Tesla Motors Co-Founder Ian Wright Among High-Profile Speakers At TEDxChristchurch In October

Key Points

·       TEDxChristchurch 2015: ‘Think Again’ to be held Saturday 3 October 2015

·       First wave of speakers announced

·       Now back in Central City

·       Event memberships available now

·       Youth memberships sold out

Christchurch, New Zealand – The former Deputy Domestic Policy Adviser to President Clinton, Eric Liu. A co-founder of Tesla Motors, Ian Wright. Journalist Rod Oram, musician Jason Kerrison, comedienne Michele A’Court, and right-to-die advocate Matt Vickers. These are just some of the immensely talented speakers and perfomers set to grace the stage as part of a wildly eclectic line-up at TEDxChristchurch 2015: Think Again.

Additional speakers and performers will be revealed over the coming weeks.

Now in its sixth year, the popular event has moved back into Central City. TEDx Village will take up The Press carpark and extend down Gloucester Street, with main stage content in the Isaac Theatre Royal.

“This is the most ambitious event we’ve ever done,” says Curator Kaila Colbin. “Our team has been taking the theme, Think Again, to heart, and looking at every single aspect of TEDxChristchurch to see how it can be bigger, bolder, different… better.”

Eric Liu is just one of the outstanding additions to the programme, thanks to support from the US Embassy. Formerly deputy domestic policy adviser and speechwriter for President Clinton, Liu founded and now heads Citizen University (http://www.citizenuniversity.us), dedicated to helping ordinary people better understand how power works – thereby becoming more powerful citizens.

Also coming to New Zealand specifically for TEDxChristchurch is Ian Wright. The Northland native co-founded Tesla Motors, which now sports a market cap of over US$30 billion and is famous worlwide for its high-end electric cars. After leaving Tesla in 2005, he started Wrightspeed (http://www.wrightspeed.com), aimed at revolutionising transport by providing electric drive trains for industrial fleets.

Electric vehicles won’t just appear on Wright’s slides, though. Attendees will get to explore creations from the EVolocity programme (http://evolocity.co.nz), in which high school students build electric bikes with support from polytechnic tutors, EVolocity facilitators and volunteers from the engineering community. Meridian Energy will also be onsite with its electric vehicle charging station.

The Think Again theme has permeated everything from the content of the talks to the catering to the visual identity, which Creative Partner Strategy Design and Advertising has interpreted as “changing your angle”.

The theme has also influenced the process for attending. Unlike in previous years, there is no application form. Event memberships cost $139 and include all catering for the day including free barista coffee from Hummingbird and Coffee Worx. Also included is the event afterparty and the world-famous-in-Christchurch goody bag. Memberships are available at www.tedxchristchurch.com and through Eventfinda.com.

General admission memberships are selling fast, and while the discount programme for youth attendees is back thanks to support from the Wayne Francis Community Trust, it is so popular that it has already sold out.

“It’s going to be a spectacular day,” says Colbin. “The speakers, the performers, the food, the displays… I can’t wait.”

Gwen Hooper