TED conferences share ideas worth spreading. Local TEDx events bring this outcome in person to regions around the world. Fire Station 101 was honoured to host the inaugural TEDxIpswich event to bring to Ipswich ideas under a theme of “Anything is Possible”. The stories of all nine speakers resonated with the sold-out audience, and were particularly relevant when viewed from the lens of startups and entrepreneurs.
Session 1: Ordinary people making a difference
The day started off with three examples everyone could relate to of ordinary people making a difference.The theme resonates with the type of entreprenurs we see in Fire Station 101, ordinary people stepping up to give it a go.
Roman shared his experience as a living example of “Sustainable living – a wholesome, simple and happy lifestyle in your own backyard.” Roman is an example of building both sustainable living and local community, an example he describes in his Spurtopia website, Having recently moved to Ipswich with plans to develop his ideas further, we are very excited to work with Roman to encourage new practical innovations in personal and community sustainable living.
Arabella encouraged us with the notion that “the longest journey starts with a single step, or perhaps a single turn of the pedals.” From picking up her bike at the age of 42, Arabella took us on her very personal journey that included a stroke, pink tutus, and rides of hundreds of kilometers. Arabella’s story will resonate with any entrepreneur who gets through the ups and downs one step or pedal at a time.
Megan encouraged us to “keep talking garbage and weave it into every conversation we have.” Megan’s work with women in PNG through The Junk Weave project inspires us to change how we see ourselves and others. Rather than turning away from things we see as garbage in ourselves or others, Megan gave examples of how to talk about it and weave it into the rich tapestry of life. Megan asks us “What if we change the labels we/others have put on people?”
Session 2: Harnessing the power of youth
The second session focused on tapping into the energy and opportunities of the emerging generation. The theme resonates with a need we see in Fiore Station 101 to build resiliency and capability in young technologists and entreprenrus.
Russ shared about “saving our emerging generation with a mousetrap” based on four decades of working with at-risk youth through Vital Projex. A mousetrap and the hand of a volunteer provided a practical example of how to address the shocking levels of teenage suicide and depression. The audience and any entreprenur can attest to how experiencing values through action-based learning can build resiliency and courage.
Keran, a “self-professed everyday computer geek”, shared about his 8-year old daughter’s experiences with robotics and learning to code. The stories and robotic examples inspired us to discover and play our way into new ways of thinking and doing. Keran challenged us with a commission for both parents and leaders that to “be present in our kids lives tomorrow is to be involved today.”
From suspended schoolboy to teenage entrepreneur, 2014 2014 Young Innovator of the year Taj is living proof that anyone with determination and passion can change the world. Taj shared his own entrepreneurial journey to his current business building a build-it-yourself tablet & coding kit for kids at his company Fifty Six.
Session 3: Breaking Free
Session three concluded the day with three speakers who epitomised overcoming challenges to take control of their destiny. These stories are core to the ethos of the entreprtenur.
Claire shared her story as a “cult survivor and free thinking driver”. Her story of raising 9 children in a cult and her escape provides a model of personal resiliency.
Renee shared her personal experience with MS and her work with the indigenous community to ask “If one idea can change the world, “imagine what what one action can do?” Renee shared stories of mapping our lives, making every day count, and how a single intervention dramatically changes lives for the better.
Jenny Wynter, professional comedian and clown doctor, shared her impacting and personal story of loss and how it led her to “forget the brace position” and just open up. Jenny’s vulnerability had an emotional impact on many in the audience, closing out the day with a few tears and a room full of belief that Anything is Possible.
Anything is Possible
Epitomising the sense that anything is possible were the people that brought TedX together. The local sponsors who rallied around the event to make it possible included West Moreton Anglican College, Ipswich City Council, Ipswich Events Corporation, Tafe South West, Limestone Dental, Choices Carpet, Ipswich Library, and Fire Station 101. The small but focused volunteer team included speaker preparation, media, design, and catering, all led by Lindsey and Sarah from The Great Change Maker psychology practice who brought the TedX licence to Ipswich.
TedX Ipswich demonstrated what can happen when a community comes together to share and deliver on ideas that matter. We look forward to building on the momentum of local collaboration for regional opportunities, and joining with others in the community to see the event get bigger and better in years to come.