Our biggest to date with 1,000 madly curious souls descending on the capital and St James Theatre for our “What’s Your Perspective?” themed event:


Talks / videos above from our fantastic 2017 speakers / performers from the 2017 event:

Clare Christian

The Canarium Nut Company Ltd

Clare is currently Project Managing an initiative exploring the commercialisation of a tree nut that grows throughout Melanesia.

Clare co-owned an art gallery for seven years before moving to London where she was Musical Director at a rock academy working with youth at risk, and formed a band that (fun fact!) included the founding guitarist of Pink Floyd.

On her return in 2010 she worked as a baker which led her to developing NZ’s first paleo bread which she distributed throughout the country. Alongside her position as Project Manager, Clare works regularly with her band Jeep Rd.

Bop Murdoch / Sarah Tuck / Jody Burrell


Bop, Jody and Sarah have been making theatre together for 6 years, opening community dialogue and connecting people through storytelling.

They are addicted to the personal transformation that comes with a good creative process, and in 2015 they redirected their mahi towards making that level of people-care available to all kinds of people! After graduating from Inspiring Stories’ accelerator programme: ‘Live The Dream’, they have launched CoLiberate, a social enterprise helping people to feel their best.

This trio is on a mission to shift the perception of mental health and enable emotional wellbeing in the workplace.

Irene Wakefield

Prepair NZ

Be who you needed when you were younger. The teacher, the strong adult, the badass sister who speaks her mind, the one who loves YOU unconditionally.

In 2015 Irene founded Prepair NZ after learning that a former relationship was mentally and emotionally abusive. Something she once vowed not to fall victim to.

During her childhood the words “”history repeating itself”” were used to describe a woman in an abusive relationship.

Prepair NZ has a vision to empower and inspire young women across the country to create history that is absolutely worth repeating itself.

Jack Candlish

Organic Dynamic

Jack is an Industrial designer who loves the outdoors.

To Jack, sustainability means living in a way that allows his children and grandchildren to enjoy the same outdoor activities that he did growing up. When he realised the impact his surfboards had on the environment he set out to develop an alternative.

Today he produces boards from locally recycled and renewable materials that compliment the natural integrity of the sport and contribute to the protection of the marine environment.

Jason Long

Victoria University of Wellington

Jason Long is a composer, sound artist and researcher from Christchurch, New Zealand. He studied at the University of Canterbury, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, the Netherlands, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, and is currently undertaking a PhD in Sonic Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington, focusing on musical robotics.

His musical and research publications have been featured internationally in academic journals and conferences, vinyl records and CDs, and his research into historical computer music was recently published in The Turing Guide (Oxford University Press).

Jo Cribb

Jo has worked on some of New Zealand’s toughest problems including child poverty, violence against women and child abuse as a senior leader in government and NGO volunteer.

Most recently she was the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women and Deputy Children’s Commissioner. She currently has a portfolio career that remains focused on addressing the tough issues we face as a nation.

Jo is the proud mother of two, avid supporter of their Saturday morning sport, likes to bake and sews Guide and Scout badges onto blankets when required.

John Cockrem

Massey University

John Cockrem, Professor of Comparative Endocrinology at Massey University, is a penguin biologist who has worked with penguins ranging from the largest, the emperor penguin in Antarctica, to the smallest, the kororā (little penguin).

Kororā are declining, and John is developing methods to bring back kororā to coastal communities. In mātauranga Māori the success of kororā populations indicates the health of the coastal environment.

The kororā work shows how the fascination that people have with penguins can lead to an understanding of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) as a way of managing the environment based on the traditional Māori world view.

Marjan van den Belt

Victoria University of Wellington

Marjan loves to make change and broker complex dialogues. Her work at Victoria University as Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability) allows her to facilitate a transition toward a more sustainable future.

Life has been an international adventure and included co-founding an eco-village in the USA, running a Research Centre for Ecological Economics in New Zealand, founding consultancies on ‘Mediated Modelling’ in the USA, on waste reduction in Sweden and she advised a sustainability-oriented start-up hedge fund in The Netherlands. She earned a Master’s of Business Economics in The Netherlands and a PhD in Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science in the USA.

Melissa Cristina Marquez

The Fins United Initiative

Melissa Cristina Marquez is a Latina marine biologist and wildlife educator with a BA (Hons) in Marine Ecology and Conservation degree from New College of Florida, USA and an MSc in Marine Biology from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ.

She is a freelance environmental contributor, and founder of The Fins United Initiative (TFUI; www.finsunited.co.nz), a program that brings attention to the unusual and diverse sharks (and their relatives) of the world and the threats they face.

She regularly hosts #STEMSaturdays on Twitter to provide career guidance and advice to young women in STEM worldwide.

Nik Curry

Postural Patterning

Nik’s passion is helping people to use their bodies well. At 56 he’s been a physio since 1984 and now works as a posture and movement specialist. Nik has developed an alternate approach to body wellness, Postural Patterning, over the last 25 years since being unable to solve his own movement problems in the conventional way after leukaemia and bilateral hip replacements when he was 28.

This is educational, not treatment based.

His first book “Common Sense for your Body” came out last year and Nik is currently finishing the second. He works with individuals and groups from the Wellness Studio in Raumati.

Phil Sage


Discovering and innovating the world’s best play experiences, his craft is channeled through building next generation leaders, new processes and industry best product.

A toy designer, technologist and passion for driving incremental business, his career talents and curiosity were quite evident at a young age.

Compiling RC car motors, fishing wire and batteries into elaborate duct tapmatthewe bound lawnmowers, his love affair with the most magical of industries spans 15+ years, constantly innovating, evolving his global philosophy of partnering with the globes experts, bringing the best opportunities to market which ignite consumer’s creativity and imagination.

Rebecca Stewart

Pomegranate Kitchen

Rebecca Stewart is the co-founder and General Manager of Pomegranate Kitchen, a social enterprise which trains and employs cooks from a refugee background. Language barriers and lack of local experience can make it difficult for former refugees to find the right job opportunities, and Pomegranate Kitchen provides a way for them to use their existing skills and enter the job market.

Rebecca was born in Wellington and has returned after working for not-for-profits in Australia, India and Fiji, in areas such as as sexual health and Indigenous youth justice.

She studied at Victoria University (BA) and University of Melbourne (MPH).

Tuaine-Nurse Tamarua Robati

Whitireia Community Polytechnic

Tuaine-Nurse Tamarua Robati is from the Cook Islands and is an educator with MEd from Victoria University in Wellington.

He is currently the Artistic Director and Tour Director at the Whitireia ‘Bachelor of Applied Arts’ programme based at the Performance Centre in Vivian Street.


Meet the 2017 volunteer team who putg together this unique Wellington experience:

Leadership Team


Licensee / Speaker Coach / Producer

Yes, just a D and a K. Advisor / Speaker / Producer with an interest in creativity, wisdom, hugs & ‽’s.


Hannah Wignall

Head of Delegate Experience

Contractor in both the creative and health sector. The human element of events excited me the most. I play football and ride bikes for some endorphins. Talk to me about: empathy.


Helen Kirlew Smith

Partnership / Sponsorship Liason

As freelance Producer, Event Manager and Facilitator, for Helen, it is all about sharing stories, and connecting people. She is currently working with Urban Dream Brokerage to present temporary public art projects in vacant spaces across Wellington.


MarComms Team

Matthew Dyson


A lover of all things caffeinated, carbonated, and cheesy. Public sector communicator by day, side hustling by night. Appreciates a good oxford comma and those who do as well.

Maren Scheibe-Beinersdorf


Maren holds 12 years experience working in the advertising industry, moved to Wellington 3 years ago and has fallen in love with NZ (listens to at least 3 TED talks a day).



Alex Beeden


Editor and freelance proofreader of illustrated non-fiction books and digital content, with too many books, too few plane tickets, and just the right level of caffeine addiction for Wellington.

Kristina Keogh

Kristina Keogh


A proud Wellingtonian, Kristina is passionate about telling stories about people and places. She works in communications at Victoria University, is an avid social media user who’s fluent in hashtags and emojis, and a nail polish fanatic.


Rachel Berry

Rachel Berry

Writer, editor and failed skydiver. My superpower is an in-depth knowledge of The West Wing. What’s next?


Interaction Team

Erica Brooks

Interactions Designer

Creative Consultant, with a background in art & design, media production, film & lit, and startups. Head of Experience Design, Brand & Marketing at The Roxy Cinema.


alex matthews

Alex Matthews

Interactions Designer

Alex is a digital producer and entrepreneur, having had an active life in business since a young age and founding Xequals, a cutting-edge web and graphic design company in 2011.


Matthew Berry

Matthew Berry

Interactions Designer

Techie man, football fan and accredited tea maker for @rachelfberry.


ian loveridge

Ian Loveridge

Interactions Designer

Digital designer, maker, dreamer, life-long learner, and Building Scientist. I seek new experiences and ideas with which to build my creative tool set to both solve the world’s problems, and make fun and unusual things.


Operations Team

Alina Manko


Work at Wellington City Council and play at TEDxWellington. Feeling so lucky to call this little wonder of a city my home for the last year. Find inspiration in creativity and kindness.


Rachael Thacker

Rachael Thacker


Engagement Manager for the Victoria Business School at Victoria University, no two days are ever the same which is just the way I like it. I’m a fan of travel, innovation, delicious food and bringing people together to experience quality events.


Community Team


Grace Ashman

Community Engagement

Having enjoyed a few years of some serious wanderlust I ended up in Wellington; battling the winds while making the most of all this vibrant city has to offer! Currently on a mission to celebrate diversity and ensure TEDxWellington is accessible for all.


Sasja Mazurkiewicz

Community Engagement

Current public programmer and life enthusiast with a focus on human-centered design, play and technology. With a background in UX and design thinking I love running workshops and events, anything that involves people and crafting experiences.


Herbert Bartley

Community Engagement

An arts producer, social catalyst and events curator. Pasifika Advisor for CoCA, Massey Univeristy & Co-founder of Kava Club.

Speaker / Performer Curation Team


Sarb Johal

Master of Ceremonies

TEDevangelist. I’m a clinician, researcher, policy advisor to anyone who’ll talk with me, and public speaker. Absolutely blown away to be MC’ing this years’ event and will be honoured to introduce the fantastic speakers plus help create a magnificent day to remember.


Chris Ortiz

Chris Ortiz

Speaker Liaison

L&D Advisor with a background in coaching and motivating individuals to achieve success. I’m passionate about using game mechanics and design principles to craft dynamic learning programmes.


Erica Brooks

Speaker Curation

Having worked for seven years with an international non-profit, I came to love speaking, and facilitating multiple speaker conference events. Creating a memorable journey arc for our delegates through exposing them to outstanding local ‘ideas worth spreading’, is a gift.


emma hart

Emma Hart

Speaker Curation

A reporter since I was 19, and the biggest buzz still? Interviewing and interacting with peoples amazing stories that now more than ever, need to be heard. From One News to media coaching European CEO’s, it’s a privilege to help speakers engage emotionally and elegantly puncture the passion and/or action point in audiences.


Thanks to our Sponsors. Their investment has significantly supported us to deliver our vision as well as providing the foundational resources we need to enable this event to happen:

talentarmylogo Powershop-Logo US-Embassy-Logo

Thanks to our Partners. With a combination of investment, time and resources we are thrilled that specific elements of this event has been made possible through their contribution:

Strategy Creative evetfinda logo
enspiral accountants logo NW Group logo Bradley Garner Creative Ltd logo
B&F Papers logo almighty logo big pic logo
zealong logo Palmers Miramar Logo qt-museum-wellington-logo
Blue Star Promote

Thanks to our Salon Partners. By providing their venues for us to host our ongoing Salon series in between our main events to keep our community engaged:

Roxy Cinema PCC logo

Thanks to our Livestream Partners. Enabling places for local communities to watch the event livestream with others and engage in conversations about the ideas covered:

Rita Angus Logo_white HuttCityLibs-logo DoubleFarley_Logo MUSA logo



Read the 2017 event review.


Read the 2016 event review.

Read the 2014 event review.