Ideas the star as TEDx comes to the Adelaide Town Hall

By David Russell

If you are computer literate, chances are you have seen a TED presentation. There have been 2,000 TED Talks to date, with well over one billion YouTube views between them. The spinoff series, TEDx, is up to 50,000 talks, organised at a local level by teams of volunteers. Tomorrow there will be 30 TEDx events held around the world, and one of them will be in Adelaide.

TEDxAdelaide Director Robin Freeth told Inside South Australia that TED’s ability to spread ideas is what makes it so powerful.

“Everything starts with an idea, and if you think about the current economic situation in South Australia, we need ideas,” he said.

“One of my goals for TEDx in South Australia is to start generating ideas. It might not be an idea you hear on stage, but it might give someone a thought that helps them see something in a different light.”

Tomorrow’s TEDx event will be the biggest of the 12 that have been held in Adelaide, with 700 people set to pack-out the Town Hall. There will be 16 speakers covering topics ranging from innovation to reducing the incidence of sexual abuse.

TEDxAdelaide will take place at the Town Hall on Saturday 21 November.

TEDxAdelaide will take place at the Town Hall on Saturday 21 November.

“All 16 speakers either come from, or live, in Adelaide,” said Robin.

“We approached some speakers in curating the event, but also opened up the ability for anyone to share their ideas through our website… we had 115 ideas logged, which is astounding.”

The event is sold out, but TED fans will be able to live-stream all the presentations from the TEDxAdelaide website, and all presentation will be available on the TEDx YouTube channel.

TEDxAdelaide, like all other TEDx offshoots, is run entirely by volunteers under a not-for-profit organisational structure. Like all staff, Robin, a management consultant by day, puts in long hours free of charge, all for the love of ideas.

Speakers include animal scientist and professor David Paton, who will share his plan for how to save endangered South Australian birdlife, Dr Elizabeth Grand, who wants to redesign prisons to “reduce the pain of imprisonment” and Dr James Muecke, who wants to combat poverty by restoring sight and preventing blindness.

For a full list of speakers visit