The Interesting South gang (Emily Reed, Katie Chatfield, Ian Lyons, Gregg Girling, Matt Moore, Rob Marson, Stig Richards, Tim Longhurst, Gavin Heaton, Lauren Brown) breathed a collective sigh of relief around midnight last night. After months of planning, the presentations all came together in a way that held the sellout crowd in thrall.
Our speakers performed very well in front of a large and curious crowd at the Belvoir Street Theatre. As we started, our MC for the evening, Tim Longhurst asked the audience to turn on their mobile phones and contribute to the conference via Twitter or by SMS direct to his mobile phone.
Mark Bagshaw kicked off the proceedings with an astounding speech about opportunity, challenge, disability and optimism — setting a very high bar for all who followed. Roger Dennis encouraged us to look at different industries to identify innovative opportunities for our own. Emily Reed investigated, to all our fears, why marriages fail.
A brief interval saw the audience burst into conversation, inspired by the six word biographies they were wearing. The Belvoir Street front of house team were busy watering the thirsty audience and the staff from Wagamama negotiated the jammed foyer as best they could.
Christian Mushenko shared some everyday heroes with us all. Tim Noonan lived up to his reputation, delivering a daring, daunting and slightly saucy discussion about what it means to be the real you. Annalie Killian reminded us that change is the constant in our lives and was followed by Wade Millican who brought us to a central meditative space in the space of minutes. Zoe Horton brought tears to all our eyes as she stepped through the challenges and delicate joys of genetic counselling.
During the next interval we ran the brave Tereasa Trevor through Marlaina Read’s presentation on the History of Photography. Marlaina was unable to make it to Sydney to present, but she offered to send the slides, and in the spirit of open source, we called for a volunteer presenter. Tereasa stepped up to the challenge via an SMS to MC, Tim Longhurst.
On returning to the theatre, we were treated to Scott Portelli’s awesome images and video of swimming with whales off the coast of Tonga. And then keeping with the animal theme, Ian Johnston asked us whether animals think about what other animals think. Suzanne Dagseven gave an inspiring speech about finding your purpose and escaping the mundane everyday prisons of our own making. Tereasa delivered her own take on Marlaina’s presentation and then Stephen Collins explained exactly how Web 2.0 technologies can be used to make real change — in this case his daughter’s school board. Michael Lister stepped us through the intricacies and amusing challenges of bus route design. Russ Tucker introduced us to his Viral Waistcoat and all the people who have worn it (BUT it seems to have gone missing. If you know where it is, please let him know!).
I will put together some deeper thoughts on the presentations as time allows … but for those who were not able to attend in person, we will share videos and photos as they become available. Thanks to all who participated!