Blog: Coffee and Jam 155 Special

George Mander - curator of TEDxYouth at Avon River spoke about his experience organising and being involved in the 2015 TEDxYouth event, followed by a panel discussion with Yong Noh (Team Leader) and Sophie Rea (2015 Speaker). George touched on what he learnt through his amazing experience of TEDxYouth.

George Mander - curator of TEDxYouth at Avon River spoke today about his experience organising and being involved in the 2015 TEDxYouth event, followed by a panel discussion with Yong Noh (Team Leader) and Sophie Rea (2015 Speaker). George touched on what he learnt through his amazing experience of TEDxYouth. He learnt to:

  • Dream: The team thought a lot about their vision for TEDxYouth. They wanted to create an affordable event for youth, by youth, that would give them a valuable experience. 
  • Talk: With so much of today’s communication being through Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, George learnt the value of communicating ideas over a simple cup of coffee, face to face.
  • Trust: He learnt how to trust himself to carry out tasks, and how it felt to have others entrusting him with responsibility.  
  • Cooperate: Learning how to utilise a team and have everyone being responsible for their own jobs. 
  • Ask: George learnt that cooperation is important not only within your team, but outside of it too, as there comes a time when you need to ask outside organisations for help and for sponsorship. 
  • Believe: George says that if you’re going to fail, then “fail confidently!” Keeping this in mind can give you the confidence to go on and make things work. 
  • Adapt: As they had speakers coming from all around the place they had to adapt by using means such as Skype to talk to them before the event. 
  • Differentiate: “Be different and be bold!” TEDxYouth identified that their point of difference was that they were an even for young people, and learnt to embrace that difference. 
  • Challenge: The challenge they faced was deciding how much should youth be involved in the event. Should it be completely run by young people with only youth speakers? George decided that instead of that they would use youth where they could, but that their main goal would be to make the event awesome for youth, regardless of whether speakers were youth themselves or not. If they had ideas for youth worth speaking about then that’s what they were after, regardless of age. 
  • Connect: A surprising learning from TedX was seeing how the different speakers connected with each other, with many of them going on to start joint ventures or work together in some way after the event. 
  • Dream: And this is where Georges learnings came full circle, back to ‘Dream’. The guidelines for a TEDx event are to have at least 1 speaker, and 1 audience member. With big dreams TEDxYouth @ Avon River held a six hour event with 100 audience members, 6 speakers, goodie bags, an awesome hip hop performance, and a 91% rate of audience members saying that they would be likely to recommend the event to a friend! And to date they have had over 5000 views on their videos from the event. 


They are now preparing for their next TEDxYouth event called ‘Wander and Wonder’. If you think you could be of assistance for suture events - they are specifically looking for a speaker coach and someone who could help with live streaming and web - then contact them For more info go to: or find them on Facebook:


Shout Outs

  • Toastmasters at Epic Centre - every Wednesday 12.15pm - 1.15pm.
  • BNZ Networking Event - this is for anyone interested in business and is being held this Thursday 24th March at the Epic Centre. For more information speak to Wendy. 
  • Steffen Stauber is working on his ‘Create Meaning’ project - which aims to change the world with business - and would like to have coffee and a chat with anyone doing interesting business that might relate to this. He is in Christchurch until the 25th of March and can be contacted at: More info about this at:
  • Faultline Poetry Collective hold open mic nights on the last Friday of every month at the White Elephant at 442 Tuam St. Their next event however, being Easter, will be held on 1 April. Event is all ages and more info can be found on their Facebook
  • Richard is in the process of creating a mobile game - Sheep Trials. Follow him on twitter - errorandtrialit, or on to get updates on this. 
  • Start Up weekend is coming up on April 29 – May 1. Start Up weekend is a 54-hour events where designers, developers, marketers, product managers and start-up enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch start-ups! Tickets are selling fast so get in quick! For more info go to
  • Start up activator workshop Launch Club will be happening on Thursday 14th April from 5pm - 7pm at Greenhouse. This workshop is great if for idea validation if you have a bunch of great business ideas you want to look into. For more information go to:
  • ‘Canterbury Shorts’ film festival - Bring a blanket, cushion and a friend for the Canterbury Shorts film festival on April 2nd at The Commons (Corner of Durham & Kilmore St) from 7pm - 9pm. Admission is free but koha will be gratefully accepted and passed on to local creative initiatives. Food trucks will be on site, as well as free popcorn! For more info go to
  • Rachel King is a graphic designer involved with the TEDxYouth @AvonRiver team who is looking for graphic design work. She can be contacted on: 027 235 5246, (Yes, Rachel with two a’s for email), and her work can be viewed
  • Happy New Zealanders is a website that shares information on gatherings around Christchurch, with the aim of promoting engagement and connections between New Zealanders. Visit them at:
  • The Water Bearers are raiding funds to bring water to those who do not currently have access to it. Their Goal is for 100 Women to lead a 30-day fundraising campaign. Each Team Leader has a Goal of 100 Water Systems donated by World Water Day – March 22, 2016. To find out more info or to donate go to Last day of fundraiser is today. 
  • No Coffee and Jam next week because of Easter.