TEDx coming

TEDx is coming to Fremantle.

A global phenomenon, TEDx talks are watched by more than 1.5 million people every day as people share their thoughts at events that are later streamed over the internet.

Fremantle bellydancer Tara DePaolo has been a fan of the initiative for years and decided it was time for Freo’s movers and thinkers to put forward their ideas, so she applied to the parent organisation and recently got permission to stage a local event.

“I think it was really meant to be,” she says of the event, which will be held on September 16.

Deep thinking

“We talked about all the people of Fremantle with great ideas, and thought it would be great to have a platform where they could put them forward so other people could start to discuss them.”

While many Freo folk would know Ms DePaolo for her shimmying around the city’s restaurants over the last decade, most would be unaware that deep thinking is in her blood.

She grew up hanging out with the mates of her father, who happens to be an award-winning professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Those childhood pals included Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez who’s credited with discovering that an asteroid wiped out dinosaurs.

• Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt (right) with local TedX organisers Robby Lang, Tara DePaolo and Natasha De Sousa. Photo by Steve Grant

As a 10-year-old, Ms DePaolo was also set a task by her father to calculate exactly where the sun would be relative to cities around the world at any time.

“It was easy, it was just cosines,” she says.

These days Ms DePaolo is studying a masters in philosophy, but says she’s also driven by trying to connect people at the local level and having them share their ideas.

“At TEDxFremantle, we understand that some of the best ideas are the biggest secrets until you have a platform from which to share them,” she says.

Ms DePaolo has been working with Fibonacci Centre owner Robby Lang to organise the talks.

He says it’s symbolic for Fremantle to follow Perth in hosting TedX and stamp its claim as a place of significance on the world stage.

“It makes people aware of Fremantle who might otherwise not have been; it puts us on the map.”

Mr Lang said they were keen to have a strong Aboriginal presence at the event, which is to be hosted by Balladong Noongar singer Gina Williams and Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt.

Respected elder Noel Nannup is already being lined up for a talk and will also perform a welcome to country.

But they need other speakers as well, as there’ll be a line-up of 10 who’ll get just 18 minutes each to pitch their ideas.

Mr Lang said they’re in negotiations to work with Notre Dame uni to help run and host the event, while Fremantle council has embraced the initiative.  Applications for talkers close Friday July 19 with the necessary form available at http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/29917

by STEVE GRANT

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