The best takeaways from the HUB at TEDxSydney 2019

Jacqueline Marks

A buzz of voices filled the space. Not sure what to expect, I was intrigued as I wandered into what felt like something a room of excited children had dreamt up. There were virtual reality goggles, liquid nitrogen ice-cream, a Giant stereo shaped dj booth and a sand raking, stone stacking, pillow filled mindfulness station.

It was hard not to feel like a kid in a candy store. I’d arrived for the first time, in The TEDx Hub.


  1. Opportunities everywhere to explore and express


Of my favourites, the ‘body, mind, soul’ station was definitely one. In a busy world, with our brains constantly ticking over, we all need those moments from time to time, that bring us back to centre and remind us to actually breathe. With the huge range of deep and thought provoking speeches that rolled off the TEDx stage, even the most zen of humans were in need of the offerings this mindful little corner brought to the day.

Another that sparked my senses (literally) was at ‘creative and curious’. Making your signature essential oil blend and a splay of paper for origami making was a recipe for kinesthetic learners to thrive. This was the outlet I know I needed to re-activate my brain’s creation mode throughout the day.


  1. Collaboration for big solutions

Right in the centre was “The Think Tank” a place where some of Australia’s most interesting minds gathered to take on solving life problems around over consumption and food waste. Not only could you pop on a sexy pair of headphones and listen in but you were also invited into the conversation, contributing questions and solutions from beyond the ‘Think Tank’ to be further unpacked.

Throughout the day, the HUB was a reminder to play, to pause, to connect, to challenge, to get curious, to be courageous.


  1. Ideas worth sharing, IRL

Walking past I originally thought it was a fun art piece. Turns out it was actually a huge string of napkins. But not just any kind of napkins, these were napkins with ideas, ideas worth showing, ideas worth bringing attention to, ideas that anyone could put on a napkin and share. Just as TED has brought ideas worth spreading to life through the TEDx stage, this station was so ridiculously simple to add an idea on a napkin, but the opportunity for you, in a crowd of thousands to take your ideas, excitement or questions and put them into action and also contribute to an impressive art piece was undoubtedly a highlight for all.


  1. It’s ok to play

Finally there was the play area, complete with a swing set and seesaws it was an awesome reminder to me of the quote about how ‘we wake up wanting to save the world but if we don’t also savour it what is the point of saving it?’ Sometimes life can feel so serious, sometimes it can feel disheartening and really overwhelming but what we need isn’t more overwhelm, we need more ideas and solutions that step us forward.

‘Problem’ is the catalyst for innovation, for ideas to flow and solutions beyond what we’ve conjured before to bubble to the surface. Research is proving we need to allow ourselves to move into states of flow, of fun, of good old fashioned play. There is just something about your feet leaving the ground as you swing through the air that gives you a rush of delightful hormones and clears the space for epic solutions to potentially pop in and maybe just maybe, unlock some of the biggest challenges we face. Seeing the pure delight that each person who entered the station had was priceless!

As the event wrapped up, I reflected on the day and, I couldn’t help wonder what they will have in The Hub next year. I’m curious because in a world where we are consuming more than ever before, constantly absorbing, messages, ads and opinions through mountains of emails, news stories and social media, so often we live in limbo, between absorption and action.

I’ve watched many TED talks in my time but the TED conference was a whole other level of mind blown. Partly because of the power of immersion and partly because of The Hub. Having an environment that stimulated the senses, encouraged expansion and provided a place to transition from thought to action is what the world and sooooo many workplaces need more of. Bring on TED 2020!