't give brain to something wasn't sure exists
- Investigated spirituality, Celtic etc
- Formed ‘I Stop’ to get kids out of the Northern Irish troubles
- Theory: If thoughts create neuron pathways, & those pathways create addiction, what is media doing to our brains?
- Marshall institute ran smoking is ok campaigns, now working on climate change
- Creating doubt is their goal, doubt feeds denial
- Met kiwi wife, moved here and reconnected with environment
- Good Magazine
- Element Magazine (Herald insert)
- About to launch social media site
- Message: Change the world by changing how you think
- Grow new behaviour with new thoughts, spirit & world
Some interesting views on the way media is influencing us, maybe our brains. Have been thinking about this myself since the Tibet trip. Both Buddhism and the political oppression combined with media control have impacted a whole society. Maybe (in a different way) the same is happening here.
Billie Jordan established a hip hop dance crew with her elderly neighbours (aged 68 to 96 years old) with the audacious goal of performing at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas within eight months. From that point on, her life and the lives of her dance group changed forever.
- At what point are you considered old?
- Ageism is real
- US senior citizen suicide rate 3x youth rate
- Old age should be the most liberating time of your life
- All the group have physical/mental aging problems to some degree. ASIDE: Why do people still whisper about dementia? It's going to happen to all of us who live long enough to some degree
- I think because all mental health problems still stigmatized
- Her story:
- Both parents abusive, felt Suicidal
- Cut off from that and moved to Chch
- Traumatized by quake survival
- Moved to Waiheke, created flash mob of oldies top connect with others
- Set them impossible goal: Performance at World Hip-hop championship in Vegas
- Learnt hip hop off YouTube to be their choreographer
- They got there
- Their doctors say are healthier now than have been in years
Billie and her crew were just awesome. What I found really sad was the prejudice they encountered (from both family and community) which was much more discussed in the AUT Lounge session after.
Hip Hop-eration video
Bailey Wiley filters neo-soul classicism through modern, righteous and true live musicianship. The star of the show is her golden voice – effortless and organic, supported by her raw talented band.
DALE NIRVANI PFEIFER
Dale is changing the way we connect online. Her #donate software, developed to make giving easy on social media, is unleashing the next generation of generosity. Her goal is to support the evolution of the human experience with money by creating a generosity-based financial system.
- Grew up in NZ, whanaungatanga principles strong
- Social media for good
- Ice bucket challenge
- Sparked social media giving
- Cross cause giving
- Fan the flames of generosity
- Her https://goodworld.me service allows you to use the #donate tag to give to charity via Facebook and Twitter
- Paradox of generosity
- Giving is also self serving
- Givers are happier
- Give what you want to receive
I hadn’t heard of Goodworld and how the #donate tag worked before this talk. A neat way to enable more people to give, breaks through the hassle of giving.
Janette Searle had a life changing conversation that turned into ‘Take My Hands’ a not-for- profit organisation that redistributes prosthetic, orthotic and medical equipment to those in need.
- Working at conference found NZ hospitals dump unused limbs - later worked out equiv of 60,000 boxes of medical equip/year goes to landfill
- Arranged to get some unused limbs to Pakistan
- Worked out 1 limb cost $0.30 to get to a boy in Pakistan
- Turned it into a trust
- PBT transport, Mondiale & NZ Post supported
- Designed a platform (now open)
- IT: Item tracking & management
- Knowledge: Advisory board
- Stories: Telling about the impact
- Now used from
- Blissful act s of kindness palm nth
- Furnishing the pacific
- The floating foundation
- Everyone can make a difference, you don't need to wait until you're rich and retired.
The last note sums it up. A simple idea, connecting a waste problem to a resource shortage, and she made it happen. Brilliant.
SIR BOB HARVEY
Sir Bob Harvey is the Chairman of Waterfront Auckland, has served 6 terms as Mayor of the city of Waitakere and recently published his biography ‘A Life Less Ordinary’. Sir Bob’s involvement in leadership, creativity and his passion for the environment will be the foundation of his TEDx talk.
- Leadership in a landscape
- Grew up in Newton Gully
- Cycled to Piha, bit never got there, Karekare took his eye & heart so he never got to Piha
- First sea air rescue ever was at Karekare when float plane picked up woman who'd drifted out.
- Slept on beach, saw Waterspout and discovered dead whale, inspired to do something creative
- Ad agency worked on:
- Norm Kirk campaign - Its time first NZ modern political campaign,
- David Lange - Was huge, but got a little slimmer
- Major of Waitakere:
- Named it Eco City - a green bastion of sanity
- Inspired by Karekare
- Driftwood talks to itself but we cant hear it, that's not crazy, but it is edgy.
- If you want to find leadership: find your place and believe in you.
Bob’s talk really resonated with me. Maybe because I’m a Westie and love the West Coast that was ‘his place’. I don’t live on that coast but would never want to live far from it. I made a point of hanging around to thank him personally for the talk, inspiring.
A futuristically classic sound in a distinctive blend of funky drum rhythms and soulful synthesizers – that is how you can explain the diverse music mix of Sorceress. The duo has evolved into a widely respected soul electronica act with a truly global following.
To be honest, initially had my doubts, then the trumpet came out and the performance soared. Loved it.
Tame Iti will explore the old saying of "Te ka nohi ki te ka nohi" (Dealing with it eye to eye) and how it creates a far more productive space for open dialogue around any issue.
- Sense of self
- Sense of place
- Sense of heritage
- At primary school principal banned Maori at school
- He tested that and had to write lines on the blackboard
- Authority is not mana
- Make them face you
- Eye to eye
- Went to crown treaty hearing
- They were up on stage
- He didn't want to be looked down on
- Took a ladder to do his submission from
- The mana of the people is equal to that of any authority
- History has woven us together, we are the basket, the kité, which holds the future. We must face each other eye to eye
When I saw Tame Iti on the line-up I remembered the underwhelming Willie Jackson session last year. No worries about that as Tame Iti was brilliant. A great message, beautifully delivered.
Max Cryer (MBE) was New Zealand television’s first quiz host and was awarded ‘New Zealand Entertainer of the Year.’ He has an Honours degree in English Literature and Etymology, and for TVNZ he produced over 100 episodes of “University Challenge” and 100 episodes of ‘Mastermind’. [and MC Vaughn in W3
- English language has a world of its own
- No country called Germany
- No city called Venice
- No place called Gallipoli
- But we use all these words
- Impact of internet on language
- Met without meeting
- Dating without dating
- Grooming... Doesn't work out well
- Friend you haven't met
- Text evolved to texting & texted
- We Chat in rooms with no chat
- Tweet in silence
- @ amphora symbol has no name in English
- Used for pricing before the web was invented: 4 yards @ £3 yard
- That is why it's on the keyboard
- In many languages has a name but in English has none
- Spam was originally Spiced Ham
- Monty Python popularised spam spam spam
- Something we get in profusion but don't want
Have known Max’s work my whole life, listen to his Radio Live spot with Graeme Hill every weekend (via the podcast usually), was great to see him live. He didn’t disappoint.
Lisa Matisoo-Smith is the Professor of Biological Anthropology in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago. Her primary area of interest is in looking at the biological evidence for the human settlement of the Pacific.
- Uses DNA to understand human migration history
- Pioneered by NZ Allan Wilson
- Mitochondrial Eve
- All the diversity in humans today happened in about the last 60,000 years
- Polynesian triangle (New Ginea, Samoa, Tonga) colonised over 3500 before present BP
- NZ 1200 to 750 BP
- Polynesian chicken bones found in South America dated 750 years before Columbus. They returned via Ecuador bringing kumara with them
- Studied rat dna in Polynesia, community engagement from the led to acceptance of human dna project
- 30 female mitochondria means there were thousand or more, not previous thought hundreds, woman settled here (NZ) in initial migration.
- The longest journey: Africa to Aotearoa: A genetic study of NZ
Had heard of Lisa’s work (I think thanks to G Hill on Radio Live) and interested. A few years ago I submitted my DNA to the National Geographic Genographic Project. The results showed that my (paternal) ancestral DNA left Africa about 60,000 years ago migrating across continents to the U.K. & Western Europe. From there a much more recent migration resulted in me being Kiwi born. It was interesting to hear how Lisa’s work was rewriting, or restoring, the remarkable abilities of the Polynesian settlers.
Michel Tuffery has a deeply held belief in the possibility of art to create connections: "I’m not a social worker, I’m an artist who’s trying to create a conversation".
- C3WEST 'Transforma Project' partnered with Museum of Contemporary Art and Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia, 2012-2014
- Aboriginal settlement near Campbelltown,
- Cars stolen, burnt, dumped in river
- Solo mothers
- Drugs, needles in bush
- Interviewed elderly
- River used to pristine
- Started boxing club for kids
- Trained for hour
- Fed & ate with them
- Had kids design transformers made of car wrecks, printed on paper & t shirts
- Worked with council, army, tow truck companies and community to clear it up
- Built a Kangaroo transformer sculpture that changed a community
- Aboriginal settlement near Campbelltown,
Interesting to hear how art was used to build community in an area with many social challenges.
And that’s it:
There was a strange sky to greet us, the result of a full'ish moon being eclipsed by a cloud!
This was a new venue for TEDx. Although the auditorium was great I thought the lack of foyer space, compared to the previous Aotea Centre, really impacted the ability to circulate and socialise during the breaks. Food, from The Food Truck, was good but they were seriously challenged trying to feed a couple of thousand people in the one hour break. It was fortunate there was no rain, always a risk in Auckland’s changeable climate, as the outdoor areas got a lot of use. In short, a great day but I hope it returns to Aotea next year.