We’re excited to reveal the first speakers for our 2016 lineup, introducing 13 extraordinary people ready to share their bold ideas with Australia and beyond. Speakers as diverse as a political cartoonist, an intensive care doctor and a quantum physicist will take to the TEDxSydney stage at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday 25 May 2016 alongside a survivor of the 2005 London bombings, a body acceptance activist, a digital artist and an award-winning photographer among others.
Together, TEDxSydney 2016’s speakers will explore topics ranging from the ethics of human engineering; society’s last acceptable prejudice; and the ‘Boy Crisis’; to why we need to stop “orphanage tourism”; what defines our individual identity; the international responsibility of Australia to preserve endangered species; and how people can die a better way. Further speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Our Head of Curatorial & Editorial Edwina Throsby notes: “TEDxSydney is about providing a platform for ideas that have the power to change attitudes and ultimately, our lives. Whether they’re an artist, commentator, scientist or activist, each of these brilliant speakers will bring their own unique experiences, perspectives and ideas to the Opera House stage, with one key common denominator – they are all collaborators. This year’s event will highlight what is possible when people work together. So often success is attributed to an individual but ideas that genuinely resonate almost always come about through collaboration.”
Introducing the first speakers from the TEDxSydney 2016 lineup:
- A survivor of the 2005 London bombings, Dr Gill Hicks’ story is one of incredible courage, determination and optimism. She currently heads up M.A.D. for Peace, a platform that connects people globally and encourages ‘us’ to think of Peace as a Verb.
- Kelli Jean Drinkwater is an artist and activist recognised internationally for her imagery, performance and work in radical body politics. Kelli Jean uses the body as a way to explore themes of identity, queer and feminist theory and society’s obsession with “perfection”.
- Sometimes big problems need unorthodox solutions. Co-founder of The Australian Rhino Project, Ray Dearlove advocates international responsibility in the preservation of the world’s biodiversity. He’s currently undertaking a project to introduce breeding herds of endangered white and black rhinoceros into the Australian outback to help ensure the survival of the species.
- One of Australia’s most recognisable and influential cartoonists, Cathy Wilcox has been challenging our political and business leaders (almost) daily since 1989. Best known for her work in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers, Cathy won her first Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in 2007. Cathy has also illustrated a number of successful children’s books, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Children’s Book Council’s Picture Book of the Year three times.
- After experiencing firsthand the failures of traditional orphanages, Tara Winkler co-founded the Cambodian Children’s Trust, a community development organisation challenging the accepted status quo and helping to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for vulnerable children in the developing world.
- Karen Palmer is a digital media artist and filmmaker and founder of IF-Interactive Film, a production company that fuses film, gaming, technology, wellbeing and sport. Fuelled by a passion for Parkour, Karen is pioneering a new mind-controlled video game challenging players to focus fully and engage.
- One of Australia’s great scientific minds, Assoc. Prof. Michael J. Biercuk is an experimental physicist and the Primary Investigator in the Quantum Control Laboratory at the University of Sydney. As part of the University’s Sydney Nanoscience Hub, Michael is working to change the world from the nanoscale up.
- Dr Michael Kimmel is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. Currently the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University, Michael is working on the launch of a pilot study on Australian boys and masculinity.
- Professor Ken Hillman is committed to improving the management of dying patients in acute hospitals. The Professor of Intensive Care at the University of NSW believes providing practical advice to breakthrough what has become a highly medicalised ritual will help more people manage dying at home.
- Palani Mohan is an award-winning photographer and ethnographer. His fifth book on the Eagle Hunters of Mongolia is a collection of stunning images documenting the profession and culture of a dying civilisation. His images have been shown at the National Portrait Gallery in London and at the prestigious Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan, France.
- Clara Vuletich is a textile designer and sustainability strategist seeking to change the fashion industry one stitch at a time. Her focus is on changing the way we approach the challenge of ethics and sustainability in fashion and how we can all make impactful decisions on what we wear.
- Dr Jordan Nguyen is a young advocate for the future of technology and sustainability, disability, science and health technologies. Through his research into biomedical engineering he created a mind-controlled smart wheelchair – just one example of how he’s seeking to improve the lives of others through science.
- Standing at the crossroads of neuroscience and business, Elise Payzan-LeNestour uses experimental economics, financial economics, and computational neuroscience to better understand why people make the choices they do and how we can help them to make better ones.
The 7th annual TEDxSydney will be a full day event that blends talks, music performances and films with an innovative food program. As well as the main onstage program in the Concert Hall, all of the talks will be live streamed on the TEDxSydney website and available to view online after the event.
> Applications to be part of the TEDxSydney 2016 audience close on Thursday 24 March. Want to attend in 2016? Here’s everything you need to know.
For those aged 16-26 TEDxYouth@Sydney will return in 2016, staged simultaneously in the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House. Created by youth for youth, the full lineup for the event will be announced in the coming weeks – tickets are available online now.