TEDxCQU celebrates and inspires changemakers

Published:02 June 2020

Dr Tobias Andreasson presents at TEDxCQU in Sydney.

A TEDx event coordinated by students at CQUniversity Sydney is inspiring thousands of people worldwide, with presentations from students, staff and alumni shared on the global TED Talks platform.

The volunteer-organised TEDxCQU forum was held on Friday 13 March, with the theme “Be What You Want to Be” - and participants have already attracted thousands of viewers for their video presentations.

The seven speakers included current Masters student and former Change Champ Bikesh Lal Shrestha, alumnus and sport not-for-profit founder Gurman Singh, and CQUni’s Associate Director for Social Innovation Dr Tobias Andreasson.

Supported by CQUni SAFF funding and the Campus Life Committee, with technical support from Vishma Studio, the event was held at Sydney’s Polish Club in front of an enthusiastic audience, and all seven presentations are now on the TEDx Talks Youtube platform.

Watch TEDxCQU presentations here.

Dr Andreasson used his speech to share CQUniversity’s commitment to help ensure every student can drive positive social change.

“If you want to be a changemaker, you want to positively contribute to the world - and what we know is that for Generation Z, this is particularly important,” Dr Andreasson explained.

“So at CQUniversity, we believe that one way to ensure students have these opportunities is to embed social innovation across the curriculum.”

Dr Andreasson explained that students could develop their social innovation mindset and practice if they had regular opportunities to use practical skills like systems-thinking and creative, iterative design processes.

“The social innovation mindset is curious about the world, and helps us do things differently – and as students develop this mindset, they can see the role they have to play in shaping their and humanity’s future.”

“That’s why CQUniversity, as Australia’s only Changemaker Campus, is sharing the view that everyone can become a changemaker.”

Other speakers covered topics including the importance of a good sales pitch, positive thinking, and embracing your fears, and international student opportunities. The full speaker list was:

Rana Kordahi, Founder and Director of The Selling Academy

Olga Saboureau, CQUni MBA graduate, Business Development Manager at Launchcap

Anita Sapkota, CQUni Master of Accounting graduate, CATI interviewer at CanvasU

Shamane Tan, cyber risk author and Executive Advisor for Asia Pacific, Privasec cyber-resilience firm

Gurman Singh, Business graduate and Australian Indian Sports, Educational and Cultural Society (AISECS) founder

Dr Tobias Andreasson, CQUniversity Associate Director for Social Innovation

Bikesh Lal Shrestha, Master of Management for Engineers student, former CQUni Change Champ

Lead organiser of the event was current CQUni Sydney student Saroj Basnet, who was also part of the winning team in the 2019 Interchange business pitch challenge, helping design a mobile phone app to reduce food waste.

Saroj was supported by a team of volunteers including CQUni students and staff.

Associate Vice-President (NSW Region) Shehan Thampapillai congratulated the organisers.

“It was an absolute pleasure to support an activity that was student led, which brought a vibrancy to the campus and involved key stakeholders outlined in the university’s strategic plan,” he said.

TED Talks is committed to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks, and the TEDx initiative was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.”

TEDx supports independent organisers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community, under a free license granted by TED.