Townsville Speakers Go Global for TEDx

THE countdown is on to Townsville’s first TEDx event and thousands of viewers from as far afield as Canada, the US, Indonesia and Guatemala will tune in to watch the speeches live.

Saturday’s TEDx Townsville is an offshoot of the Technology, Entertainment, Design program created in the US, with just 100 people granted the chance to buy tickets but thousands more to tune in via satellite events.

The curiosity-themed event at James Cook Universtiy aims to spread big ideas with 11 speakers and an exhibition of innovative individuals and companies.

Head of obstetrics and gynaecology at James Cook University Professor Ajay Rane, designer Sara Michelazzo, marine biologist Fiona Merida and drum circle facilitator Alex Salvador are among the speakers.

Private viewings have been organised throughout Townsville, Australia and overseas locations, including Hendersonville in North Carolina, Launceston, Sydney, Jakarta, Toronto, Toowoomba and Cairns.

Public events will held at the James Cook University’s Eddie Koiki Mabo Library and city campus and at the Museum of Tropical Queensland. TEDx licensee Tania Clarke said she was surprised but pleased to see so many applications to hold satellite events.

“It shows the topics we’re talking about have global significance,” she said.

“It’s not bad for a regional TEDx event.”

Ms Clarke said the program’s application process was something new for Townsville, with some people confused that they couldn’t automatically get tickets.

“It’s definitely an education process,” she said.

“If we want TEDx here, we’ve got to follow these guidelines.

“I think the people who will get tickets are the ones you want to have in the room because they put in a bit of effort.”

Ms Clarke said excitement was building.

“It’s great, it shows the desire for that intellectuality and deep discussion in Townsville,” she said.

Speaker videos will also be uploaded to the TEDx Townsville website after the event.

Final rehearsals started this week.