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No.8 Re-Wired authors join TEDxAuckland lineup

The authors of an inventions book due to be released later this year are among the newly-announced speakers for TEDxAuckland, to take place next month.

David Downs, general manager of services at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and comedian, TV producer and columnist Jon Bridges are the creators of No.8 Re-Wired, which documents Kiwi inventions and ideas from Samuel Parnell’s eight hour work day, New Zealand-bred sheep like the Perendale and Drysdale, Bill Gallagher’s electric fence and the Martin Jetpack.

It also details John Eustace’s airtight tin lid, Arthur Lydiard’s exercise programmes, and the pav (yes, the authors say, it’s ours).

The pair will be joined by Vivien Maidaborn, a social entrepreneur who’s the CEO at Unicef New Zealand. Maidaborn also chairs the co-operative that founded Loomio, an online tool for democratic decision making.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘ascending’. It will also feature Auckland student Muskan Devta, who at just 14 has published two books including her autobiography I Dream, that’s been adopted as part of her school’s curriculum.

She was born with partial hemiplegia – a brain injury – and a hole in her heart, under-developed lungs and weak eyesight, and is donating profits from her autobiography to the children’s hospital Starship.

“Designed to stimulate Aucklanders through storytelling, sustainable thinking and innovation, the event will celebrate the resilience and courage of individuals who are making the world a better place,” the organisers say.

Richard Easther, a cosmology professor and head of physics at the University of Auckland, will also be speaking, along with zoologist and marine scientist Riley Elliot, a shark conservationist.

The organisers have already confirmed a first round of speakers, including Nelson Mandela’s former chief of security Rory Steyn; Kiwi adventurer Mike Allsop (who who has survived a plane crash and run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents), and Vend CEO Vaughan Rowsell.

They’ve also confirmed B Team sustainability expert Rebecca Mills; and Catherine Bell, founder of the Garden to Table Trust that educates children to grow and cook healthy food.

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