UNSW hosts first TEDx event

From selling socially-conscious socks to visualising the inside of human blood vessels with video game technology, speakers at TEDxUNSW on Saturday 13 August have some incredible stories to share. 

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TEDxUNSW hits Sydney on Saturday 13 August. Photo: Benjamin Lou-Wong

From selling socially-conscious socks to visualising the inside of human blood vessels with video game technology, the TEDxUNSW speakers have some incredible stories to tell.

The inaugural TEDxUNSW event will be held this Saturday, 13 August, at the National Institute for Dramatic Arts (NIDA) across the road from UNSW’s Kensington Campus, and will be opened by the University's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Ian Jacobs.

“I am honoured to launch this first-ever TEDxUNSW event and I congratulate the students and staff who made it a reality. I am hopeful it will be the first of many more to come,” says Professor Jacobs.

“This event is bringing people together as a community to inspire and to inform, to develop new and innovative ideas, and to share all of this through technology with the world.  

“It sounds very much like what universities are about, or should be about, in 2016. It’s certainly what we’re about at UNSW.”

TEDxUNSW will feature a range of talented speakers including a social entrepreneur tackling global poverty, a climate scientist investigating the mysterious demise of marine ecosystems, an artist pushing the boundaries of medical imaging, and, arguably, Australia's most famous doctor.    

Some of the notable speakers include:

Hassan Ahmad  – after graduating with a degree in medicine from UNSW in 2013, Ahmad co-founded Conscious Step, a company that makes ethically manufactured socks and donates the proceeds towards achieving global sustainable development goals.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki – the multi-talented Dr Karl is the face (and voice) of popular science communication in Australia, and has even won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2002 for his ground-breaking work on belly button lint.

Dr Adriana Verges – the deputy director of the UNSW Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation, Verges is investigating the potentially catastrophic impact that climate change is having on Australia’s vital marine ecosystems, such as kelp forests in Sydney Harbour. 

Dr John McGhee – the director of the 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab at UNSW, McGhee is revolutionising the field of medical imaging, using gaming technology to take patients on virtual tours through their bodies to see their illnesses in 3D. Watch a video explaining his research here

For a full list of speakers and performers visit: www.tedxunsw.com 

The theme of the inaugural TEDxUNSW event is the Human Spectrum: “It is about exploring the broad range of people and ideas at UNSW to uncover shades within the spectrum you normally wouldn’t be able to see,” says one of the event's organisers, Shariq Nabi.

A mechanical engineering and computer science graduate, Nabi founded and co-organised the event with fellow UNSW students Angela Nguyen and Raymond Zeng.

“We want to show students that going to university can be a lot more than just getting a degree," says Nabi. "It could be the place you meet the business partners that will combine forces with you, make friends and relationships that will last a lifetime, or even bring to life the idea you think is worth fighting for. But that can only happen if we can have engaging conversations and dare to share.”

Event details

What: TEDxUNSW

When: From 9am on Saturday, 13 August 

Where: NIDA, Anzac Parade, Kensington

* Tickets for the event are sold out but you can register your interest here and organisers will notify you if any space becomes available.