In May this year I was lucky enough to be invited to attend TEDxSydney. TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. Its a conference held once a year in the US, you have to be invited to attend and the room is full of some of the smartest people and engaging presenters from around the planet. The creators of TED are a sharing lot, and created TED.com sharing talks from conferences after the event. In the two years I’ve been eating up the likes of Jane Goodall, Hans Rosling, and Ken Robinson the distance between the conference and uploading talks has got smaller. At the same time, TED is growing another way, now people can have their own TED experience with a local flavour, whether that’s sharing the videos and having a few guest speakers, to putting on a full TED like extravaganza as they did for a day at Carriageworks earlier this year. While there was a buzz of ideas around the conference that seemed almost unAustralian in its abashed delight of intellectual pursuits from the sublime to the pragmatic. There was one stand out talk for me, by Rob Adams. Compelling and practical, he presents a data smart way to look at a problem in a way we can all understand.
“As Director of Design & Urban Environment for the City of Melbourne with nearly 40 years experience as a practising architect and urban designer, Rob has produced a large number of strategic urban design solutions and projects in addition to design-research based urban projects and strategies, and has attracted over 100 state and national awards for excellence. A champion of both the arts and environmental sustainability he has worked to ensure that good urban design is established as a platform for city development into the 21st Century.”