We came, we saw, we TEDed!

Libby Collett, Paul Fairweather and Sally Romano at TEDX Brisbane 2011

Last Saturday was a very exciting and enjoyable experience for me and for my Royal Advisor as we attended TEDX Brisbane 2011.  There we are on the left, pictured with Paul Fairweather, who along with Carl Lindgren did an extraordinary job in pulling together a day of fascinating and inspiring ideas.  The theme for the day was “all you need is…” and this answer varied widely from hope to adversity and covered a broad span of concepts.

For those of you not familiar with TED, it is an organisation committed to the collection and dissemination of ‘ideas worth spreading.’  These ideas are captured in the form of short webcasts that are freely available on the internet, having been captured at a TED or TEDX (x for extension) event around the world.  On the day that TEDX took place in Brisbane, there were 22 other events globally.

So firstly, sincere thanks and congratulations go to Carl and Paul for organising the event and attracting such interesting speakers.  Secondly, I wanted to share a few little nuggets of wisdom and inspiration that were gleaned on the day.

The day began rooted in ancient tribal wisdom, courtesy of the first speaker, Frank Ansell. He had such a calming presence and spoke with great honesty about his homelands in the Eastern Arrernte desert of Central Australia, and invited us all to reconnect with our spirit.  He actually hosts retreats to his ‘country’, and the offer is very tempting I must say!

Then we had Eddy Harran who introduced me to the concept of K/no(w)mad, which is a play on words of nomad, with an emphasis on knowledge and he shared that there is a growing collective of such folks who through digital technology are connecting around issues and content, sharing ideas and creating collaborative projects around the world.  This appeals to me as an idea, and it occurred to me that this is what we are at Publicity Queen, a geographically-dispersed group of thinkers (and doers!) who share ideas and collaborate on projects of mutual interest.

We also heard from energising new thoughts from Dr Ross Cunnington about how the brain enables us to mirror each other when we meet and interact, and from Gordon Hamilton who as a composer is deconstructing old forms of musical composition and through an anarchical new method, capturing both words and music direct from social media.

There were many speakers whose own decisions and approaches are challenging old ways of thinking, including Paul Osuch of the Anywhere Theatre Festival, who is breaking down the stranglehold of venue owners over theatrical experiences; and by artist Hazel Dooney, who similarly has broken away from the established world of galleries, and art agents and has created a whole new way for artists to interact with audiences and patrons which for her has been very rewarding professionally and personally.

There were also many heart-warming stories of people who have taken up the challenge to be the change they wanted to see in the world, including Jeff Waldman who has just returned from hanging swings in Bolivia – changing the world one happy child at a time; and Jean Madden, the compassionate dynamo behind ‘Streetswags’.

The stand-out highlight was a Skype call with renowned Australian academic Eva Cox, who spoke simply and eloquently about the need to put people ahead of politics, the focus on the collective good, that society was more important than economy, and that by focussing on the numbers, our politicians had lost sight of what was really important – people and their well-being.

As is often the case at TED, it is the people whom you meet on the day that are just as exciting as the speakers that you listen to, and it was a real buzz to be in a room with so many thoughtful, revolutionary people, who gathered to share and impart ideas. Intoxicating! To share your experiences of TEDX Brisbane 2011 use the Twitter hashtag #TEDXBrisbane to continue the conversation.

Publicity Queen
Yours in PR,


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