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TEDxSydney 2018 Stuns World with Innovative Ideas

June 18, 2018 Conferences No Comments Email Email

TEDxSydney – the leading platform for the propagation of Australian ideas, creativity and innovation – has today announced its 2018 event has been its biggest and most successful to date, with a range of incredible talks and performances related to the theme of HumanKind.

Ever wondered what a beatboxer’s throat looks like while they are performing? Tom Thum and Ear, Nose and Throat Dr. Matthew Broadhurst used a camera to showcase the fascinating, alien and incredibly graphic process from inside the voice box.

In a world first, endovascular neurologist Thomas Oxley announced his company, Synchron, will start human trials this year for technology that could give those with paralysis the ability to communicate.

As the first endovascular neural interface, the Stentrode is ground-breaking for digital brain technology. It is a wireless brain device that can interpret signals from the brain for patients with paralysis without the need for open brain surgery or direct contact with brain tissue. The Stentrode technology is being researched to enable patients to learn how to control assistive and augmentation technologies through thought alone.

Commander James Bevington of the NASA-funded Mission 5 for HI-SEAS, carried out an eight-month simulated mission to Mars with five others on a volcanic landscape, and opened up about how his expedition transformed both his viewpoint on living on Earth and his relationships.

Magda Szubanski – celebrated actress, comedian, writer and key activist in Australia’s 2017 Marriage Equality movement – gave an emotional talk on the source of a person’s courage and drawing on generations of family for strength.

In a touching talk, the Father of Slam Poetry in Australia, Miles Merrill, spoke to the hardships of explaining racism to his children and the difficulties of communicating to young people why they might be treated differently and the disadvantages they may experience because of that.

On the performance side, with bold and eclectic style, Kaiit from South Melbourne, released her new single OG Luv Kush pt.2 on stage and the Moorambilla Voices Choir delighted audiences alongside performer Michelle Leonard.

Fenella Kernebone, TEDxSydney’s Head of Curation, says: “Today has been our biggest and most ambitious TEDxSydney yet and is a testament to our incredible speakers, captivating performances and challenging short films all capturing the spirit of the HumanKind theme.”  

“Our world is becoming increasingly complex and each day humanity is faced with new challenges the likes of which we never seen. Now, more than ever, sharing ideas that challenge us, inspire us and connect us will shape the kind of society we want to live in and the world we want to share.”

2018 Speakers:

Anjali Jaiprakash: Jaiprakash works at the intersection of medicine, engineering and design and was announced as one of the world’s 25 Women in Robotics you should know about in 2017. Her vision is to create a world in which robotics technology enables affordable medicine for everyone and her talk was on how robot technology can revolutionise health care.

Bronnie MackintoshMackintosh is a Training Officer at Fire & Rescue NSW. She has travelled the world to research how international fire agencies are changing their workforces and discussed the need for greater diversity in the Fire and Rescue service.

Bruce PascoePascoe is a prolific indigenous writer, editor and anthologist who lives deep in the Victorian Bush where he finds solace and inspiration. His spoke to Indigenous Australians’ long history of agriculture, a challenging talk highlighting a history often left out of Australian textbooks.

Chyloe KurdasKurdas is a pioneer in women’s AFL and has spent the past decade building the catalyst for Australia’s first ever national women’s professional competition, AFLW.  In her emotional talk, she discussed why AFLW took 159 years to happen – and why they’re never looking back.

David Capra: Capra collaborates with his dachshund, Teena, to create entertaining and thoughtful performance art. Teena is quite the publicity hound; in 2016 she even launched her own fragrance. David spoke to tackling life’s troubles with Teena by his side as inspiration and support.

Eddie WooCan maths really be made enjoyable for all people? High school mathematics teacher, Woo, seems to think so. And with 200,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 13 million video views, it seems a lot people agree. At TEDxSydney 2018, Eddie discussed how everyone is inherently a mathematician, even if they don’t believe it themselves.

Fang ChenDr. Chen is Senior Principal Researcher, Data61 – CSIRO and a thought leader in AI and Human-Machine Interaction. She has also pioneered the theoretical framework of human behaviour understanding for building human-machine trust and spoke to why we have to learn to trust AI.

Ian Strange: Strange is an Australian multi-disciplinary artist based in Brooklyn. He discussed his large-scale installations that explore architecture, space and the home alongside broader themes of disenfranchisement within the urban environment. Ian spoke about his eight-year-long project investigating the concept of home and the evolving meaning for various peoples.

Jahan Kalantar: Kalantar describes himself as the ‘little guy lawyer’. Standing up for those kept in mental health facilities involuntarily, refugees seeking asylum and individuals accused of heinous crimes. Jahan gave a moving talk on the art of apology, the best way to communicate regret and its power in strengthening our bonds.

James BevingtonBevington is the Commander of the NASA-funded Mission 5 for HI-SEAS. He recently carried out an eight-month simulated mission to Mars with five others on a barren, volcanic landscape. He spoke on what living on Mars taught him about life on Earth and human relationships.

Lucinda BeamanIn a world where truth is being lost, Beaman is on the front line as the FactCheck Editor at educational publication, The Conversation. Lucinda spoke on the power and impact of facts on changing a person’s mind and how the process works.

Magda Szubanski: Szubanski is a celebrated actress, comedian, writer and LGBTQIA rights activist. She also happens to be the “Most Talked about Person of 2017”. Magda tackled the discussion around where courage comes from and the influence of generational power.

Miles Merrill: Merrill is a writer, performer and slam poet whose work touches on society, class and race. Hailing from Chicago, in some respects Merrill could be considered the Father of Slam Poetry in Australia. In a touching talk, Miles spoke to the hardships of explaining racism to children and the difficulties of communicating to young people why they might be treated differently and the disadvantages they might have because of that.

Nicole GurranNicole Gurran is a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sydney. Her research examines affordable rental supply and the impacts of online holiday rental platforms for local communities and her talk was on designing cities to be inclusive for people of all walks of life, rather than just the wealthy.

Rod Bower: Father Bower is an unconventional Australian priest making headlines around the world. He speaks out on gun control, asylum seekers, recognition of First Peoples and is an advocate of marriage equality. Rod spoke on why all injustice is social, taps into communal responsibly for the wrongs of the world, and how we can work together to change that.

Stephen ScheelerScheeler is a tech business veteran determined to make Australia a front-runner in the global tech race. He is an inspiring personality and a member of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Knowledge Nation 100, top innovation leaders in Australia. Stephen spoke on working at companies where he is consistently the oldest person in the room and his journeys and learnings as an ‘old guy in tech’.

Suzie SheehySheehy is a respected scientist, public speaker and researcher who focuses on particle accelerators (like the Hadron Collider!) and their applications, ranging from medicine to energy. Suzie spoke on Blue Sky Research, or research without limits, and why it is essential for humankind to build a better world.

Thomas OxleyOxley is an endovascular neurologist, world expert in endovascular bionics and also the CEO of Synchron. In his talk, Tom announced his organisation will start human trials for his groundbreaking new technology, the Stentrode, which can enable “digital telepathy” technology that could give those with paralysis the ability to communicate without the need for open surgery.

ALL 2018 Performers

Didirri: Didirri is a Melbourne singer-songwriter and has been one of the most exciting new talents emerging in the local music scene. His music is a sweet and delicate blend of powerful emotion and somber folk which has been described as beautiful enough to “melt the heart”.

Kaiit: Kaiit is a young songstress from South Melbourne and born in Papua New Guinea who released her new single OG Luv Kush pt.2 on the TEDxSydney stage. She allures her audiences with her enchanting voice which crosses musical boundaries and is influenced by her love from jazz, neo-soul, alternative music and contemporary sounds.

The Lumiphonic Creature ChoirThe Lumiphonic Creature Choir is a multimedia invention from artist Mark Bolotin brought to the TEDxSydney stage that allowed a group of musicians and audience members to play, trigger and interact live with a giant twelve-headed audio-visual instrument.

Moorambilla Voices: At its core, Moorambilla Voices seeks inspiration from the region of NSW, its landscape, rich culture and inhabitants. This student choir stunned the Sydney audience with an incredible performance.

Odette: Odette is a 20-year old Australian singer-songwriter and one of the global artists to watch in 2018. Her South African mother introduced her to African music, soul, funk and rhythm; while her English father, hailing from a long line of jazz pianists, introduced her to new wave, jazz and passed on his musical talents. For TEDxSydney 2018 she performed her haunting, ethereal song, Watch Me Read You.

Solli Raphael: At just 13 years old, home-schooled Solli Raphael was crowned Australia’s ‘Slam Poetry King’ after his powerful performance of works on homelessness, refugees and evolution.

Tom ThumTom Thum is one of Australia’s best beatboxers. He performed at TEDxSydney five years ago and his video has become the most watched TEDx talk/performance ever. He took to the stage again to beatbox again, but with a throat camera that captures the alien movements of his voice box as he beatboxes.

The Kick Start program from Principal Partner, St.George Bank, also returned to TEDxSydney 2018 where businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to pitch their ideas on stage in 60 seconds to win one of the $40,000 cheques that can help transform their company.

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