Answers from attendees for questioning assumptions

At the TEDxHastingsSt 2019 event on 10 August, we addressed assumptions. One definition for assumption: a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. We all have assumptions about the world and about ourselves. They help us make sense of the world, and they help us make decisions and drive our culture. So, we asked our attendees for answers to: How should we question our assumptions?

Sharp Answers

Adam Meadows and Arno Van Heerden from Sharp NZ in Hastings helped us capture the answers with Sharp’s Interactive Touch Panel.

Answers for questioning assumptions
How should we question our assumptions?

Some interesting answers were offered. Hal Josephson, who spoke at TEDxHastingsSt 2018, suggested the 5 Why’s method of asking why 5 times. Rebecca said that we should question our assumptions often and with an open heart. Alessandra said, “don’t believe always what your mind tells you.” Someone else has drawn a pair of glasses and written ass on one lens and u+me on the other. No doubt, this is a reference to the common pun that to assume is to make an ass of you and me. Other answers were more simple. One person wrote, “carefully and with deliberation.” Another person simply said, “listen.”

Often and with Deliberation

These are all great answers, and I would invite you to read them all and try to decipher them. Think about what the author wanted to say, but also think about the lesson you would want to take from it. For example, someone wrote, “spend a day in Maraenui,” which is an underdeveloped neighborhood in Napier. This answer could have a variety of negative overtones. However, I have spent a great deal of time in both Maraenui and Flaxmere in Hastings. Both neighborhoods have some amazing people in them who are more hospitable and more eager to help than people I have met elsewhere around Hawke’s Bay. Some of those people are gang members. To me, this answer suggests that we should not be quick to judge whole neighborhoods based on social stigmas.


Also, if you are interested in speaking at TEDxHastingsSt, please click and register your interest. If someone you know is interested in speaking at TEDxHastingsSt, please send them the link. Thank you!

Want to Speak at TEDxHastingsSt 2020?

Now you can register your interest to speak at TEDxHastingsSt 2020. TEDxHastingsSt 2019 happened on 10 August successfully with 6 speakers and one dance company. We are now looking for speakers for 2020.Are you doing something different? Do you want to spread your idea, invention, creation with Hawke’s Bay and the world?

If you are interested in committing to the following, then please fill in the form at


  • Your idea presents a new approach in technology, entertainment, design, or anything else
  • You can deliver your idea in less than 18 minutes
  • You are able to work with coaches to polish your presentation
  • You are available for a Saturday presentation in 2020 (date to be confirmed)
  • You want international exposure for your idea (videos of event posted online)
Do you know someone else who might be interested? Please share this link with them.
If you have registered previously, please register again to update your info.

Frequently asked questions:

How will I benefit from speaking at TEDxHastingsSt?

You will be associating yourself and your idea with the TEDx brand both locally and around the world. Many of our speakers from 2018 have signed new clients and traveled the world on speaking engagements as a direct result of their talks at TEDxHastingsSt. Your talk will be presented locally and filmed for online sharing under the TEDx banner. We cannot promise that your talk will boost your career, but we can provide you with the support and platform that has been successful for some of our past speakers.

What if I’m not a professional speaker?

We are not necessarily looking for professional speakers. We are looking for the right speakers. A good TEDx talk must be focused, well-researched, and entertaining while presenting a unique/ novel idea. The audience should walk away feeling educated and excited. Can you balance focus, research, entertainment, and novelty?

What if I’m not ready to give my talk?

You should have plenty of time to get ready. Our coaches will help, but you have to do the hard work of preparing and giving your talk. Are you ready to get ready?

What if I own a business with investors?

We suggest you speak to your investors first. They may have reasons for you to reserve your idea for a later time. Is your idea ready?

What if I get promoted at work?

Speak to your employers about your talk. When the date is confirmed, be sure they know that you need the date free. Is your career ready?
TEDxHastingsSt 2019

Tickets for Early Birds 2019

Our Early Early Bird tickets have sold out, but you still have time to buy the Standard Tickets for $67  before they go up again to $77. If you are ready to buy now, click

Last year, some of the feedback requested that we offer ticket sales from multiple locations. So, the main reason we are using iTICKET this year is because they also offer ticket sales offline. If you would prefer to buy a physical ticket from a live person, you may go to one of their physical outlets listed below.

Hastings I-SITE

Tickets available here

Hawke’s Bay

Cnr Russell & Heretaunga St East

Hastings, 4122


And here

Havelock North I-SITE

3 Middle Road

Havelock North, 4130


And here

Napier Municipal Theatre

119 Tennyson St

Napier, 4110



The early bird pricing is thanks in large part to our generous partners.


Radio Kidnappers interviews TEDxHastingsSt

Today, I was interviewed as a member of Rotary on Radio Kidnappers about TEDxHastingsSt. Lynne Trafford presents Rotary Wheels every Monday at 10 in the morning on 1431 AM and 104.7 FM here in Hawke’s Bay. Lynne is a charming woman with a pleasant and distinct voice. I, on the other hand, have a voice better suited to silent film.

We had a great chat about how and why I joined Rotary Club of Napier. During that time, I mention Peter Silverforce who also happens to host a radio show on Radio Kidnappers called Special Sounds which is focused on jazz.

After that, we spoke about TEDxHastingsSt. Listeners will learn about the reason Hastings St was chosen for the name of these events. I also  speak a little about why we chose the speakers we did for this year.

The episode will broadcast Monday the 29th of July and Monday the 5th of August, both at 10 am. If you are unable to listen at the time, you can still hear the episode online. Once our episode is aired, they will upload it as a podcast, and we will share the link.

We are also talking to Radio Kidnappers about doing more shows on the station that will be specific for TEDxHastingsSt. So, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list below under Follow Us, or you can click through to this link.

If you are ready to buy tickets, you can click through to iTICKET. You can also buy your tickets from Hastings I-SITE, Havelock North I-SITE, and Napier Municipal Theatre. Be quick because our early bird tickets are selling fast.

Theme: Questioning Assumptions

The theme for last year’s event was culture. If you look at the talks from last year, few of them actually address culture directly. A TEDx theme is used like a compass for the event’s organizers and to prepare audiences for the type of talks the speakers will give.

This year’s theme

This year, we will address assumptions. One definition for assumption: a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. We all have assumptions about the world and about ourselves. They help us make sense of the world, and they help us make decisions and drive our culture.

Assumptions help us stay safe and avoid risk, but they can also help us avoid opportunities. We cannot think outside the box and affect change without questioning the assumptions we make. That means we cannot improve our world or ourselves until we question our assumptions. The reason is simple, an assumption that appears true and positive for one person may appear false and negative for another.

An Example

Dieting is a great example. We assume that eating more vegetables and exercising more will help us lose weight. Sometimes this is the case, but the truth is far from simple. Maintaining the motivation to eat a special way and exercise constantly is just unrealistic. As individuals, we have to question our assumptions about dieting.

Not everyone will lose weight the same way because we don’t all gain weight the same way. For some people a low fat diet will work but not for others. For some, a low carb diet will work but not for others. In dieting, we can’t just change our eating and exercise habits to the latest fad diets. We have to address our own personal health needs, and form a diet and exercise routine that will help us lose weight and maintain the motivation to do so. Some people need to do it on their own, but others need a team of friends to help them. Dieting, like anything else, is more complicated than just the assumption that eating veges and running will solve the problem.

Step Two

TEDxHastingsSt is on a journey of development improvement, and we hope you’ll join us. We began by celebrating the cultural diversity of Hawke’s Bay. The next step will be to question our assumptions in order to create positive change. The speakers will present ideas that help do just that.

Soon, we will show off our new logo for the 2019 event. Stay tuned!

Register to speak

Speaking at TEDxHastingsSt 2019?

Since November, several people have registered their interest in speaking at TEDxHastingsSt this year, but we are still looking for more if you or someone you know might be interested. We will also remember you for next year.

You may register your interest here: Also, please forward the link to anyone you think should speak at TEDxHastingsSt this year.

If you want to learn more about the event theme or 2019, you may visit this post,

Three months to GO!

Are you ready to get tickets? We are anxious to release them. Everyone we have spoken to is excited, and we feel the same way. It is almost time to tell you who the speakers are, but you’ll have to wait a couple more weeks. We still have a few things to wrap up before we tell you.

What we can tell you is that we have combed through dozens of applications and narrowed the speaker list to just 8 people. These 8 people will present 8 ideas that will inspire Hawke’s Bay and the world. We are coaching each speaker, and each talk will be sharpened for the event.

This year’s event will be similar to last year, but we are taking on board all the feedback we received last year. So, if you gave us your opinion, thank you! You are already helping make the 2019 event spectacular. For instance, we are starting the event later in the day to allow parents time to take their kids to sport. We are completely avoiding school holidays, and we have invited a professional MC who can devote his entire day just to MCing our event.

Who is the MC? He’s something of a celebrity in the events market around here. If you have never heard of him, you should attend the event and see what all the fuss is about. His name is David Todd and you can find out more about him here,

Don’t forget! Save the date, Saturday 10 August 2019 1:00-6:00 in the afternoon.

Save the Date!

We have finally found the right venue for this year’s event. We can’t share the address because it isn’t finalized yet, but you should save the date, Saturday 10 August 2019. It is nowhere near school holidays. The event will likely happen from 1:00-6:00 pm. So, parents can still get their kids to sport and even have lunch with them.

More information is coming soon such as the new logo, the venue, the theme, and ticket sales. Stay tuned, and watch this space. You might even want to subscribe to the blog!