I recently attended TEDxWellington and wanted to jot down an experience that was unforgettable. There were kittens (oh the kittens), there were secrets and trust (like a spin the bottle party but waaaaay better), there were cakes ( and you know me and cake) and then there was Wellington.
TEDxWellington (TED – Technology, Entertainment, Design and the little ‘x’ for those community offshoot events all over the world) is in it’s …….year and this year was a little bit special. Most TEDx events run on a similar proviso. A theme, speakers are released slowly to tease and tempt you, a venue, social media throw-down with pictures and tales of what’s to come and exciting information the weeks prior so you know what to expect.
This event was taking on something completely different, never-done-before in the world of TEDx. The months before the event we, the audience knew absolutely nothing about what we were headed for. The theme ‘trust’ relied solely on us doing just that. Trusting the TEDxWellington team to deliver us a day of surprises without knowing anything at all. Right down to where we were headed for a venue, the speakers, food and drink and breaks. All we got was the time we were to meet in central Wellington and a date. I paid my ticket and strapped myself in for the ride.
Wellington on a clear blue sky day is a sight to behold. Meeting point was outside the stunning spot of Wellington’s History Museum where four large big red London buses met us to take us to somewhere. Windows were even covered to shield us from the destination and what proved to be a very hot journey. A brief sweaty half an hour ride and we were there. But where ‘there’ was was a still a mystery as a large tunnel lead us from the bus to our venue. We still didn’t know where we were when we took our seats (some locals knew but unlike the locals I had no clue). At last MC Sarb Johal introduced us to Park Road and Peter Jackson’s private studios. We were in the ‘theatre’ with twinkly lights and golden statues. Such an amazing place to be and captured the magic of the day perfectly.
As we didn’t have a clue who or what we were about to see everyone was on the edge of their seats and what was presented to us was a totally mixed bag of ideas worth spreading. Honey for all things medicinal, using ‘old’ equipment to produce ‘new’ sounds, how libraries are the lifeline of communities, planning your funeral and my personal favourite about having ‘real’ diversity in teams.
Break outs are also a hit. First of all this gave us the opportunity to wander some of the halls of the studio and with the ban on taking photos we could actually spend time looking at what we were faced with rather than snapping away like crazy people. But then Kittens (yes kittens) in the outside space for us to pet gave us a lovely opportunity to chat with speakers after their talks Cupcakes, photo opportunities, badges, delicious food and chatter all crammed together in a fine fine day where our brains were jam packed full of new knowledge.
Video courtesy of TEDxWellington