x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
September 1, 2023
8:30am - 6:00pm AEST
(UTC +10hrs)
Sydney, New South Wales

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Hordern Pavilion
1 Driver Avenue
Sydney, New South Wales, 2021
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Andrew Nunn

Andy Nunn has dedicated his life to unravelling the mysteries of the mind. Using the power of magic and mentalism, Andrew Nunn challenges the status quo and aims to change how his audience sees the world. An avid scuba enthusiast and ultramarathon runner, Andrew is energised by his curiosity and undaunted by the uncomfortable. With over 25 years of experience, beginning his magical journey at the esteemed Magic Circle at the age of 10, he offers incredible insights into the boundless capabilities of the human mind.

Arielle Gamble

Arielle Gamble is CEO and Co-founder of Groundswell, a 700 strong community of people committed to funding and accelerating climate action in Australia, raising over $2 million for grassroots climate advocacy projects, and fostering countless cultural, business, and philanthropic climate initiatives. Arielle is passionate about harnessing the power of collaboration to create meaningful change, and about bringing new people and communities into the climate conversation. She is a Fellow of Australian Progress, as well as a member of Arise Leadership Circle, an initiative of ActionAid supporting women-led emergency preparedness and response across the Pacific with a long term, transformative agenda.

Barry Palte

Barry is passionate about the health of our Planet and Humanity. He is a global investor in innovation and great teams, and a super connector with powerful global networks of like-minded people. He has been a global judge in the Extreme Tech Challenge and the UN World Food Forum’s Innovation Awards. He was previously Global Chairman of a network of licensed investment banks with member firms in USA, UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Japan, India, Brazil, China and Australia and has been an invited speaker at events in Davos around the World Economic Forum. His philanthropic work includes assisting Aboriginal communities in Australia. His investment focus is particularly in deep technology in food / agriculture, health / wellness, circular economy and AI. His professional training includes advanced mathematics and finance, and he has been educated in science by the great inventors he has worked with. He is a dedicated yogi, meditator and dancer. His childhood included growing up in a Civil War and he is passionate about building bridges and changing the way capital is allocated globally to incorporate innovation, sustainability, heart and soul.

Bill Edgar

Bill Edgar is the ‘Coffin Confessor’ - a successful businessman, counsellor, author and one of Australia’s leading private detectives, Bill crashes the funerals of his clients telling those that were loved just how much they were loved and those his clients loved to hate to F*** off. Bill’s job is not for the faint of heart or those that fear and whether you like him or loathe him you won’t forget him.

Dana Tomić Hughes

With a disarming blend of authority and approachability, Dana is an accomplished interior designer turned visionary digital publisher. She is the brainchild behind Yellowtrace — a globally esteemed design publication she began as a passion project over a decade ago. Today, Yellowtrace is an eminent platform beloved by the global design fraternity, championing design excellence and groundbreaking innovation. Her profound belief in the transformative power of design propels Dana to make the sometimes intimidating world of design accessible to everyone, regardless of their familiarity with the subject. Dana's been catapulted to the status of a stalwart global influencer, with recognition from industry heavyweights. Named among the "Top 200 True Global Influencers of the Design World" by AD Germany and recognized by Vogue Living as one of the most visionary female creatives on the planet, Dana's influence extends well beyond her native Australia. Elle Décor Italia and Danish RUM Interiør Design have hailed her as a pivotal tastemaker. Through her multi-faceted work as an editor, curator, creative director and keynote speaker, Dana empowers others to appreciate and engage with design in transformative ways. Dana balances her seriousness about design with a relatable and down-to-earth persona. Her innate sense of humour, humility, and generosity make her a beloved design figure, fostering a warm connection with audiences worldwide.

Elsa Dominish

Elsa is researcher focused on driving progress towards social and environmental justice in sustainability transitions and resource supply chains. She has more than 10 years of experience within research, non-government and private sectors in Australia and Asia. Elsa is a Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), a transdisciplinary research institute with the aim to create change towards sustainable futures. She undertakes applied research to inform policy and practice change in the areas of resource governance, climate change, circular economy and just transitions, across sectors including renewable energy, food, textiles and plastics. She has worked on collaborative projects with clients and partners including Australian Commonwealth and state governments, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Stewart Investors, Greenpeace, Earthworks and WWF-Australia. She has led several impactful projects to drive change towards a just energy transition in renewable energy and battery supply chains, which have been used for advocacy to shift industry and governments towards more responsible practices.

Emma Myers

Emma Myers is a screenwriter, actor and journalist with cerebral palsy based in Newcastle, NSW. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and 1st Class Honours degree on the representation of women, disability and intimacy in contemporary culture. Emma is passionate about educating audiences about the intersection of womanhood, sexuality and disability through the medium of screen. The critically acclaimed 2022 SBS Digital Originals’ series Latecomers, which Emma co created and wrote, gained a Series Mania nomination and won a SPA Award as well as the Screen Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2023. She is one of this year’s recipients of Screenworks Inside The Writers Room program, as well as one of the representatives recently chosen to serve on Screen Australia's Gender Matters Task Force during 2023 to 2025. Emma was also the recipient of the ABC Regional Storyteller Scholarship in 2020 and has two years experience working as a Features Reporter for ABC News.

Emma Maye Gibson AKA Betty Grumble

Emma Maye Gibson (AKA Betty Grumble) is a Sydney/Warrane based performance artist. Largely through the avatar/war mask/love letter/critter of Grumble she engages her body as a hopeful and medicinal site for catharsis and pleasure. Often moving in a genre smash of ritual theatre, autobiography, cabaret, performance art and multi-media, she is a proud ecosexual and believes in art as an action of her spirituality. She has her Masters in Fine Arts/Arse and has presented work at The Sydney Opera House, Glastonbury, Edinburgh Fringe, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney & Adelaide Fringes, The Melbourne Comedy Festival, The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Griffin Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, The Bearded Tit, Red Rattler Theatre, OUTsider Festival (Austin, Texas), MoMA (NYC), Joe’s Pub (NYC), The Glory (London), LiveWorks, The Old Fitz, AsiaTOPA, Dark Mofo, Mona Foma, MCA, AGNSW, Rising Festival, Brisbane Festival, Berlin Fringe and beyond. She believes in the flesh riot, leads Grumble Boogie ‘Thank You Body’ aerobic psychic love energy dance classes and is currently engaged in developing a new work under the guidance of mentors Annie Sprinkle, Elizabeth Burton and Victoria Spence. Major works include: Sex Clown Saves The World, Love & Anger, The Unshame Machine, Grumblism, Grumble Boogie, Goddess – The Elizabeth Burton Story, Mini Beast Disco, A Composting Cabaret, 24HR Grumble Boogie & Enemies of Grooviness Eat Shit.

Feras Shaheen

Feras Shaheen is an artist curious in letting his conceptual interests lead him across a variety of mediums. Using choreography, installations, visual art, film, performance, digital media, and street dance to communicate his ideas, the core of Feras’ practice is to connect and engage audiences. Born in Dubai to Palestinian parents, and moving to Western Sydney at age 11, Feras uses his practice as a way to reflect and examine how he views the world, addressing local and global issues. Winner of The Australian Ballet’s Telstra Emerging Choreographer (TEC) in 2021, Feras has performed and exhibited at Carriageworks, Venice Biennale, Pari, Kampnagel, Campbelltown Arts Centre, and Théâtre de la Ville. Holding a Bachelor of Design from Western Sydney University (2014), Feras often subverts traditional relationships between mediums to challenge audiences' perspectives. Recent works include ‘Cross Cultures’, ‘Plastic Bag’, ongoing collaboration ‘Klapping’, and ‘Forum Q’. Feras is currently working with Marrugeku's ‘Jurrungu Ngan-ga’, a collaborative production that addresses issues regarding the fear of cultural differences.

Jess Hitchcock

Jess Hitchcock is a Melbourne-based Indigenous singer-songwriter who has stirred the Australian music and performing arts scene as a genre-defying force. Her powerful voice and knack for storytelling has seen her shine across pop, country, folk, opera and music theatre, sharing the stage and studio with some of Australia's favourites. One of Jess's most notable collaborations is with legendary Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly. Together they performed and recorded Paul's song, ‘Everyday My Mother’s Voice’, earning standing ovations across the nation. You can occasionally find Jess in Paul's band on vocals and percussion. Jess has also collaborated with Archie Roach, Tina Arena and Kate Miller-Heidke. Together, Written by Jess Hitchcock Lyrics: We’re armed for this fight There’s no place to hide But we’re ready Behind me there stands One million people And we’re all ready This is our time We must fight for a future That we can give to our children They’ll have nothing left If we don’t stand, together now Each day it gets worse There seems like no end To gain power We’ve all lost our way Desensitised to pain To gain power Wars are all the same, the casualties and pain Are there any boundaries, that we will not cross The road ahead seems rough, but there’s no turning back We can only rectify all of this with us This is our time We must fight for a future That we can give to our children They’ll have nothing left If we don’t stand, together now

Joseph Couch

As Co-Founder & CTO for Omelia, Joseph is developing technology to improve the creative management of story production across film, television and gaming. He advises traditional studios and production companies on complex story world design and works with new media and gaming companies on interactive narrative. Joseph has a diverse background. He has worked for global management consulting firms helping blue-chip companies transition to Digital 2.0. As a virtual reality engineer, Joseph wrote a calibration algorithm for the (then) world's largest panoramic (VR) camera. As a theatre director, Joseph was one of the youngest directors to work for the Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir St Theatre. Joseph’s unique background gives him deep credentials in both structured and narrative thinking, and this skill set has enabled the development of a revolutionary new way of working with dramatic form. As Co-Founder & CTO for Othelia, Joseph’s mission is to keep creatives at the helm of new technologies and make tools they love to use.

Josh Ismin

Joshua Ismin is the CEO/co-founder of Psylo, with diverse commercial and operational experience. Josh is a repeat founder with extensive fundraising and business building experience across a number of tech start-ups. He holds American and Australian citizenship, and holds an MBA and BSBA from Washington University in St Louis.


Multi-hyphenate artist Keiynan was raised in a storm of energy, with relentless expression, and the fiery backdrop of Western Sydney’s North St Mary’s. Australian, Nigerian, & Irish, born in 1991, with 11 siblings, he made sense of his unique lens by embodying the language of art; first with music, then dance, & then acting. He had an extremely hard working single mother, plus an instinctive desire to tell unifying stories at a young age - this sets the tone for an empowered dreamer to break beyond social & economic barriers, to forge new realities. In 2020 Lonsdale released his debut album ‘Rainbow Boy’, catching the ears of Billboard, GQ, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Interview Mag, & gaining him the nomination for ‘Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist’ at the 2021 GLAAD Music Awards. As an actor, Lonsdale continues to push the boundaries on what it means to be a leading man in Hollywood, working with the best of the best in film & television, and enjoying an impressive collection of iconic roles, such as Kid Flash in CW’s ‘The Flash’, Bram In 20th Century Fox’s ‘Love, Simon’, & Julliard in Netflix’s #1 film ‘Work It’. He has earned 2 GQ Actor of the Year awards, MTV’s Best Kiss Award, Screen Australia’s breakthrough Award, and a Teen Choice Award.

Lee Yearsley

Lee (Liesl) Yearsley has been developing AI for 20 years and has 4 patents in the field, She was founder and CEO of an AI search engine that went public. She then co-founded an AI platform Cognea that was acquired by IBM. At the time of acquisition, Cognea was serving 6 fortune 100 companies and 26 000 developers, and handling 60 million interactions across financial services, insurance, health, social chat, media, metaverse, robotics etc Yearsley is now CEO & founder of aKin, a Public Benefit AI company with its own foundation model. aKin AI are designed to be a true companion to humans and help us improve our lives, our society and our ecosystem.

Maria Thattil

Maria Thattil is a Penguin published author, TV presenter, actor, speaker, activist, and creator. Propelled into the spotlight when she was crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2020, she placed in the top ten of the international competition in 2021 and was only the third woman of colour to represent Australia in the pageant’s 69-year history. A passionate advocate for diversity, she dedicates her multi-hyphen career to campaigning for gender equality, youth empowerment, mental health and inclusion. A sought-after columnist, Thattil writes for outlets including 9Honey, Stellar Magazine, Buzzfeed, Body+Soul, Mamamia and Women’s Agenda. She has headlined global campaigns championing LGBTQIA+ rights, inclusion and equality for brands including Olay, Alfa Romeo, Clinique, Piper Heidsieck, and L’Oréal Paris. A guest Host on Channel 10’s The Project, Thattil is also a panellist on Channel 9’s Today Extra and Talking Honey, and her 2022 appearance on I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! made waves internationally when she came out as bisexual on-air. Her book, Unbounded, navigates the complexities of race, sexuality, gender and identity and offers readers an active guide towards self-mastery.

Ross Harding

Equal parts trouble maker, technical mind, and artist, Harding is one of the most enthusiastic, optimistic and cheeky engineers you’ve ever met. A rare combination of dreamer and schemer: he thinks big picture about transforming cities around the world to become completely self-sufficient. At the same time working tirelessly with his team at Finding Infinity to actually make it happen. Operating across a range of scales from city-wide master planning to precincts, building design, and even temporary events, Finding Infinity are doing their best at turning dreams into reality. Short for finding a future based on infinite resources, Finding Infinity is a creative and technical environmental consultancy. His team of 10 unique characters based in Melbourne consist of architects, engineers, artists, urban agriculture specialists and more. Website:

Sarah Cannard

Dr Sarah Cannard is a space systems engineer and scientist with a passion for pushing Australian technology to its limits, and then beyond. For almost two decades she has worked in the Australian Defence and Space industry and is now the Lead Engineer for an Australian Lunar Rover to support a NASA mission to the Moon. She is also at the forefront of deep-tech space research and development in Australia and a Director of a company supporting space startups. Sarah has been involved with many complex Defence and Space programs including the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) Hayabusa 1 Spacecraft re-entry into the middle of desert in central Australia, hypersonic sub-orbital rocket launches, weapons testing, Moon Rover research, and autonomous vehicle tests and trials.

Seyedali Mirjalili

Professor Seyedali Mirjalili is the director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research and Optimization at Torrens University. He has gained international recognition for his contributions to nature-inspired artificial intelligence techniques, with over 500 published works that have received more than 80,000 citations and an H-index of 90. He has been on the list of the top 1% of highly-cited researchers since 2019, and the Web of Science named him one of the most influential researchers in the world. In 2022 and 2023, The Australian newspaper recognized him as a global leader in Artificial Intelligence and a national leader in the Evolutionary Computation and Fuzzy Systems fields. He is a senior member of IEEE and holds editorial positions at several top AI journals, including Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Applied Soft Computing, Neurocomputing, Advances in Engineering Software, Computers in Biology and Medicine, Healthcare Analytics, Applied Intelligence, and Decision Analytics.

Stephen Hunt

Stephen Hunt is a serial entrepreneur who created his first company when he was 24 years old (a not-for-profit charity to tackle HIV/AIDS education). An accomplished musician, Stephen played music to pay the rent before pioneering online video advertising in the Australian market, through two successful startups. His passion for music led him to a senior role in the world's biggest music company (Universal Music Group) where he met his future co-founder, Nicc Johnson. Together they decided to transform healthcare with music - and founded Music Health in 2020.

Talal Yassine

Talal Yassine is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur and academic. Currently, Talal serves as Managing Director of Crescent Wealth and also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and LandCorp Australia. He is the non-Executive Director of Crescent Finance, Director of Crescent Foundation, Director of the Crescent Institute, Council Member for the Australian Fathering Awards, Committee Member for Powerhouse Parramatta Capital Campaign and Member of the Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. Previously, Talal has served on the Board of Australia Post, Sydney Ports, Macquarie University Council and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. Talal holds a Master of Laws and a Master of Business Administration which was focused on international business strategy. In November 2012, Talal was also appointed as a Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow within the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and in 2014 was appointed Adjunct Professor within the School of Business, Western Sydney University. Talal was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to business and to the community through a range of education, health and multicultural organisations.

Tony Rinaudo

Tony is a Natural Resources Management Specialist and agronomist who has worked for World Vision for a number of years. Tony’s quite the green thumb, with a list of achievements in developing and promoting agricultural-forestry-pastoral systems. This has resulted in him being nominated for, and winning several international awards.

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts

A proud Bundjalung Widubul-Wiabul Woman, lawyer and advocate for Human Rights, Vanessa took out the Australian Human Rights medal awarded by the Australian Human rights commission which her acceptance speech saw global recognition and responses. Vanessa is a 2023 Fulbright scholar where she is building international and national relationships in the field of human rights, and is a recognised speaker and media commentator globally and domestically here in Australia. Vanessa is also completing her PhD at the University of Technology where her research is centred around decolonising child protection in the lives of First Nations people and is currently writing her first book titled “ Long Yarn Short: We are still here”.

Organizing team


Sydney, Australia


Sydney, Australia