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Behind the Scenes: The Flagship TEDxCanberra Event

HerCanberra Team

Over one thousand people will take their seats on the morning of September 16 for the annual flagship TEDxCanberra event.

A full day of inspirational talks from a panel of seventeen speakers and top class performers. Plus this year, there is Innovation Alley, an interactive playground for the curious. And coffee, of course. Lots of coffee.

So what exactly goes into planning a TEDxCanberra event? We take a sneak peek behind the red circle and see what’s involved.

This is the 14th event for TEDxCanberra, so they have a good idea what Canberrans like and don’t like. There wouldn’t be an event without curating an exceptional line up of speakers.

“The secret to great curation is curiosity. Ideas can be found everywhere. Rich sources we tap into include the media, local events, conferences and networking opportunities, public lectures, art exhibitions, museum events and social media,” explains Kristen Boag, the Speaker Team Lead. “Different interests, expertise and networks bring forward a greater diversity of ideas.”


Kristen explains that there is a fine art to curating speakers that resonate to the broader community.

“Often it starts with an idea in the community, what needs to be debated and discussed and we work backwards from there.”

On show day, crew members (wearing those iconic black t-shirts with ‘CREW’ on the back) ensure the attendee experience is smooth sailing.

In total, more than three hundred volunteers have been involved in the preparation of TEDxCanberra events since they began. Volunteer hours average an astounding fifty thousand hours per year, for all TEDxCanberra events.

Volunteer hours average an astounding fifty thousand hours per year, for all TEDxCanberra events as TEDxCanberra is a not for profit organization.

“If it wasn’t for our partners, TEDxCanberra would be a lesser experience for our attendees,” says Jade Hall, Partners team lead. “Our partners share in our mission of spreading the ideas of our local thinkers and doers that might inspire change in our attendees’ lives, their communities and their world.”

The TEDxCanberra team

The TEDxCanberra team

“We begin seeking and working with our partners a year in advance to ensure our annual show is a quality event. Each partnership is tailored to help our partners achieve the objectives of their contribution, financial or in-kind, whilst enhancing the attendee experience.”

Most of us recognise the red X when we see it. Helen Roe, the Marketing and Comms team lead, tells us that “The TED brand has global awareness and brand recognition and TEDxCanberra builds upon that, whilst offering a local, totally unique experience for the Canberra community.”


You have likely watched a talk or two on YouTube but Helen explains that “TEDxCanberra brings relevance and real time live events to the community in Canberra. It’s a completely different experience. Nothing compares to the anticipation and adrenalin rush of listening to speakers and being part of a live TEDxCanberra event.”

“This year the TEDxCanberra event is all about Momentum, to reflect the changing nature of Canberra as a growing city and community,” explains Licensee and lead organiser Ingrid Tomanovits. “It will see us return to the Canberra Theatre Centre for a full day of inspiring talks and entertaining word class performances.”

the essentials 

What: TEDxCanberra Momentum
When: Saturday 16 September at 9am
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit
More information: You can learn more about the speakers and get your ticket here.

Images: Supplied


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