TEDxCanberra brings 'momentum' back to local innovators

Tue 04 Jul

With Innovation Month upon us, we sat down with Head Organiser and Licensee of TEDxCanberra, Ingrid Tomanovits to chat about the organisation's upcoming event in September and how TEDxCanberra fosters local innovation. 



Tell us about TEDxCanberra's upcoming event? 

TEDxCanberra will host its next major event on Saturday 16 September at the Canberra Theatre Centre. We chose our theme ‘momentum’ in part to reflect that Canberra is a thriving, modern city brimming with great ideas and innovations. The event will feature a full day of the talks and performances that people have come to know and love as part of any TEDx event.  We’ve curated a line-up of speakers and performers with an emphasis on local voices and speakers with an idea of strong relevance to our audience.

What sets this one apart? 

We have a new way for the audience to engage with ideas through Innovation Alley, which will be set up in Civic Square. The idea behind Innovation Alley is to encourage members of our community to experience ideas, rather than just listening to talks about them. Local designers, producers, creatives, and innovators are being invited to participate in Innovation Alley by coming up with ways for the TEDxCanberra audience to experience their products and ideas during the breaks between all the in-theatre action.

One of our principal partners, University of Canberra, will be showcasing some of their initiatives with local businesses and startups. We’re also working with the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) and the Sustainability Hub to identify and highlight some of the best local ideas for people to explore. We can’t reveal too much just yet, but we can’t wait for our audience to see some of the amazing, potentially world-changing projects that are going on in our town.

And without giving too much away, one of our main objectives in putting on TEDxCanberra events is to promote local people doing extraordinary things. We’re constantly amazed and inspired by what we find is happening in our own backyard. Our events are the perfect opportunity for people to connect over something really meaningful. We really do create a unique forum for people who are putting their good ideas into action to show them off, and for people who might otherwise not find out about them to have a chance to get involved.

There is so much happening in Canberra and it’s exciting to be part of it.



What can first-time TEDx ticket-holders expect from the event? 

If you’re coming to TEDxCanberra for the first time, or the tenth time, we recommend coming with an open heart and mind. No one on our stage is there to sell a product and no one gets paid. Everyone on stage is there because they care deeply and believe passionately in the work they are doing and their talk is an invitation to you to consider an entirely new idea or an existing idea from a new perspective.

Everything about the day is designed to create an opportunity for our attendees to have a memorable and worthwhile experience. Not everyone will love every talk; not every idea you see or hear will resonate. That’s kind of the point. Our audience is as diverse as our range of speakers and topics. By presenting a broad range of topics, and a broad range of perspectives, we create an event designed to inform and challenge as much as it’s designed to encourage and inspire.



If no one is getting paid, how does it all come together? 

TEDxCanberra is run and organised entirely by volunteers. The amazing day that happens each spring doesn’t materialise by accident! It takes a year of planning and hard work to make our major conference happen. We do it because we are proud of our city and passionate about the people who live, work and create here.

We’re proud to provide an ideas forum that is free from commercial and political influence.

We believe in the power of ‘ideas worth spreading’ and love that our events provide a unique platform to have our community’s voices heard, and local ideas shared with a truly global audience. We’ve been the catalyst for some amazing collaborations and love that we get to bring people together around great ideas that can help change our community, our city, our country and even our world for the better.