Yesterday was long and exciting. It was the rehearsal for TEDxMelbourne, one of hundreds of independently organised TED events. Held on the 20th of November 2010 at the State Library of Victoria, the conference will cultivate a living nucleus of brilliant individuals and their ideas. The diverse array of highly notable speakers and performers will be sure to inspire as they share their stories, ambitions and entertainment. The speakers will present to a theatre of 200 people, which is filmed and live streamed to: a media room at the library seating 300, various other venues around Melbourne and of course the internet. What thrills me the most are the volunteer organisers and team that give this local event a worldwide voice. A key element of the day will be the blogs, tweets and photos shared on the various social media platforms to create collective interaction. One of the themes for the conference is community and I must say it is easy to feel a part of it.
Through that impressive little creature called Twitter I came into contact with David Hood, in charge of the social media coverage, who asked me to be the roving host for the conference. My role is to video blog interviews with the presenters, attendees and the volunteers throughout the day.
Already I’ve had filmed chats with a number of the speakers at the rehearsal about their thoughts and feeling on TEDx. Do check http://www.youtube.com/tedxmelbourne for all the videos from the blogging.
Mike Penrose – Pretty much a humanitarian hero. He is the Director for Emergency Programmes at Save the Children, an organisation focused on improving the lives of children globally. I saw what is just the first draft of his talk and it is already exceptional. If I could have lunch with anyone from today, it would be Mike. He makes real change in the world on a day-to-day basis.
Lucinda Hartley – Founder of Community Oriented Design, a studio centred on facilitating appropriate design solutions for community development projects. Her work has taken her to slum villages in Vietnam and Cambodia where she worked with communities to design sustainable infrastructure. I was pretty devastated when I saw her wedding ring. She’s a remarkable person and her talk will be both visually and verbally inspiring.
Amanda McKenzie – Champion of youth organised climate change movement, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. As the national director of AYCC, Amanda has a powerful bout of storytelling lined up for TEDxMelbourne. She laughed at my jokes and considered my feedback. I feel honoured. Keep an eye on her in the future as she makes big impact in the political scene.
Chuck Berger – Lovely dude. His talk will make you understand sustainability in a way you never considered. As Director of Strategic Ideas for the Australia Conservation Foundation, this man’s brain is worth attending to.
Adam Jaffrey – Anti-Violence Evangelist for Step Back Think, Adam is set on making the Melbourne streets safer through a range of initiatives. In the brief moments we got to chat, we bonded pretty easily. It’s either a testament to his kind and humble nature or maybe just our shared Gen-Y-ness. His talk in rehearsal was many things, moving being not the least of them. Cannot wait for people to see it.
Kumari Middleton – We both got pretty excited about the whole TEDx experience in our chat. Kumari runs Mayibuye, a community dance and life skills program that makes enormous positive social change. She took my card and said she would contact me about teaching magic tricks to kids. I hope she does. Her talk is short, sweet and to the point. Just like her charming self.
Emilie Zoey Baker – I was blushing for most of our interaction. Totally flirt town. This lady is radiating charisma and her international award winning poetry is sublime. She is the Education Officer at the Australian Poetry Centre and I predict she will be one of the most talked about performances on the day. Win.