Countdown to TEDx Tauranga – 20th August, ASB Arena

It’s less than three weeks until Tauranga’s version of the global TED phenomenon kicks off. For those unfamiliar with TED and its TEDx offshoots, here’s an overview:

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

This year, like all years, TEDx Tauranga features a line up of quality speakers:

Michael Hershman, based in Washington D.C., is an internationally recognised expert on matters relating to transparency, accountability and corruption. Michael has also been recognised by the Ethisphere Institute in their list of the top 100 most influential people in business ethics worldwide.

Bryan Winters has survived several Information Technology revolutions in his thirty years in the industry around the world. With experience ranging from the once largest company on the planet to being self employed, he is fascinated by the impact of computing on society. An internationally published author, Bryan and his wife Rosie live near the beach at Mount Maunganui, describing himself as an ageing surfer.

Mike and Sharon Barton left careers in tertiary education in Auckland to go full-time farming in Taupo about 12 years ago. They became heavily involved in the science and policy driving protection of Lake Taupo’s water quality from the effects of farming; and have been recognised for their significant contributions to sustainable farming and the environment.

Dr. Heather Hendrickson and her lab at Massey University in Auckland study various aspects of how bacteria evolve and exchange genetic material. She also goes on “phage hunts”, isolating and studying novel bacteriophages from New Zealand that are able to infect a wide range of bacteria. Heather enjoys talking about science. When she is not talking about science she is sometimes singing in her band “The Rulers of The World”. She owns, but does not yet really play, a Moog Theremini.

Joshua Konowe is a highly successful and awarded entrepreneur with a history of building businesses from the ground up and driving value for both customers and investors. Joshua is a judge at Georgetown University’s entrepreneurial MBA program, a mentor at the Founder Institute, and volunteers at the Children’s Science Center, a non-profit in Washington DC. He is a single father of a 9 year old son, will travel to the edges of the earth for good food or good people. Most recently, he has developed a love affair for swimming.

Armon J. Tamatea (PhD) is a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Waikato. He was previous to this a senior research advisor for the Department of Corrections and has worked extensively in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of violent, sexual and high-risk psychopathic offenders. His current research interests include psychopathy, gang communities, criminal justice and indigenous peoples, and institutional violence in prisons.

Dr. Johan Morreau has been a hospital based child health medical specialist (paediatrician) in Rotorua, New Zealand since the end of 1983. In this time he has also held a range of senior medical leadership roles both nationally and locally. This experience has enabled him to develop a keen understanding of the relationship between Government policy and delivery of care; and to pose some interesting and challenging population child health questions.

David Boothway is a professional engineer with a Master’s degree in engineering and more than 25 years’ experience working in, and for local government; in the management, design and supply of city services. David sees himself as a “reborn” engineer; transitioning cities away from trying to solve everything with black tar and twelve cubic meters of concrete. David is married with two daughters, and is the Strategic Asset Planning Manager with the Christchurch City Council.

Dr. Robin Youngson is a New Zealand anesthetist renowned for his pioneering work on compassionate healthcare. He’s the co-founder of the international ‘Hearts in Healthcare’ movement ( and the author of ‘TIME TO CARE – How to love your patients and your job’. A captivating speaker, he’s been inspiring audiences in many countries spanning Australia, the USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, the Middle East, UK and Europe.

Jody Jackson-Becerra left her large family and island lifestyle in Samoa to pursue educational dreams; attaining her Masters in Management Studies (Management and Sustainability) from the University of Waikato in 2010. Jody believes that education is key to empowering communities; and in engaging and motivating children through storytelling, a tradition she was taught as a child. Jody is also passionate about creating artistic traditional headpieces and wearable art.

Donna Miles-Mojab is a British-born Iranian New Zealander interested in activism and promotion of justice, democracy and human rights. Donna worked as a senior mathematics lecturer in the UK before immigrating to NZ as a young mother and is now a successful blogger and published contributor on subjects relating to Islamophobia, Middle Eastern Politics, refugees and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Donna’s favourite pastime is strolling through food markets, visiting art galleries and enjoying the magic in the mystic poems of Rumi.

Dr. Mike Jones has spent the past 16 years practicing medicine in emergency departments across the globe: from trauma centers in New York City to military hospitals in Afghanistan and Germany; and now to his current position at a public hospital in New Plymouth. A man of deep faith and a committed medical scientist, Mike loves spending time with his wife and six children, as well as fly-fishing and climbing mountains.

A software programmer turned food tech entrepreneur, Shama Sukul Lee is re-imagining the high protein food system to make meat directly from plants with her innovative start-up Sunfed® Meats. Her mission is to evolve meat production to a cleaner, safer and more efficient model without compromising on taste and nutrition. Her mantra is to disrupt meat, not the environment. A workaholic by nature, Shama unwinds through outdoor adventures with her dog Khush and loves to get lost in a good sci-fi novel.

Tickets are $100 ($70 for students and seniors) and can be bought online at: