An opinion piece I wrote for The Newcastle Herald published on Tuesday. Siobhan.
Outsiders often perceive Newcastle as a post-industrial town bereft of purpose since BHP closed its doors. Add to this a handful of tragic weather events and a devastating earthquake and Newy becomes the poor cousin to Sydney and Melbourne, where all the really interesting things happen. Right?
When we first announced our move from Sydney to Newcastle a little over a year ago, we weren’t surprised to hear these sentiments still being echoed amongst some work colleagues and neighbours, many of whom had not been here since before the F3 was built.
But we knew better. We knew that Newcastle’s isolation from major cities – combined with the legendary Novocastrian spirit – is what influences the growth of truly incredible stories of creativity and innovation in this region.
Newcastle has a thriving industry, and that is its people and their ideas.
We all come across ideas that change the way we think, or provide deeper insight and understanding. Our first inclination is to share these ideas – whether we ‘like’ something on Facebook, re-tweet interesting points of view or simply retell over a cup of coffee with a friend. I wanted to share, with Newcastle and the world, the clever and creative people I’ve discovered since moving here. With that, TEDxNewy was born.
TEDx events are independently organised spin-offs of the annual TED conference (TED = Technology, Entertainment & Design). TED has grown into a global phenomenon since it was launched in the US in 1984. It brings together the world’s leading thinkers and doers to share ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.
Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Bono have presented ideas at TED. Al Gore’s Oscar-winning movie An Inconvenient Truth grew out of an appearance at TED.
But the most popular talks – which are free to view at TED.com – are by otherwise unknown thinkers and doers. Creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on how schools kill creativity and brain scientist Jill Bolte-Taylor’s story about experiencing her own stroke are the most watched talks, with over eight million views apiece.
TEDx is a platform designed to deliver TED-like experiences at the local level.TEDx events are organised by volunteers without a commercial agenda.
A day-long event at Playhouse Theatre on 12 November 2011, TEDxNewy will feature presentations by some of the phenomenal professors, engaging entrepreneurs, scintillating storytellers and awe-inspiring artists who are contributing to the vast potential that is Newcastle’s future. The theme for TEDxNewy is ‘Shock of the New’ – new thinking from Newcastle and new ideas for the world.
With sponsorship from kindred organisations it’s our aim that tickets for TEDxNewy will be free, however ticket numbers will be limited to 200. An application process to be selected to attend is open to anyone who is passionate about spreading great ideas. A live web stream and a proposed secondary forum location at Newcastle Museum will ensure everyone can access TEDxNewy. All talks will be available to watch online after the event.
If you want to be shocked, amazed and astounded by Newcastle keep an eye on TEDxNewy.
There’s been a little flurry of media support for TEDxNewy the last few days which had revealed several speakers. More to be announced as we get closer to 12 November.
25-year old documentary photographer Conor reports from overseas on stories that get little, if any, media coverage. Most recently he has been on assignment in South Sudan for UNICEF.
Qualified librarian, blacksmith, novelist, surfer, beekeeper, gallery director and ballet mum, Gerry has the credentials to speak about the importance at always being a novice.
Mark Jackson & Ukastle Ukestra
Since 2009 Mark Jackson has established six ukulele orchestras in the Lower Hunter. He believes that teaching and learning to play music is one of the most positive ways to bring community together. Ukastle Ukestra will perform, fresh from the Annual Ukelele Festival in Hawaii.
A graduate in speech pathology at the University of Newcastle, Sarita will present her 3-minute thesis on therapies for stuttering children.
Ex-casting agent for TV & film, Liz Mullinar is best known in Australia as one of the founders of Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse and the Mayumarri Healing Centre located in the Hunter Valley.
Dr Peter Saul
Having witnessed over 3,000 people die, Senior Intensive Care Specialist at John Hunter Hospital Dr Saul will be talking about ethical dilemmas hospitals face around dying and how everyone can help prepare for a dignified death.
Marcus is responsible for some of Australia’s more innovative, unconventional and successful cultural projects and events, including Renew Newcastle and This Is Not Art Festival.