TEDxChristchurch 2019 Tūrangawaewae – A Place of Belonging

The U.S. Embassy was proud to support TEDxChristchurch in 2019 – a special event with many captivating and inspirational speakers. Christchurch-based U.S. Embassy Youth Councilor and New Zealand Broadcasting School student, James Fleury, shared his views from his first TEDxChristchurch experience…

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By James Fleury

TEDxChristchurch attracted over 1400 people, making it the largest TED conference held in the city.

The tenth annual TEDxChristchurch captured the audience with thought-provoking ideas and opened up conversations to inspire the human mind.

The independently organised TED event expressed the importance of Tūrangawaewae (A Place of Belonging) to incorporate a bi-cultural theme.

Event organiser Kaila Colbin believed the event’s partnership with Matapopore highlighted tūrangawaewae, citing US Civil Rights Activist DeRay Mckesson’s talk about diversity vs inclusivity. 

“Diversity is about bodies in the room whereas inclusivity is about making room for people’s culture and we believe our partnership with Matapopore is about inclusivity.” 

Colbin said this year’s conference wouldn’t have happened without the collective effort of more than 100 people. 

TEDxChristchurch hosted more than 20 inspirational speakers over two events, TEDxYouth and TEDxTūrangawaewae

Speakers from across the globe included US edu-agitator David Clifford, famous for breaking barriers in racism and gender inequality, and Christchurch Iman, Gamal Fouda – a survivor of the March 15th terrorist attacks in Christchurch. 

Ngāi Tahu Haka performer Luca McKenzie, who attended the event, believed people who went to the conference would leave feeling comfortable with their tūrangawaewae. 

“I felt really moved by the stories and the mana spread by everyone.”

McKenzie said the speakers encouraged him to make a change for all people in the community who were not as fortunate as him. 

TEDxChristchurch organisers were thrilled with the turnout and plan to continue the event in the future.