In 2020, TEDxSydney's Main Event was moved to a bespoke interactive online platform and broadcast from a COVID-safe studio in Alexandria.
Early in 2021, as Sydney seemed to be re-entering some level of normality with large scale events going on sale and venues swinging their doors open, TEDxSydney's organisers said they "made the call to keep TEDxSydney 2021 within the online environment" to ensure they had "the best chance to deliver to our community, should there be any additional COVID outbreaks."
Of course, August is now here, and TEDxSydney is seven weeks away from its scheduled broadcast from the Sydney Opera House, and all of Greater Sydney is in a total lockdown.
The organisers say they "remain hopeful that the event will continue as planned in September and that TEDxSydney can continue to connect people with ideas, and provide cultural focus for conversation, debate and action."
We're told “the theme for 2021 is POSSIBLE”, and that with “the numerous changes the world and our lives have seen over the past 18 months, exploring what is possible and what is no longer possible seems more appropriate than ever.”
The questions are asked: As we look to the future we want to explore where we go from here, what innovations are just around the corner, what stories of ingenuity and resilience can we learn from? What can we discover about our world, our work and ourselves that once may have been inconceivable and what are some of the biggest challenges facing us today?
Across four sessions on the TEDxSydney stage this year, we will “hear speakers from all walks of life who are showing us what is POSSIBLE ... in science, technology, business, design, entertainment, innovation and beyond.”
What can viewers expect from TEDxSydney 2021? The organisers promise “a fully curated day with four sessions of inspiring TEDxSydney talks and performances, broadcast from the Sydney Opera House into our interactive online platform. Explore a world of possibilities through bold and brave ideas during our workshops, panel discussions and more. “
2021 SPEAKERS AND PERFORMERS - FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT
Grace Tame - 2021 Australian of the Year is an outspoken advocate for survivors of sexual assault, particularly those who were abused in institutional settings.
George Peppou - Serial entrepreneur, inventor and co-founder and CEO of food-tech startup, Vow, transforming the concept of food through animal cell reproduction creating a new category of food that claims to be “sustainable, abundant and irresistible.”
Shelley Reys AO - A Djiribul woman of far north Queensland and a respected Indigenous specialist, strategist and service provider who has been a leader in the reconciliation space for 30 years and helping the Australian workforce to work in the Indigenous space with greater skill and confidence. Shelley is the CEO of Arrilla and a Partner at KPMG.
Uncanny Valley (Charlton Hill and Justin Shave) - Uncanny Valley’s focus is one part musical craft, and the other sonic technology. They believe in the pursuit of augmented creativity and strive to define the ethical and sustainable role of emerging tech in the ever-changing landscape of the music industry.
Tracey Rogers - Ecologist studying how animals overcome the challenges of changing environments including how whale populations have recouped from 20th century hunting and warming oceans; how pack ice seals cope with the loss of ice and krill in the Antarctic; and how Tasmanian devils cope with extreme population loss because of a facial tumour.
Sara Saleh - The daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon, living on Gadigal land. A poet, writer, human rights activist, and campaigner for refugee rights and racial justice, she has spent over a decade in grassroots and non-governmental organisations in Australia and the Middle East.
Remo Giuffré, TEDxSydney Founder & Licensee, says: “With every passing week we learn more and more about what is POSSIBLE … and what is not. I’m excited to see what our valiant curators have come up with for 2021. We need new ideas more than ever, and TEDxSydney is proud of its role in bringing bold and brave ideas to the forefront of conversation.”
You can head to TEDxSydney.com now “to secure your online spot at Sydney’s most iconic event celebrating Australian innovation, creativity and ideas. It is expected that a second speaker and performer announcement will be made later in August.”