Hair was raised and inspiration ignited by more than eleven speakers who presented their speeches at this years’ TEDxTauranga event.
The event, which is in its fifth year, saw a collection of live speakers and entertainment acts perform to a crowd of 539 people at Trinity Church over the weekend.
Its speakers included Mike Seawright, Shelly Davis, Mayank Thammalla, Mel Lee, Aisha Te Kani, Claire Baker, Lynn Berresford, Chris Battershill, Nick Harvey and Debra Lampshire, alongside performances from ex Tauranga Boys High School band Plum Jam, flow artist and dancer Freddy Carr and Maori artist Toka Tu.
Lead organiser Phil Green says seeing the audience on the edge of their seats was one of the biggest highlights.
“With every speaker there’s something different and the audience are caught off guard.
“They’re laughing, listening intently and next minute there’s tears in their eyes, then they are clapping furiously and then there’s standing ovations for many of the speakers.
“It creates an incredible feeling you get goosebumps, it’s such a great event and people enjoy every moment of it.”
He says the event had a much more relaxed feeling than previous years.
“We had this relaxed atmosphere where speakers, audiences, organisers and volunteers all get together and talk.
“People end up talking to strangers, which is the whole idea about the event, it’s about ideas that are worth sharing.
“It’s one of those educational and social events that I don’t think we have enough of in Tauranga,” he says.
“It brings together people from many different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds and this alone gets the conversations going.
“This event gets people thinking about things they’d never even discussed themselves or even read about, and then suddenly they have these fabulous ideas presented in front of them.”
The event attracted widespread positive response from audience members in attendance.
Fay Warnock was one of many who attended and says the event truly got her thinking.
“There was an inspiring mixture of speakers [who] made me think about many different issues,” says Fay.
“All speakers were passionate and engaged the audience.
“It was also interesting to learn about topics that I know very little about - a great insight and different perspectives on topics that I am passionate about.”
Clare Crawshaw was another person who attended and says she enjoyed her time.
“Totally absorbing from start to finish,” says Clare.
Internationally, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.
In Tauranga the event is called TEDxTauranga, and is independently organized. At the event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.