x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Reimagination of Christchurch

This event occurred on
May 21, 2011
New Zealand

TEDxEQChCh was an event focused on the future of Christchurch. It was born from the rubble of the devastating earthquake that hit our city on February 22nd, 2011. Speakers included TED Prize winner Cameron Sinclair and former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, as well as local architects, business leaders, community members, and urban planners.

The Aurora Centre for the Performing Arts
151 Greers Road
New Zealand
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Cameron Sinclair

Cameron Sinclair is a TED Prize winner and the CEO of Architecture for Humanity, a global organization that offers pro bono design and rebuild solutions to places hit by humanitarian crises: Haiti after the earthquake, New Orleansafter Katrina, and Southeast Asia after the tsunami. The Auckland chapter of Architecture for Humanity is also involved in the Christchurch rebuild.

Hugh Nicholson

Hugh Nicholson is the principal adviser, urban design, at the Christchurch City Council. Prior to this, he spent ten years working as an urban designer in Wellington. He worked with Jan Gehl to develop A City for People Action Plan, which is focused on improving the quality of public spaces in Christchurch’s central city. He was closely involved in the development of the Wellington Waterfront Framework which has shaped the development of Wellington’s waterfront over the last decade, and wrote Capital Spaces, the strategy which has guided the development of open spaces in Wellington.

Coralie Winn

Made redundant after the September 4 quake, Coralie teamed up with others to create Gap Filler, an initiative that aims to temporarily activate vacant sites created as a result of the earthquakes in Christchurch, with creative projects, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant city. Gap Filler is currently a predominantly volunteer initiative involving members of the community that vary from project to project. Coralie is currently very busy as the director of Gap Filler, which has realised five projects to date encompassing a broad range of creative arts from live music to outdoor cinema, art installations, poetry, contemporary dance, puppet theatre, circus and more.

Karen Blincoe

Karen Blincoe is an educator, designer and environmentalist. She is a fellow or member of a number of international design associations and is also president of the Association of Danish Designers. Karen is also the founder/director of the International Centre for Innovation & Sustainability, Denmark. In 2001, Blincoe set up the centre in Denmark to teach and develop educational models for designers and architects in topics relating to sustainability, professional practice, leadership and business innovation. Karen is also currently visiting professor at the Faculty of Arts, Brighton University in England, where she has also started a PhD on Sustainable Utopias. She is an advisor to a new thinktank project called 100 Years Starting Now, based in Denmark and is part of a consortium setting up a sustainability and leadership centre in Mali, Africa.

Hugh Morrison

Hugh Morrison is CEO of Arrow International, a project delivery company involved in large capital works projects. Arrow is responsible for a wide variety of projects, including Shackleton’s Hut in Antarctica, design build contracts for schools, through to Project and Construction Management of the ‘World First’ Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin and its precinct works. Closer to home, Arrow is Programme Manager for the AMI insurance company, managing a workload in excess of $1 Billion. Arrow is also continuing to be active in the ‘business as usual’ work in Canterbury, as well as the commercial property/CBD recovery works, both as Contractor and Development Manager. Holding a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) from Canterbury University and an MBA (with awards) from Otago University, Morrison has worked in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Yemen.

Rod Carr

Dr. Rod Carr is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury. Prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, Carr was managing director of Jade Software Corporation. He joined Jade in 2003 after a career in the banking sector which included holding the position of Acting Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. A distinguished student, Carr holds a PhD in Insurance and Risk Management and an MA in Applied Economics and Managerial Science from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, New York, and undergraduate honours degrees in law and in economics from the University of Otago.

Grant Schofield

Grant Schofield is Professor of Public Health at AUT University. Grant’s research and teaching interests are in physical activity, nutrition, and health. He investigates novel and sustainable solutions to getting people moving more and making the world a happier and healthier place, and has particular experience and expertise in urban design, transport and health with involvement in several large projects in this area. He has a range of expertise in how especially built environmental factors are related to walkability, car dependency and sustainability.

Grant Ryan

Grant Ryan is an entrepreneurial veteran and the creator of the YikeBike. He is on the board of the Canterbury Development Corporation and has served on the board of the New Zealand Government’s $140 million Venture Investment Fund and $430 million Foundation for Research Science and Technology. Grant, who has been featured in Time, Wired, and Unlimited, sold his Internet search company Global Brain to an American news organisation; then, after the dotcom bubble burst, he and several investors bought back the company at a bargain price. They now make $10 million a year in revenue from it. Grant also founded social network RealContacts and social search tool Eurekster.

Sacha McMeeking

Sacha McMeeking is the General Manager of Strategy and Influence at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She holds key responsibilities for external relations, brand and reputation management, and engagement with central government. Sacha graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Master of Laws (First Class Honours) and then went on to lecture in the faculty in various fields (constitutional law, Māori legal issues, comparative indigenous rights and international law). During this period, she co-ordinated Iwi advocacy with the United Nations concerning the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. Sacha was the recipient of the Fullbright-Harkness New Zealand Fellowship, which saw her travel to the United States to research corporate social responsibility, with a particular focus on articulating an Indigenous paradigm for traditional values based commercial decision making and exploring the evolving relationship between business, society and state.

Andie Spargo

Andie Spargo is a freelance creative, a writer, an actor, a film maker, a creative director, and a chef. He tells us that the chef’s hat was by far his favourite, due to its big, white fluffiness – but that (other than the sartorial elements) it was his least favourite role. Luckily, it hasn’t affected his appetite. He has worked for many years in marketing and communications and has helped local companies like YikeBike, Swiftpoint, and JADE shape their brand identities. Spargo also trips the boards with local comedy troupe The Outwits.

James Lunday

James Lunday is an urban designer who, though hailing from Scotland originally, now calls Christchurch home. He has experience with urban development spanning the globe from Scotland to Australia and a number of places in-between. His experience, and his ethos, show a desire to design cities around culture – in Glasgow, in Melbourne and hopefully to come in Christchurch, Lunday has been instrumental in rejuvenating old, decrepit and unloved areas into stylish cultural zones.

Paul Downton

Paul Downton is a prize winning architect and designer as well as an internationally acknowledged eco-city advocate and theorist. A registered architect, Downton is the principal Architect from Ecopolis, an Australian firm that specialized exclusively in ecological architecture and bio-urban design. Downton has been involved in an advisory role on many urban design projects, including being a member of the Design Advisory Panel for Adelaide city. He is also a guest lecturer at a number of architecture, design and sustainability schools. Downton has a longstanding commitment to ecological architecture and urban design encompassing projects that range from the design of individual dwellings and community buildings to multi-unit dwellings and whole town plans. Recent projects that Downton has worked on include the Environmental Education Centre for Adelaide Zoo.

Helena Norberg-Hodge

Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and its predecessor, the Ladakh Project. She is the author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh and co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals such as The Ecologist, Resurgence, and YES! magazine. Norberg- Hodge’s ground-breaking work in the Himalayan region of Ladakh is internationally recognized, and earned her the Right Livelihood Award. She is on the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, launched with the support of the government of Tuscany. She is also a member of the editorial board of The Ecologist magazine and a co-founder of the International Forum on Globalisation and the Global Eco-village Network.

Dan Cullum

Director of the ‘I Am Challenge’, Cullum currently dares young people in 10 countries around the world to complete the ‘One Year T-shirt Challenge’ to raise funds and volunteer for an organisation that they are passionate about. Dan was selected as a British Council Global Changemaker in 2010 and presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2011. I Am Challenge New Zealand in 2011 is committed to the ‘Rebuilding of the Human Spirit of Christchurch’. Challengers around New Zealand will raise funds and awareness for the projects that Challengers in Christchurch will be running. Music, dance, theatre, art and sports programs are running in 2011 in Christchurch schools in areas that have been affected.

Art Agnos

Art Agnos was Mayor of San Francisco during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and, ever since the February earthquake, has been generous in reaching out to Christchurch offer support, perspective, and lessons learned from San Francisco’s recovery During his career in public office Agnos was identified as a strong advocate for minorities, the homeless, gays and lesbians, health care, affordable housing, the environment and for the special needs of people with AIDS. As a result of his direction of the city’s response to the 1989 event, he has been invited to provide seminars on disaster response, governance and community participation in various countries around the world including South Africa, Angola, Sierra Leone, Palestine, Turkey, Russia, Korea and China.

Marcus Spiller

Marcus is a Director of SGS Economics & Planning. In addition to his extensive consulting experience, he has been a lecturer in urban economics at Melbourne University, an adviser to the Planning Minister in Victoria and a senior official in the Queensland Government. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and a former National President of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Organizing team


Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Raf Manji
    Organising Committee
  • Mark Prain
    Organising Committee
  • Greg Urquhart
    Organising Committee
  • Dairne Poole
    Organising Committee
  • Barry Law
    Organising Committee
  • Michael Henstock
    Organising Committee
  • Louis Brown
    Organising Committee
  • Ben Kepes
    Organising Committee
  • Aurélie Viotto
    Organising Committee