TEDxSydney Unveils Final Lineup Ahead of Charged Day of ‘Tipping Point’ Big Thinking

An image showing someone speaking at TEDxSydney

TEDxSydney has revealed its full and final lineup ahead of September’s highly-anticipated event.

This year’s theme is ‘tipping point’ and comes with a bill stacked with creatives, experts, and business leaders offering new insights and new ideas on change and renewal.

Running for a full day on 1 September, TEDxSydney will this year be housed in its new home at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter.

Expect a diverse range of talks, performances, films, and interactive encounters that delve into the most pressing important cultural and social issues of our time, igniting inspiration and insight from Australia’s leading minds.

“I find myself reflecting the old saying: Change is the only constant in life” Head of Curation, Caitlin Gibson, has said in a media release.

“While each era has had its own challenges — world-shattering wars, natural disasters and dangerous political figures — I think there is no denying that we are living through a time of rapid, critical and complex change.”

On the lineup this year are panellists delving into psychedelics, dance, fashion, magic, cabaret, Indigenous knowledge, climate change, and much, much more.

TEDxSydney Lineup

An image showing someone speaking at TEDxSydney











Joshua Ismin – Founder & CEO

Psylo is an Australian biotech start-up developing next-generation therapeutics to treat mental illness inspired by psychedelics from nature. One in seven people in Australia will experience depression in their lifetime, with over 3 million Australians currently prescribed an antidepressant, mainly SSRIs, for depression or anxiety. Using computational chemistry, Psylo is optimising the pharmacology of next-generation compounds to produce medicines that are applicable to a broader patient population.

Dr Sarah Cannard – Space Engineer

Sarah Cannard is the Lead Engineer designing an Australian Lunar Rover to support a NASA mission to the Moon. Her work explores the potential of mining the moon for key resources to support the future of space exploration. She is also at the forefront of deep-tech space research.

Dr Seyedali Mirjalili – AI Researcher

Professor Seyedali Mirjalili is the director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research and Optimization at Torrens University. He has gained international recognition for his contributions to nature-inspired artificial intelligence techniques and is in the top 1% of highly-cited researchers since 2019. The Web of Science named him one of the most influential researchers in the world.

Ross Harding – Creative Engineer

Equal parts troublemaker, technical mind, and artist, Harding is one of the most enthusiastic, optimistic and cheeky engineers you’ve ever met. A rare combination of dreamer and schemer: he thinks big picture about transforming cities around the world to become completely self-sufficient. At the same time, working tirelessly with his team at Finding Infinity to actually make it happen.

Talal Yassine OAM – Business Leader

Talal Yassine is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur and academic. With the recent rise in interest rates and the cost of living, does the current status quo of our financial and banking systems still work for the majority of homeowners and those who are trying to get into the market? Talal Yassine is an experienced business leader who believes there are different models we could learn from, including Islamic banking principles, to re-imagine Australia’s housing market.

Emma Myers – Writer & Director

Emma Myers is a screenwriter, actor and journalist with cerebral palsy based in Newcastle, NSW. Challenging the stereotypes of disabled bodies when it comes to representation on screen and especially sexuality, Emma’s talk will be a compelling and personal deep dive into a taboo topic many in our society don’t understand correctly.

Feras Shaheen – Dancer

Feras Shaheen is an artist curious in letting his conceptual interests lead him across a variety of mediums. Born in Dubai to Palestinian parents and moving to Western Sydney at age 11, Feras uses his practice as a way to reflect and examine how he views the world, addressing local and global issues.

Bill Edgar – Coffin Confessor

Bill Edgar is the ‘Coffin Confessor’ – a successful businessman, counsellor, author and one of Australia’s leading private detectives, Bill crashes the funerals of his clients telling those that were loved just how much they were loved and his clients loved to hate to F*** off. Bill’s job is not for the faint of heart or those that fear, and whether you like him or loathe him, you won’t forget him.

Arielle Gamble – Advocate

Over the past three years, Arielle has nurtured Groundswell into a 700-strong community of people committed to funding and accelerating climate action in Australia, raising over $2 million for grassroots climate advocacy projects and fostering countless cultural, business, and philanthropic climate initiatives. Arielle is passionate about harnessing the power of collaboration to create meaningful change and about bringing new people and communities into the climate conversation.

Andrew Nunn – Mentalist

Andrew Nunn has dedicated his life to unravelling the mysteries of the mind. Using the power of magic and mentalism, Andrew Nunn challenges the status quo and aims to change how his audience sees the world. With over 25 years of experience, he offers incredible insights into the boundless capabilities of the human mind.

Maria Thattil – Media Personality

Maria Thattil is a Penguin-published author, TV presenter, actor, speaker, activist, and creator. Propelled into the spotlight when she was crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2020, she placed in the top ten of the international competition in 2021 and was only the third woman of colour to represent Australia in the pageant’s 69-year history.

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts – Lawyer & Advocate

Vanessa is a lawyer, writer, storyteller and survivor of the Family Policing System (also known as the foster ‘care’ system) in Australia, where she was forcibly removed at the age of 10 1/2. In her powerful and provocative TEDxSydney talk, she will bring into question the existence of a system that harms so many First Nations people.

Stephen Hunt – Entrepreneur

Recognizing the significance of music therapy for people living with dementia, Stephen Hunt and co-founder Nick Johnson created Music Health, a platform aiming to transform healthcare with music. When Stephen’s grandfather battled Alzheimer’s disease, he knew music was a powerful tool in lifting his spirits, which is what informed the creation of Vera – the world’s first music companion for dementia caregivers.

Dana Tomić Hughes – Designer, Writer & Editor

Dana Tomic Hughes is an esteemed designer, writer, and authority in the field of design as well as a sought-after speaker, consultant, lecturer, and design judge in Australia and worldwide. She is the brainchild behind Yellowtrace — a globally recognised design publication she began as a passion project over a decade ago. Today, Yellowtrace is a renowned platform beloved by the global design community, championing design excellence and groundbreaking innovation. Dana has been named among the “Top 200 True Global Influencers of the Design World” by AD Germany and recognized by Vogue Living as one of the most visionary female creatives on the planet.

Elsa Dominish – Sustainable Futures Researcher

Elsa Dominish is an expert in sustainable development and resource management. A leading researcher on renewable energy demands, employment impacts and Australia’s shift to renewables, Elsa has extensive experience examining social impacts, climate change, mitigation and global resource markets.

Keiynan Lonsdale – Performer

Keiynan Lonsdale an artist with a richly diverse heritage (Australian, Nigerian, & Irish) and a practice spanning music, dance and acting. He has reached global acclaim as an award-winning artist in film, TV, fashion and music, including the release of his debut album Rainbow Boy and his roles as Kid Flash in CW’s ‘The Flash’ and as Bram in 20th Century Fox’s ‘Love Simon’. In 2023 Keiynan is set to release his anticipated sophomore album, which dives deeper into his R&B roots.

Barry Palte – Social Impact Investor

Barry Palte is a global investment expert with a primary focus on sustainable, positive investing. His focus lies in deep technology, agriculture, health, wellness, circular economy and AI. He has been a global judge in the Extreme Tech Challenge and the UN World Food Forum’s Innovation Awards and was previously Global Chairman of a network of licensed investment banks with member firms in the USA, UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Japan, India, Brazil, China and Australia.

Nico Lathouris and Joseph Couch – Screenwriter & AI Collaborator

Nico Lathouris is an award-winning writer and actor with credits ranging from the Oscar-winning film, Mad Max: Fury Road to the original Heartbreak High TV series. For TEDxSydney he will be engaging with the Founder and Narrative Designer of the Australian innovative AI platform, Omelia, to explore live on stage the real impact of AI on creative writing, film and storytelling.

Emma Maye Gibson AKA Betty Grumble – Performance Artist

Emma Maye Gibson is a Sydney-based performance artist who uses her body as a site of performative catharsis through the character of Betty Grumble. Combining ritual physical theatre, cabaret, performance art, and multimedia, she embraces her identity as an ecosexual and believes in the spiritual power of live space. With a Masters’ in Fine Arts, she has presented her work at prestigious venues and festivals globally including; The Sydney Opera House, Dark Mofo, Glastonbury and Belvoir St Theatre.

Karen Mundine – Reconciliation Australia CEO

Karen Mundine is from the Bundjalung Nation of Northern NSW and is the CEO of Reconciliation Australia. Across her 25 years of experience, Mundine has played a pivotal role in significant national events like the Apology to the Stolen Generations and the Australian Reconciliation Conventions.

Liesl Yearsley – AI Evolutionist

Liesl is the CEO and founder of aKin, a Public benefit AI company that designs AI that aims to be a true companion to humans and help improve lives, society and the ecosystem. She has been developing AI for 20 years and was previously the founder and CEO of an AI search engine that went public. Afterwards, she founded an AI platform Cognea which was acquired by IBM. At the time of acquisition, Cogna was serving 6 Fortune 100 companies and 26,000 developers while handling 60 million interactions across financial services, insurance, health, social chat, media, metaverse, and robotics.

TEDxSydney is an independent event licensed by the internationally renowned TED organisation. Founded in 1984, TED began life as a single annual conference in California covering Technology, Entertainment, and Design. After opening the brand up in 2009, there were 100,000 TEDx talks recorded around the world.

This will be the 13th TEDxSydney event since the local chapter started in 2010.

Tickets start at $299 and can be bought here.

Related: The First-Ever SXSW Sydney Has Added a Bunch of New Talent to the Lineup

Related: A Regularly-Updated Guide to What’s On in Sydney This Winter

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.