Sunday, March 22, 2015

Learning never stops – TEDxSydney announces 2015 speaker program

Curiosity starts with the itch to explore. And I have that itch. A friend once said to me you have this childlike curiosity that some people lose when they become adults (probably because they get bogged down with the day to day). I read somewhere that when it comes to learning, there's a powerful "rich get richer" effect; curious kids get more return from the same effort than kids who aren’t so curious. That makes learning more satisfying for them, which in turn feeds their curiosity. Same can be said for adults. Learning never stops. This is the theme for the prestigious 2015 TEDxSydney program on Thursday 21 May 2015 at the Sydney Opera House which I’m excited to announce where 16 extraordinary Australians get ready to share their stories of learning, spreading new ideas and thinking to the rest of the world.


TEDxSydney has unveiled its 2015 speaker program – introducing an incredible line-up to bring to life this year’s curatorial theme of learning. From the great-great grandson of Charles Darwin to an internationally undefeated champion kickboxer and a Director at the International Red Cross, a group of the world’s leading thinkers and doers will take to the stage at TEDxSydney 2015 to deliver their thought-provoking ideas.

“Learning never really stops”, said TEDxSydney Editorial Director Edwina Throsby. “Just because you leave school, it doesn’t mean you stop seeking out new information, having fresh ideas or looking for inspiration. Every one of the extraordinary speakers at this year’s event has something to impart to the audience – whether that’s the result of a lifetime of research or just a life well lived.


“Our community is really smart and connected, so it’s a huge challenge to curate a program that excites them and offers them something new. Our 2015 line-up brings together speakers from all backgrounds, who have incredible stories, world-leading research, and big, fresh ideas. Every member of our audience – at the Opera House and online – will learn something new at TEDxSydney this year.”


Introducing the TEDxSydney 2015 speaker line-up

#1 24 year old Dylan Alcott OAM is a Paralympic gold medallist, World Champion, Grand Slam champion and world record holder for both wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

#2 Born in Baghdad, pioneering surgeon Dr Munjed Al Muderis was forced to flee Iraq to Australia as a refugee. He embarked on his journey to become a world leader in osseointegration surgery on his release
from a detention centre in 2000 and is now part of a crack team pioneering bionic fusion.

#3 Chris Darwin is the great-great grandson of one of history’s most celebrated scientists and evolutionists – Charles Darwin. Tackling what his great-great grandfather called his “greatest regret”, Chris has made it his life’s goal to help halt the global mass extinction of species.

#4 Nadine Champion is a UFC High Performance Coach. With over 28 years experience in martial arts, Nadine has never lost a fight.

#5 Australian born and raised, Dr Helen Durham is the first woman to head International Law and Policy at the International Committee of the Red Cross.

#6 Julian Burnside is an Australian barrister, human rights and refugee advocate, and author. He has acted as legal counsel in a number of high-profile hearings including pro bono for major human rights cases, in particular concerning the treatment of refugees.


#7 The king of the compost toilet, Hamish Skermer knows a thing or two about how to deal with human waste. The Australian entrepreneur invented his own environmentally friendly dry toilet 15 years ago which has since been used at some of the world’s biggest music festivals including Glastonbury, the Falls and Meredith festivals in Australia.

#8 Tom Uglow is Creative Director for Google's Creative Lab in Sydney. He works with cultural and creative organisations around the world exploring the space between technology and the arts and what can happen where they intersect.

#9 Trans woman Starlady is a youth worker in some of Australia’s most remote and challenging places. Using an unusual set of tools the flamboyant hairdresser spends her time traveling thousands of kilometres across the central desert.

#10 Currently based in New York, Tega Brain is an Australian artist and environmental engineer working at the intersection between art, ecology and engineering.


#11 Stephanie Trigg is a literary scholar in the field of medieval studies. Currently one of ten Chief Investigators in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (UWA), she is particularly known for her work on celebrated English poet Geoffrey Chaucer.

#12 Richard Bourke works in Louisiana – America's Deep South – as a death row lawyer defending people who are facing or have already received a death sentence.

#13 Tony Fry is a design theorist, philosopher and author from Brisbane who offers a profoundly challenging view on the relationship between design, unsustainability, and politics.

#14 French-born marine biologist rockstar – Dr Daniel Pauly – is well known for his work in studying the human impact on marine ecosystems and global fisheries.

#15 Susan Butler is the Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary. After starting out as a research assistant in 1970, she has been at the helm of the dictionary for more than 30 years.

#16 No stranger to controversy, Dr. Charlie Teo is a high profile and inspirational neurosurgeon pushing boundaries. Founder of the Cure for Life Foundation, he operates on both Australian and international cancer patients. He is known as the brain surgeon that goes where others will not.

TEDxSydney takes over the Sydney Opera House in May. For the first time, this year’s TEDxSydney will take over the entire Sydney Opera House across a series of events – opening up the annual ideas festival to more people than ever before.

As well as the main live program in the Concert Hall, the TEDxSydney at the Playhouse simulcast event will live stream speakers and performances from across the four sessions to the playhouse within the Sydney Opera House – giving a further 400 attendees an intimate and up-close experience as part of the 2015 festival. A youth focused event – in partnership with the University of Sydney – is also expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

“This is a year of ‘firsts’ for TEDxSydney”, said Founder and Licensee Remo Giuffré. “Not only is this the first time that we’re taking over the entire Sydney Opera House – minus the Joan Sutherland Theatre – but it’s also the first time we’re hosting the event on a weekday.

“In a way, I think the curatorial theme of learning was a response to this shift in day. It presented us with a wonderful opportunity to engage and involve school and university students while also knitting together the diverse experiences and ideas of our key speakers through a single theme.

“And of course, it’s also the first time that our community will have the opportunity to hear from this extraordinary bunch of individuals. I for one can’t wait to hear what they have to share.”

2015 performance line-up will also be announced soon.


You can visit tedxsydney.com to find out more information about the event.

Some media photos from the TEDxSydney 2015 Launch Event (bottom photo you can see Rene Giuffre, the Founder of TEDxSydney)


 

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