#MTG Making Townsville Great Feature

We appeared in the Townsville Bulletin's #MTG 'Making Townsville Great Feature'

Article by Victoria Nugent

TEDX IS IN ITS INFANCY IN THE NORTH BUT THE IDEAS- DRIVEN EVENT IS ABOUT TO HAVE A GROWTH SPURT, TOWNSVILLE FOUNDER TANIA CLARKE SAYS

APPLICATIONS to attend an inspirational speaking event designed to spread ideas will open in early June. The second annual TEDx Townsville conference will take place in September, with organisers set to more than double attendance numbers from the last event.

Last year just 100 tickets were offered, but this year the cap has been raised to 240.

TEDx Townsville founder Tania Clarke pulled together the first conference here last year and said organisers were looking at extra ways to engage the audience this year.

“When you increase your size, the experience changes as well,” she said.

“We’ve got a more intimate venue now and we’re looking at ways for the audience to really get out of their comfort zone.”

The event will have 13 speakers, whose identities will be a closely guarded secret until a month beforehand.

“We want to build the hype and keep them guessing for a while,” she said.

“Some events don’t even reveal the speakers until the day.” This year’s theme is Breaking Barriers, with key topics for the day including the Great Barrier Reef, psychology and design.

Ms Clarke said the theme relates to how people can change and innovate for the better.

“There are so many issues in this world, it’s hard to know where to start,” she said.

“I really do believe change can occur when you look through a micro lens and focus on what each of us as individuals can do, and that is what we hope to do for our event this year.”

The executive committee will also start recruiting volunteers in June.

Ms Clarke said planning would start ramping up a lot from now on to pull together the event.

“Five months out for us in event planning is crunch time,” she said.

Ms Clarke said having a TEDx event in Townsville gave everyday people a voice.

“TEDx is loved by younger generations so it’s a way to engage the youth in our community as well,” she said.

TEDx will take place on Saturday, September 17, at Dancenorth.