An idea wall, a talk in Australian Sign Language and challenges to improve Queensland at TEDxSouthBank in Brisbane

A TEDxSouthBank volunteer creates the "Ideas for a Better Queensland" wall at TEDxSouthBank (Photo: Heath Carney)

A TEDxSouthBank volunteer creates the “Ideas for a Better Queensland” wall at TEDxSouthBank (Photo: Heath Carney)

This February, fans of big ideas gathered in the State Library of Queensland for the second edition of TEDxSouthBank, a TEDx event dedicated to Queensland, Australia’s ideas worth spreading. The theme of the event was “#ChallengeAccepted” and the team behind TEDxSouthBank put in effort to make sure talks, activities and discussion centered on challenges for a more creative, more innovative, more daring Queensland.

In a first for TEDxSouthBank, all of the talks were interpreted live into Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and the livestream included picture in picture signing so that “members of the Deaf community around Australia and New Zealand (who also use Auslan) could watch a TEDx event live in their own language,” says organizer Juanita Wheeler.

The event also featured a talk completely in Auslan by Drisana Levitz-Gray, a Deaf rights activist who was named Young Australian of the Year for her work advocating for Auslan education in Australia.

2015 Young Australian of the Year Drisana Levitz-Gray gives the first TEDx Talk in Australian Sign Language at TEDxSouthBank (Photo: Savannah Van der Niet)

2015 Young Australian of the Year Drisana Levitz-Gray gives the first TEDx Talk in Australian Sign Language at TEDxSouthBank (Photo: Savannah Van der Niet)

When attendees weren’t being wowed by talks, there was plenty to do at TEDxSouthBank, from sampling food and drink provided by local businesses to taking a power nap in a futuristic “nap pod” donated by a tech-forward hotel, NEXT Brisbane. University of Queensland Business School asked attendees to challenge education norms with puzzle-heavy adventures and Deaf Services Queensland gave mini Auslan lessons during breaks.

Attendees were encouraged to take the challenge of learning how to sign at TEDxSouthBank. (Photo: TEDxSouthBank)

Attendees were encouraged to take the challenge of learning how to sign at TEDxSouthBank. (Photo: TEDxSouthBank)

Auslan teachers from Deaf Services Queensland taught signing to TEDxSouthBank attendees (Photo: Deaf Services Queensland)

Auslan teachers from Deaf Services Queensland teach TEDxSouthBank attendees how to sign (Photo: Deaf Services Queensland)

A barista from local coffee shop Merlo Coffee makes drinks for attendees (Photo: Heath Carney)

A barista from local coffee shop Merlo Coffee makes drinks for attendees (Photo: Heath Carney)

Attendees enjoy refreshments at TEDxSouthBank (Photo: Heath Carney)

Attendees enjoy refreshments at TEDxSouthBank (Photo: Heath Carney)

Attendees also contributed to a “Before I die wall,” an “Ideas for a Better Queensland” wall and had their Instagram photos printed in real time with their #ChallengeAccepted and #ChallengeExecEd ideas thanks to an onsite photo printer.

The TEDxSouthBank "Before I die" wall (Photo: Heath Carney)

The TEDxSouthBank “Before I die” wall (Photo: Heath Carney)

The "Ideas For a Better Queensland" Wall  (Photo: Heath Carney)

The “Ideas For a Better Queensland” Wall (Photo: Heath Carney)

An attendee adds to the "Before I die" wall. (Photo: Heath Carney)

An attendee adds to the “Before I die” wall. (Photo: Heath Carney)

TEDxSouthBank's Instagram printouts (Photo: Heath Carney)

TEDxSouthBank’s Instagram printouts (Photo: Heath Carney)

By the time the event was over, 16 speakers and performers had shared their ideas for Brisbane and the world on the big stage and online – over 900 people had tuned into the livestream, says Wheeler, from places like France, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan.

You can learn more about TEDxSouthBank at their website or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

2 Comments

  1. Sarndra Flay

    Love the Library idea. Maybe libraries in Wellington could do something along thses lines for future #TEDx Welly events in Wellington NZ.

  2. Thanks for inrdntuciog a little rationality into this debate.

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