We’ve had TEDtalks and we’ve had Ignite – we’ve had Vibewire’s fastBREAK and we’ve had TEDx. All these events have a number of elements in common – they require the speakers to deliver short, focused talks. They promote presence – being in the room, and they honour in-person storytelling.
But while these event formats have been successful, for the most part, this format of short, sharp, in-person events have remained on the periphery of our culture. TED attracts an elite business focused crowd and Ignite appeals to the startup and innovation communities. fastBREAK is about creating an intergenerational conversation on important topics of our times – and TEDx seeks to make the TED brand experience more accessible while maintaining an air of exclusivity.
And that’s what is so interesting about the new Topic Talks series (April and May 2012). “For the passionately curious” this series of talks kicks off with Ray Martin, Thomas Keneally, Gretel Killeen, Patrick Lindsay and Sebastian Robertson. And they are physically accessible – with dates set for the Cremorne Orpheum theatre, Parramatta Riverside and Randwick Ritz.
It’s a great opportunity to hear accomplished storytellers – but I am equally interested to understand where the series may go in the future. It would be great to hear from under-represented voices.