Why do some cities support entrepreneurship and innovation so much more effectively than others?

This is the question posed by Dr Mary Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California, San Diego.

An industrial sociologist studying the dynamics of regional economic transformation,Dr Walshok has been closely involved in the re-invention of cities such as San Diego, a beachside city of over 1.3m people. Armed with some interesting insights into how San Diego has repositioned itself from a small west coast settlement into a booming coastal metropolis of innovation, Dr Walshok is now set to draw parallels for Australia’s Gold Coast at the upcoming TEDxGriffithUniversity.

An exciting event

An exciting event to be held on Wednesday 18 February at Griffith’s Gold Coast Campus, TEDxGriffithUniversity, is a local, self-organised event that will bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organised events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organised TED event. “Cities that have a culture of celebrating innovation and risk taking have certain critical characteristics that make it hospitable to new opportunity; these characteristics are totally in contrast to those communities that are cautious about new ideas and do not have the necessary cross functional, intergenerational and inter-disciplinary networks that are so crucial to global business success,” says Dr Walshok.

“In order to grow in the entrepreneurial, innovation economy, business needs to function within a community of shared interests and knowledge which networks such as these can offer.” Meanwhile TedXGriffithUniversity will also hear from (among others) Griffith business graduate and space astronaut Tim Gibson; award winning country music star Jared Porter; world-leading organic chemist and Nobel Prize contender San Thang; dementia research specialist Professor Wendy Moyle and leading scientist Professor Mark von Itzstein, from Griffith University. “This is Griffith’s first foray into the world of TED and we have a truly wonderful collection of interesting people from Griffith, the Gold Coast and internationally,” says Professor Ned Pankhurst, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of Gold Coast Campus.

“This is a very proud partnership to be involved in and for those who cannot make it, we have excellent live streaming to take advantage of. “The theme of TEDxGriffithUniversity – this great showcase of knowledge – is ‘knowledge is…’ and it really is up to each one of us to finish that sentence and position the Gold Coast as a true university city.” For information on live streaming at each of our campuses, Nathan, Mt Gravatt, South Bank and Logan, please visitwww.tedxgriffithuniversity.com

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference inCalifornia 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many ofthese talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, JaneGoodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler.

The annual TEDGlobal conference was held in October 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get helptranslating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.