x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
October 22, 2010
1:00pm - 1:00pm NZDT
(UTC +13hrs)
New Zealand

“Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.” –John of Salisbury

Our theme, On the Shoulders of Giants, had a dual meaning. The first related to the talks delivered. Every speaker on the stage had been informed, inspired, and uplifted by the giants who came before them. Their ideas were born of the fertile ground left behind by earlier visionaries, and were able to blossom in the present environment created out of our shared historical experience.

The second meaning, though, is almost more important: it is about the audience, and ultimately about you. We created TEDxChCh in the hopes that you would be inspired to stand on the shoulders of the giants before you, to take your own ideas to the world, and together, to make the world a better place.

We have been awed and humbled by our speakers, our audience, our volunteers and our sponsors. Collectively, they created an experience that has already translated into deep and genuine relationships, actions and opportunities. Enjoy each other, share your passion, and carry your visions forward. We know that you are capable of infinite greatness, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with.

New Zealand
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Peggy Liu

Peggy Liu is Chairperson of the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, and a Time Magazine Environmental Hero. As China emerges as an economic powerhouse, its energy use is shooting through the roof; the country opens a new coal plant every week. The resulting pollution is a global problem – a third of particulate matter pollution in California can be traced back to China. This “one atmosphere” nature of climate change was the catalyst for the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE), a non-profit organization that brings together international expertise and green technologies to visibly change the way China creates and uses energy. JUCCCE views the challenge of changing the trajectory of energy use through a change management lens, rather than just a technology or policy lens. How do we reach key energy decision makers through scalable channels? How can we facilitate dialogue for mutual understanding?

James Caygill

James Caygill is a political philosopher who works with local government to coordinate the long-term growth and development of Greater Christchurch over the next 35 years. Urban environments are where most people around the world spend their lives, and James believes that New Zealand is young enough and flexible enough to create some fantastic cities to go with our outstanding natural beauty. Prior to returning to Christchurch in 2008, James worked for Prime Minister Helen Clark as a political adviser in her personal office and also as an adviser to a number of Ministers in her administration. James is especially interested in the successful alignment of principle with pragmatic progress. His most recent thinking centres around the global challenges that Generation X will inherit from the Baby Boomers, and how they might be solved. James has an MA with Distinction in Political Science from the University of Canterbury.

Grant Ryan

Grant Ryan is an entrepreneurial veteran and the creator of the YikeBike. The electric YikeBike weighs just over 10kg, folds into itself in 15 seconds, and goes 25kph; in the words of UK Journalist Simon Usborne, it’s “the extraordinary lovechild of a Segway and a Penny Farthing with dwarfism.” 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. 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.

Paul Dunn

Paul Dunn serves as the Chairman of Buy1Give1 (B1G1). B1G1, as Paul puts it, “gives business the power to change our lives.” Within B1G1, giving is a simple, effortless habit. Through what’s known as transaction-based giving, B1G1 business members link their products and services to over 612 projects around the world so that every transaction actually creates a positive impact. Paul was one of the first 10 people in the Australian branch of Hewlett-Packard. He went on to establish The Results Corporation and then Results Accountants Systems, both $20 million businesses. Paul’s video-based service training program is now used by 156,000 businesses globally. But it’s the successes of Buy1Give1 that gives him the greatest joy: over 1,198,000 giving transactions to date, resulting, among other things, in more than 37,000 children being given a meal at school, more than 382,000 people receiving accommodation, and more than 45,000 square meters of rainforest being protected.

Linh Do

19-year-old Linh Do is the founder of Change and Switch in Australia. Four years ago, Linh initiated the Change a Million Light Bulbs project in Melbourne to get people to switch from incandescent to LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs. The project later went Australia-wide under the name Change and Switch and, as of November 2009, incandescent light bulbs are no longer for sale in Australia. Just three years ago, Linh was trained by Al Gore to be a Climate Project presenter and deliver the slideshow behind An Inconvenient Truth, and earlier this year, Linh was one of 250 international passengers to spend two months on the Ship of World Youth, an initiative by the Government of Japan to facilitate intercultural exchange. Linh is currently studying for her Bachelor of Arts in International Politics and Environmental Studies, as well as the University of Melbourne’s Universitas 21 Diploma in Global Issues.

Sebastian Sylwan

Sebastian Sylwan is the CTO of Weta Digital. Before Weta, Sebastian served as Autodesk's Senior Film Industry Manager, where he helped set the strategy for Autodesk's products in the global film market, including the first steps into stereoscopic 3D. Prior to that, Sylwan was Director of Technology at Digital Domain, an Academy Award-winning VFX facility. He successfully renewed Digital Domain's technology infrastructure while maintaining the legacy value of over 13 years and helped it venture into new areas like the development of the facility's first stereoscopic rendition of a CG animated film. Sylwan has also served as Principal Technology Advisor at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies where he led the Light Stage 6 project. In Italy, where he grew up, Sylwan designed, built, and acted as the CTO of Lumiq Studios, the country's largest production, post-production and 3D character animation studio. Sylwan serves on numerous advisory boards and industry committees.

John Hutchings

John Hutchings is the General Manager of Sustainability at Fonterra. In New Zealand, agriculture is responsible for 48% of our total greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 16% in Australia and just 6% in the United States. And the organisation with the biggest ability to impact our national emissions is Fonterra: directly responsible for 15 of the 75 million tonnes of greenhouse gas that we emit annually. John is committed to further embedding sustainability concepts into Fonterra’s decision making. He prioritises carbon footprint/climate change and water quality issues by focusing on-farm. John was a key contributor to Fonterra’s 18-month Carbon Footprint study with the University of New South Wales. John has primary responsibility for the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord which has been the main instrument in keeping stock out of streams and generating better farmer understanding of how to reduce nutrient losses to streams. John was previously an advisor to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on sustainability and local government. His early career was in senior management positions within local government. He has a Master of Public Policy degree from Victoria University.

John Marshall Roberts

John Marshall Roberts is a bestselling author, social scientist, and CEO of Worldview Learning. US-based John has crafted his career around converting corporations and communicating with cynics. Through strategic communications and values-based messaging, John helps leaders develop the empathy skills required to inspire common vision for causes that matter. His recent book Igniting Inspiration: A Persuasion Manual for Visionaries draws on his knowledge of systems theory and developmental psychology to enable socially conscious marketers, business leaders, and activists to win over objectors and inspire radical collaboration. A former psychology professor (with a MA in Psychology and Organizational Development), John’s expertise has been applied to numerous commercial and community projects including designs for a $200 million dollar Museum of World Mythologies based upon the work of renowned scholar and storyteller Joseph Campbell.

Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw is a Professor of Toxicology at the University of Canterbury. Ian has a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Bath and a PhD in Biochemistry (Toxicology) from the University of Birmingham. He held a lectureship in Toxicology at University College London, continued his anticancer drug work at Boehringer Ingelheim, then served as Head of Toxicology at the UK's Central Veterinary Laboratory. He was Chair in Toxicology, Head of the School of Biological Sciences and Head of the Centre for Toxicology at the University of Central Lancashire, and chaired the UK government's Pesticide Residues Committee. Since his move to New Zealand, Ian led the Food Safety Group at the Institute of Environmental Science & Research and served as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Science) at the University of Canterbury. Ian’s interests are in the impact of environmental chemicals on human health, particularly chemicals that mimic hormones. He made the TV programme Is It Safe To Eat?, and regularly features on radio, in newspapers, and in magazines.

Bruce McIntyre

Bruce McIntyre started Macpac, which became one of New Zealand's early export success stories, at age 19 in 1973. Today, its innovative, high quality products can be found in shops and mountains around Australia, UK, Europe, Scandinavia, USA, Japan, and Asia. In the late 1980s, disullusioned with traditional business culture, Bruce instigated a prolonged cultural and organisational reform project that transformed the workplace into an open, highly participative, team-based, human-oriented environment. Currently, Bruce is working on education reform, developing a model school with the intention of unleashing the innate, holistic potential of every student. "Current education,” he says, “is openly focussed on providing workers for the economy. But the base cause of our social, environmental and economic woes is that our society limits human potential to an estimated 10% of its capacity—the other 90% of us is shut down."

Rob Hamill

Rob Hamill made sporting history as a New Zealand International rowing representative for 16 years, with accomplishments that include World Championship silver, Commonwealth gold, and a world record on the indoor rowing machine. Rob represented New Zealand at the Atlanta Olympics and published The Naked Rower on how he and Phil Stubbs won the gruelling and inaugural Atlantic Rowing Race in 41 days. Sir Peter Blake described their incredible achievement as "an extraordinary mental and physical effort - something very, very special." Rob went on to led successful defences of the title in 2001 and 2003 and helped the 2005 entry that withdrew after a shark attack and boat capsize. He is co-organiser of 'The Great Race', and he recently put together the rematch between Mahe Drysdale and Beijing Olympic champion Olaf Tufte. His latest project is a rowing race across the Tasman Sea.

Organizing team


Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Jess Hill
    Coordination Rock Star