TEDx Canberra puts local thinkers on the global stage

Posted 28 Aug 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

As one of the world’s top thought sharing conferences, TED Talks have taken the world by storm, spreading ideas on everything and anything from the history of the world to how to get revenge on spam emails.

Thanks to a number of dedicated local volunteers, Canberra has been running its own version of the conference for the past eight years.

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TEDxCanberra is a local and independently organised event that brings people together in a TED-like experience; this year along the theme of Momentum. The event gives local speakers with local perspectives and ideas an opportunity and a place to share their voices and creativity.

Ingrid Tomanovits, Licensee and Lead Organiser of TEDxCanberra, says the event is an important one for Canberra.

“We’re part of the TED community, which is the largest grassroots ideas movement in the world, so we’re bringing that element to Canberra. We can focus on speaking out and uncovering different ideas and the people behind them.”


Glenn Keys is spearheading a project designed to help some of the most marginalised members of our communities achieve something many take for granted: home ownership. In this talk, Glenn explains how the project works and its potential to change lives around the world.

Over the eight years it has been running, TEDxCanberra has featured many interesting, innovative, unique and entertaining speakers and in a city as diverse and intelligent as Canberra, Ingrid isn’t surprised that the event has become so popular.

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“Canberrans are very interested in what’s happening, especially in the quirky or unusual space. We’re always willing to try new and different things – we’re a curious bunch,” she says,

“We have a huge multicultural community here, so we are connected to research and developments across the world. All our speakers are involved in national and international bodies, which keep our topics diverse.”

This year, speakers at TEDxCanberra’s Momentum come from a broad range of backgrounds, including acupuncturist Dr. Kal Ientile, gamification designer Kerstin Oberprieler, photographer Grace Costa and rally driver Lynda Leigh, among others.

Local bands and musicians will also take to the stage and continue to show off the capital’s creative richness.

The theme Momentum was chosen this year to reflect the changes Canberra has been through and its growth as a city and community. Ingrid says this is a good opportunity to explore what growth has meant for creativity in Canberra.

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“We’re becoming confident as a creative community; we are no longer looking to Sydney or Melbourne to support us. We’re seeing a lot more creative events come out of Canberra and there is a lot of investment being put into creative areas of the city such as New Acton and Braddon.”

“We are a forthright community who are starting to understand just how much we have to offer,” she says,

“More people are becoming attracted to the city and are realising they can live an interesting life here, which brings in new ideas and perspectives. We are shaking off the idea that we are just a public service city because actually, we’re a really cool little capital!”


TEDxCanberra favorite, slam poet CJ Bowerbird, returns to our stage for a second talk. This time, CJ exhorts us to embrace both fear and love.

TEDxCanberra’s 2017 event, Momentum, will be held on Saturday 16 September at the Canberra Theatre Centre. For more information on the event, to view speaker profiles and to book tickets, visit the TEDxCanberra website.

To learn more about the remarkable ideas that have come from previous TEDx Canberra events, visit TEDx Canberra’s YouTube channel.

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