2019 Student Event of the Year Awards

In the spirit of TED’s ‘ideas worth spreading’, a group of University of South Australia students came together to create a day of talks to showcase Adelaide as an emerging force in the Australian cultural and economic landscape.

The organisers scoured the state and country to bring a range of innovative speakers to TEDxUniSA with talks focused on the theme of ‘emergence’.

The first-time event at UniSA was a huge success – a sell out – and inspired many more than those who attended. We spoke to some of the students involved.


Winner: TEDxUniSA

Why did you want to bring a TEDx event to the University of South Australia?

We hosted TEDxUniSA to showcase how South Australians are making leaps and bounds in research across a number of different areas. We wanted to create an environment where everyone interested in sharing ideas and sparking conversation was welcome. The day was filled with brilliant speakers, thought-provoking video and mind-blowing conversations that unleashed new ideas. And because our talks were presented and filmed in that familiar TED-style, we knew we could reach a worldwide audience.

Who was on the organising committee, and how was it structured?

The organising committee was made up entirely of students and structured to ensure all members knew their roles, expectations and deadlines. The event was led by our licensee, who was supported by two co-organisers. Under this leadership group, we had several teams assigned to specific tasks such as curating the content, organising event logistics, designing media and merchandise, coordinating volunteers and managing our finances and sponsorships. It took over eight months to organise, and we had to juggle our studies, work and other life commitments, so we learnt to be quite flexible and mindful of one another.

What challenges did you face and what would you do differently next time?

There were a few miscommunications during the event which has prompted us to ensure more thorough communication in between, and within teams in the future. We now realise how vital communication between teams is to ensure fewer problems and consistency of information. We know this will lead to a smoother experience and help the licensee from having to carry as many messages between groups.

Tell us about the environmental initiatives you included in the event.

Because South Australia was the first state to bring in recycling container deposit schemes and banning plastic bags, we wanted to speak to the environmental consciousness of our audience. To do this, we used SA Water’s Bring Your Own Bottle Campaign to encourage the use of reusable goods throughout the day and made sure the merchandise like t-shirts, journal and bag were high quality so they could be reused.

 Click here to view all the talks from TEDxUniSA.

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