TEDx Auckland 2010

Just adding this video summary to this post for your viewing pleasure:

I am writing this now with heavy eyes and suppressed yawns after a long, but extremely satisfying day.

This morning I was picked up at 0730 for the drive up to Auckland for the long anticipated TEDx Auckland 2010. I went with Adam, a friend from work which is a bit of a story in itself. An older lady I was talking to in the break, made the comment that she felt the event was male dominated and females were under-represented. I suggested that it might be because women were disorganised.

Before she could take offense, I laughed and explained.

I was supposed to attend the event with two women from work. One ‘forgot’ that it was her son’s birthday this weekend, and Adam ended up with her ticket. The other had a farewell party which lasted longer than intended last night, and was in no state to come on the drive with us. So rather than tipping the balance in favour of females our carload, being Adam and myself, ended up adding to the male domination.

Notwithstanding these minor details, the event was again a huge success. My thanks and regards to Richard Hollingham for organising the event and for meeting the high expectations of the previous year.

The official theme was: “What if..?”
The unofficial theme seemed to be ‘the importance of creativity’. -As I noticed last year the speakers seem to blend their message, unconciously, and there were many cross-over points despite wide ranging topics.

There were numerous highlights throughout the day.

Julie Bartlett’s presentation of Star Jam coincided with me “getting something in my eye”. And I am sure that there were few dry eyes in the auditorium when the young ‘Jammer’ girl did her solo song and got the only standing ovation of the day. -That is something that you must see (and hear) when the video is available, although it will be a mere shadow of what was experienced by being in the room.

Team One Beep had everyone’s appreciation for their fantastic solution to education in poverty ridden countries. I think the whole room was proud to claim them as ‘young Kiwis’. Their polished presentation was marred only by some unforeseen technical issues with video screens which the audience were happy to overlook.

There was so much packed into the day that it is hard to do justice to all of the individual speakers and performers, and I would hate to slight any of the speakers by not mentioning them. But as I say I am writing this at about 2300 after the full day at the event, and after party, and driving back to Hamilton.

I found Jonathon Milne of the Learning Connexion to be one of the most engaging speakers of the day, and indeed of any speaker I have heard. Dr Diva Dhar takes the rize for sheer energy, enthusiasm and exuberance. I found Kate Smith’s discussion of building brands and exploration of fostering ‘intelligent naivety”, totally fascinating.

Richard Webb held everyone’s attention when he spoke about what New Zealand can do, and how he has now moved here because he feels it is the best place in the world to be in order to take advantage of the upcoming trends in global business. I felt some pride (or vindication?) as he explained that we can leverage the small size of our country in a creative economy, because it was what I tried to say in the introduction of my book.

Ken Ring was entertaining, and had a definite message about speaking out for what you believe, and calling out those that you think are wrong. I enjoyed Stephen Knightly’s talk on games and how they are a learning experience by their very nature. A talk that we continued exploring over a beer at the after party. I also wished I’d had the chance to chat to Richard Loseby about some of the adventures and tales he no doubt has from his travels with the muhajadeen.

But at this moment, right now, I think there are two things that have affected me the most. Dr Privahini Bradoo was the final speaker of the day and challenged us to ask ourselves: “Am I employed? Or am I empowered?”
Combining that talk with the wall of dreams, reminded me why I started this blog in the first place. Why I wrote my book last year, and why I started my second book this year.

Such is the power of an event like TEDx.

We learn something new. We remember something we had forgotten. We connect with the ideas of others which ignites imagination and evolves through discussion to a new perspective, and a new direction to experiment in.

Some of this can be achieved by watching the TED talks on your PC, but to really get the most benefit you must engage with others, join the conversation, evolve ideas and understanding through discussion. This is what makes TEDx (and other conferences or seminars) such a powerful experience.

You must then Take Action.

Taking action is both an end and a beginning.
Action is taken after considering ideas, but nothing happens until actions are taken. Actions are the first step in the next cycle of experimentation. Because until you take action you will have no feedback. With feedback you can adjust your approach on the next try.

This is why I applaud the TEDx Auckland team for the wall of dreams, where they challenged attendees to put out there what they wanted, and three actions they would take to get there.

So I put my pledge on the wall of dreams:

I have the good fortune to have the time and means to learn a great deal about business and marketing. I know many small business owners don’t have the time to wade through a lot of, often irrelevant, information to gain useful, effective knowledge. My original goal with this blog was to make relevant information available to small business owners.
-Because I firmly believe that small businesses are the powerhouse of our economy. I believe that a step change in the ability of our small businesses to operate and profit in a global economy, will do more to change the life of average New Zealanders than anything else I can imagine.

So my first action point is to get back to doing a regular video show, on this blog, for the benefit of small businesses. Which was my original intention when I started this blog a couple of years ago.

My second action point is to finish my book on the benefits and dangers of Social Media Marketing, and other tools that can be used by a small business to extend their reach outside of their geographic locality, whether that be national or global.

And my third action is to create a platform to effectively distribute knowledge, and provide support to small businesses throughout New Zealand… I don’t know how I am going to do that.     -Yet.

So thanks again to everyone that was part of TEDx Auckland this year: the organisers; the speakers; the attendees; and the pupils and staff of Westlake Boys High.

See you next year ;o)


Also Check out:

Pictures from the event -Done by FeverPicture: www.feverpicture.com.au

NZ Herald story

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About Chris Hanlon

Chris has worked in or owned small businesses most of his life, before lured into the corporate world where he spent over a decade. However his passion for small business has remained, and taken life in The Profit Wizard blog, his published book, and some coaching he does for a variety of businesses. You can follow Chris on Twitter @TheProfitWizard

6 Responses to “TEDx Auckland 2010”

  1. Jay September 27, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Thank you for taking the time to update the slackers sir. I’m reminded yet again of the amazing experience I missed, ironically due to my small Business 😛 As it occupies the majority of my weekend I’ll be sure to close up shop for the next TEDx event! For now I’ll just have to imagine the overwhelming feeling of sitting amongst hundreds of like minded ‘thinkers’ :(
    p.s. I can envision the conversation with the older lady at the break (about 15 years ago I think this may’ve been considered a Kodak moment lol).. Good form

  2. Daryl September 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Cheers Chris,

    Thanks for the summary of the day. I should have gone!

    I have to agree with your summary on take action! If you don’t do anything you can’t expect anything to happen. This a lesson I’m still learning!


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