TEDxCanberra will be held on the 8th of September at the Canberra Theatre. This years theme, Divergence,  is about exploring solutions beyond the norm, breaking patterns and challenging assumptions. It’s about the need to think, see and act differently.

Tickets are on sale now and close on the 31st of August and more information including promotional videos can be found at TEDxCanberra.org/attend.


Antonio Mozqueira

Did you know the ACT is actually recognised as a world leader in climate change policy and implementation? And the ACT government have promised to release zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Now that we’ve made this promise, how will we take control of climate change? 

Antonio is a Senior Manager Climate Change Policy in the ACT Government who has been responsible for developing and delivering policy to mitigate and adapt to the warming and drying climate for over 25 years.

Tasneem Memon

Biased human minds are the key to unbiased artificial intelligence systems. Tasneem Memon has spent 12 years working on an algorithm that focuses on cognitive bias mitigation in decision systems, through cognitive computing.

Tasneem’s greatest passion in life is to utilize her expertise in cognitive computing, behaviour mining and gamification to transform the education system. She has founded the startup, PathFinder, is the CEO at Cognidius Solutions, a Knowledge Management Officer at the Australian Defence Force Academy and Machine Learning Advisor for The Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, the Australian Defence Force.

Penny Elsey

Can sharing a meal with a total stranger change the world? Penny Elsley believes it can.

After a two year quest across the world to discover what the world actually needs, Penny founded the non-profit organisation called joiningthedots, which includes The Welcome Dinner Project, an initiative that gives newly arrived Australians a platform to connect with their communities and overcome isolation through shared potluck meals.

Shanna Whan

As a reformed alcoholic, Shanna has used her own journey and her social media platform ‘Sober in the Country’ to effect real change in what she calls rural Australia’s ‘casual alcoholism culture.’

She’s also challenging how we deal with addiction in rural areas. Shanna’s goal is to secure funding and take the platform national, to reach our most isolated and vulnerable community and farming members.

Charlie Massy, OAM                       

How can we significantly improve human health and save the planet? The answer: Regenerative agriculture.

With his 36 years experience farming his family’s farm, and a PHD in human ecology, you could say Charlie wrote the book on regenerative agriculture. Quite literally, with his 2017 non-fiction book about both regenerative agriculture and subverting the dominant industrial agriculture technique.

Catherine Rickwood

Australians current life expectancy is 82.5, that’s 10 years longer than in the 1970s. We’re all living longer, but do we really understand what that’s going to mean for us?

Do our traditional views of ageing stack up, or are we limiting ourselves based on an outdated understanding of what it means to get older?

Dr Catherine Rickwood is one of Australia’s leading experts on the topic of longer lifespans, and founder and CEO of consultancy and advisory firm Three Sisters Group. Catherine is also an Academic Mentor on the Master of Management (CEMS) program at the University of Sydney.

Kanesan Nathan

Kanesan Nathan believes in defining the world by kindness. The transformative driving force of kindness.

Which is why he’s half of the driving force behind Embassy of Kindness. An Embassy which has a lot to teach us about how kindness could start a revolution. The Embassy of Kindness were invited by the Sydney Opera House to bring the Embassy of Kindness to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, and their work was featured by @Instagram and seen by millions of people around the world.

Paul Buckley

Before age 24, Paul Buckley didn’t think he’d ever be in jail.

During his time in the army, Paul was severely injured during a parachute landing which left him with physical injuries and PTSD. It was the PTSD in particular that would leave lasting effects on his life.

Paul experienced our correctional system first hand, and has a unique perspective and idea to create a prison system that actually works.

John Sautelle

As individuals, our lives are our stories. But what would happen if we had the ability to change our stories?

John Sautelle has delivered development programs on seven continents, and written the book
“Choose Your Stories, Change Your Life” which details the developmental change process he has evolved over the past 18 years drawing on the latest research in psychology, neuroscience and adult development.

Erin-Claire Barrow

Are stories like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Princess and the Pea still relevant today?

Through a combination of art, social justice issues and feminism, Erin-Claire Barrow is changing the narratives of fairytales to better reflect modern society. Erin-Claire Barrow is an artist and illustrator originally from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

Megan Gilmour

Schools are given the all-important task of educating our children. But what happens when your child is seriously ill and unable to go to class? Should we let these kids be left behind?

Through leadership, unwavering commitment and a compelling personal journey, Megan Gilmour started MissingSchool, an organisation that connects sick kids with their classrooms, teachers and peers using the power of technology. Megan has worked on complex social and economic development operations in over 24 countries. She co-authored an Australian-first report on that subject which received a Prime Minister’s statement of support.

Jackson Thomas

Seven in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australia have scabies at any given time. What if we could use traditional Aboriginal bush medicine to treat it?

Dr Jackson Thomas is a pharmacist and academic scientist at the University of Canberra who studies child health in Indigenous Australian communities. Together with his research team, he has been testing an Aboriginal bush medicine-based treatment and healing practices. Jackson’s research saw him awarded the 2015 ACT Tall Poppy of the Year Award and most recently, the 2018 University of Canberra (Faculty of Health) Research impact award.

Jolly Jacob

The portraits that you hang on your wall mean something. They have the potential to shape identity, relationships, and how you perceive yourself.

Jolly is a Canberra-based portrait photographer who takes legacy portraits, portraits that are beautiful enough to be hung on walls and cherished for the lifetime and then passed onto future generations as a legacy. With the powerful and heartfelt message that once you are gone, your portraits will become priceless.

Gemma Thomson

Gemma is a holistic problem solver. She takes traditional methods, modern science, and combines them with a creative perspective to come up with real solutions people can put to use everyday.

Gemma challenges some of the most common assumptions of everyday life, finding more logical ways of dealing with the things we thought we had solved – like dealing with our dogs’ poop.



Liz Lea & Katie Senior

Katie Senior is an amazing dancer, and an extraordinary human, who happens to have Down Syndrome. Liz Lea is a performer, choreographer and producer who has travelled the world to dance.

Together, Katie and Liz will perform a piece about how Down Syndrome affects people differently, yet we’re all the same.

Mickey Sulit

Mickey is a local Canberran 18 year old solo singer songwriter with a voice that will blow you away. Lucky for you, you’ll be able to say you saw her at TEDxCanberra, because we can tell she’ll be selling out concerts in no time.

Mr Michael x Humanizm

When the promotional information says “available for performance – violin or DJ”, you know it’s going to be a good time. Mr Michael will be playing violin, while Humanizm (Ed Reading) will be DJing his own original electronic compositions.

Chris Ryan

Comedian, Canberran, Chris. A three-word intro for Chris Ryan who will use plenty of words, probably not all starting with c, to get you laughing at our flagship event in September. Chris is a local comedy queen who will keep you on your toes with her natural humour and comedy spiel.