After a successful launch in 2016, TEDxUNSW is now pumped for another round of mind-blowing talks delivered by some of the most energetic and inspiring speakers. Blitz chatted with Angela Nguyen, co-founder of TEDxUNSW, to discuss the past, present and future of TEDxUNSW, and what it will be bringing to our community in 2017.
This year’s conference is themed ‘Small pieces, Big picture’. What is the idea behind this?
This year we really wanted to focus on each individual and to help them figure out how they fit into the big picture. Aside from the main conference, throughout the year we have been hosting salon events which have helped individuals build different aspects of their character leading up to our conference where we introduce big ideas to them. Following the conference, we will be hosting a dinner party to connect the individual pieces with others to hopefully bring together the final big picture.
This year you are welcoming a lot of business founders and CEOs. Do you think the entrepreneurial spirit is what’s most valued in the society?
While the entrepreneurial spirit is getting more popular in society, we don’t think it’s the most valued. It’s not the one we most value either. We reside in the value of ideas and the beauty of that is that anyone can have a great idea. It so happens that the great ideas for this year’s conference comes from business founders and CEOs. But it could come from anywhere, a high school or university student, senior citizen, blue collar workers or even a stay-at-home parent.
Since last year’s successful launch, how has TEDxUNSW improved in terms of management and coordination?
Learning from last year, we have adopted a more flat structure where we have a team of execs that lead each individual stream within TEDxUNSW. For example business development, event management, curation, productions etc. This has worked well for us as we trust in the ability of each time to carry out their roles to the best of their ability. Especially since each individual in the team comes from a different background/field and work well together to bring the conference to life.
How does TEDxUNSW define the term ‘success’?
The main purpose of TEDxUNSW is to bring ideas worth sharing to the UNSW community, we also want to be the bridge between students, staff and alumni to help them better work together. Therefore, to us, success is to see that everyone gets something out of our conference. Whether it be knowledge, friendships or a new business idea. In terms of internally, we would also like to ensure that every team member has significant growth each and every year.
What is your favourite TEDxUNSW talk or performance so far?
Being extremely fascinated by the ocean, my favourite TEDxUNSW talk so far, is the Underwater Forests and the rise of Ocean Optimism, by UNSW’s marine biologist, Adriana Verges. I love her talk because she brings to attention the not so well known, ‘Great Southern Reef’, which contributes to a large portion of the Australian economy.
What’s your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration, as cheesy as it sounds is my mother. She is full of energy and never gives up!
As a co-founder, how do you consider yourself a ‘piece’ that contributes to the ‘big picture’ of TEDxUNSW?
I like to think of myself as another piece of the puzzle, like all other team members. Without one or the other TEDxUNSW will not be what we envision it to be.
Cappuccino or latte?