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TEDx 2015: Forward Momentum for Canberra Women

HerCanberra Team

Far from hibernating through a cold winter and what often feels like a pushback against gender equality in Australia, TEDxCanberraWomen is pushing forward with conversation about what it means to be a woman and what women are achieving around the world. On Saturday 30 May, TEDxCanberraWomen 2015 will show a session from the main TEDWomen stage in the USA, and encourage women in Canberra to talk about what we want for all women.

TEDxCanberra has been running every Spring since 2010 as an independently organised TED event, run entirely by volunteers (like me) who are passionate about great ideas and our city. While the main event is taking a well-earned breather this year, TEDxCanberraWomen is an opportunity to be part of a community of creative, intelligent, empathetic, and curious people of all ages and backgrounds.

The event will show Session 2: Surface from TEDWomen 2015. The speaker lineup is both inspiring and likely to challenge our ideas…

Rich Benjamin is the author of Whitopia, a 26,909-mile journey through the heart of America’s whitest locales, small towns and exurbs where white populations are concentrating as America, meanwhile, becomes ever more diverse. His book asks America to imagine itself in 2042, when whites are no longer the majority. What form will diversity take?

Roxane Gay’s 2014 book of essays, Bad Feminist, talks about honesty, identity, privilege, and not being perfect. Her recent appearance on ABC’s Q&A generated much-needed conversation about intersectional feminism in Australia.

Kakani Katija is a bioengineer. She studies “wake structures” left by marine organisms to better understand how they move and interact with their underwater environment.

Lerato “Lee” Mokobe is a slam poet from Cape Town who explores social injustice and gender identity issues. Her Vocal Revolutionaries literary organisation made it to the final stage of the Brave New Voices global poetry competition in Chicago. She is also a teaching artist across the United States and a 2015 TED Fellow.

Elizabeth Nyamayaro is a political scientist and head of the UN Women @HeForShe campaign. She is the founder of Africa IQ, promoting sustainable growth and employment in Africa. She has also held positions with UNAIDS, World Health Organisation, and World Bank.

Pardi Sabeti is a computational geneticist based at Harvard. She investigates diseases including Ebola, cholera, and tuberculosis to better understand the genetic factors for disease susceptibility and help find a cure.

The event will be held at the National Museum of Australia, the perfect place to think about where we’ve come from and where we want to head in the future. The theme for this year’s TEDWomen conference is Momentum – moving forward, gaining speed, building traction. Best of all, it’s free – which organisers are hoping will make it easier for students, retirees, and anyone on a low income to participate. But registrations are limited, so best to book now.

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