Sharing Extraordinary Stories at TEDxChristchurch 2018: The Campfire

International educational disruptor Hamish Brewer and ActionStation Director Laura O'Connell Rapira head the list of the talented speakers taking the TEDxChristchurch stage this Saturday.

Key Points

  • TEDxChristchurch 2018: The Campfire event is sold out

  • People can watch via live stream or attend a public viewing party

  • Next year’s event at the Christchurch Town Hall set to celebrate TEDxChristchurch’s 10-year anniversary

Christchurch, New Zealand—There’s a good chance you've heard of Hamish Brewer, the relentless, tattooed, skateboarding, Kiwi principal in Northern Virginia. With an approach that doesn't match the traditional vision of a school principal—incorporating innovative concepts like black light parties, deskless and audio-enhanced classrooms, and skateboard giveaways to empower his students—Hamish has become widely known as an educational disrupter who transcends the status quo and typical educational norms. This Saturday, Hamish is returning to Aotearoa to share his story with attendees of TEDxChristchurch 2018: The Campfire.

Among others, he’ll be sharing the stage with Laura O’Connell Rapira, another no-nonsense rebel with a cause. Like Hamish, Laura has used her work to empower youth to take charge of their shared future—this time in the local political arena—through co-founding Rock Enrol, acting as Director of Campaigns at ActionStation, and helping to create an online community of more than 180,000 like-minded members who participate in campaigns designed to drive a fairer, more just and sustainable Aotearoa.

Hamish and Laura are just two of the extraordinary speakers set to take the stage at TEDxChristchurch 2018: The Campfire, happening at The Piano this Saturday. Other carefully curated voices include teenage inventor Zach Preston, world champion freediver William Trubridge, Professor and Researcher Maggie-Lee Huckabee, father and son scientists Professors Anthony and Phil Butler, NZ Needle Exchange Programme Executive Director Kathryn Leafe, Professor of Political Science Alex Tan, and New Zealand Slam Poetry Champion Daisy Lavea-Timo.

Christchurch-based alt/pop and indie musical duo The Response round out entertainment on the day, and the whole show will be opened by the 50-voice strong Christchurch Pops Choir.

Similar to the TEDxChristchurch 2017: Unplug. Reconnect. event, this year’s experience is strikingly intimate, with only 320 attendees; the show is fully sold out. But the extraordinary line-up is accessible via live stream or at one of the many viewing parties happening around Christchurch and the South Island and listed on

The event’s partners, including Christchurch City Council, Computer Concepts Limited, Davis Ogilvie, creative partner Strategy Creative, and catering partner Richard Till, have all been active champions of the TEDxChristchurch platform for years, providing the foundation for ample flickers of awe, inspiration, and connection around The Campfire.

And despite being laser focused on Saturday’s event, the team is also ramping up for next year—at the newly restored Christchurch Town Hall—as TEDxChristchurch celebrates its tenth year of sharing ideas worth spreading.

Gwen Hooper