Speakers fire up Wanaka event audience
Still revelling in TEDxWanaka’s recent success, licenseholder Jo Guest is already gearing up to hold another speaking event next year.
The non-profit event attracted speakers from all over New Zealand, to talk about their work in technology, entertainment and design.
For the inaugural event, TED rules limited seats to 100 people, who paid $115 a ticket. However, funding was still tight, Guest said.
‘‘Financial sponsors were hard to find, but we had lots of generous in-kind support from the community, which had a snowball effect, and a great crew of local volunteers, who were skilled and passionate, supportive and encouraging.’’
The Scottish-born Wanaka resident, who co-founded Mission WOW, an outdoor sports organisation for women 12 years ago, invited people who were ‘‘change makers’’.
For example, TEDxWanaka speaker Dr Michelle Dickinson also known as ‘‘Nano Girl’’ went straight from the event to use her super-nano technology powers to help Sir Richard Branson solve the world’s water purification issues. The Auckland scientist joined a handpicked group of technologists assembled at the tycoon’s Caribbean hideaway, Necker Island. Branson himself had been a past TED speaker.
While Dickinson’s comicbook analogies about why Spiderman has sticky hands had the audience on the edge of their seats, retired Wanaka psychiatrist and old-age advocate Kenneth Bragan got them to their feet.
Also author of the book Do not go gentle, which deals with getting the best out of old age in an increasingly technological age, the 86-year-old’s rousing words earned him a standing ovation, helping to secure TEDx’s success.
Referencing Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s poem about old age and death, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Bragan told the younger generation to ‘‘slow down’’ and ‘‘get with it’’ about the impacts of climate change and technology.
Guest said she would renew the license for next year, with a date to be confirmed.
New Zealand already holds several TEDx events, with Auckland the longest established. It also runs in Queenstown, Christchurch and Wellington.
Featured ride: New ZealandSnowboarder magazine’s past front page cover rider Deano Johnston and director Phil Erickson celebrate the 60th issue of the magazine at a launch party at Gin and Raspberry in Wanaka on Friday night. Prizes, including a snowboard and skate decks, were drawn for the sold-out crowd who took part in the event. Exclusive footage of New Zealand’s top riders, including Will Jackman, was also on display. The magazine, which is over 20 years old, was created by a small group of dedicated snowboarders and the first issues went on sale in May 1993. Johnston was on hand to help DJ the event.