Five Years as a united Auckland: Auckland Conversations educate and inspire

Last Updated : 24 Nov 2015
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Janette Sadik-Khan, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, entertains the audience at Auckland Conversations

As Auckland strives to become the world’s most liveable city, one key event that continues to educate Aucklanders on topical worldwide city developments is Auckland Conversations.

Like Auckland’s version of the world-famous TED talks, Auckland Conversations is a series of national and international keynote speaker events that cover discussions including transport, infrastructure, urban design, public art and much more.

Since Auckland Council’s amalgamation in 2010, more than 80,000 Aucklanders have attended these free sessions and experienced lively discussions from industry leaders about a range of key issues.

Attendance of Auckland Conversations has steadily grown over the past five years, with an average turnout of 500 people per event. Some of the high-profile speakers from 2015 include Janette Sadik-Khan (former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation) Jeffrey Tumlin (Principal and Director of Strategy at Nelson Nygaard, San Francisco) and Vancouver urbanist and writer Charles Montgomery.  

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Award-winning Canadian writer and urbanist Charles Montgomery speaks at Auckland Conversations

This year Auckland Conversations launched a new online channel which allows the events to be live-streamed to a global audience. Since its launch viewers from USA, UK, Italy, Mexico, Sweden and other countries have tuned in – with almost 30,000 minutes viewed online.

Auckland Council’s Design Champion, Ludo Campbell-Reid, believes Auckland Conversations have become one of Auckland’s must-see events. Metro Magazine also cited Auckland Conversations as bringing the world to Auckland.

“Auckland is a city that’s continually evolving. The best way to keep improving is to gain inspiration, confidence and learn from leaders from around the world who have been instrumental in the development of their cities and associated projects.

"Auckland Conversations is the perfect platform to engage Aucklanders and key decision makers in new and inspiring ways of moving Auckland in the right direction.

“Over the past few years we’ve hosted some very high-profile leaders and experts from different parts of the globe who have offered amazing insights into how cities can be transformed to become liveable, well designed and connected places where people want to live, work and play.

"Having the ability to learn from others who have trodden the path before allows us to challenge what we know, what we want from our city, and how we can achieve this. Every rewarding journey begins with a single conversation so let's get talking!"

Auckland Conversations lights up social media

Twitter hashtag #AklConversations was introduced in 2014 and has helped engage Aucklanders around the events to create an active social community.

This year #AklConversations trended twice on Twitter:

• On Monday 2 March 2015, the Auckland Conversations Fixing Auckland’s Transport debate saw unique mentions of the hashtag used over 750 times, reaching a potential audience of over 60 per cent of New Zealand Twitter users.

• On Thursday 6 August 2015, the Auckland Conversations From Streets to People event trended on Twitter even after the news broke about John Campbell leaving Campbell Live, with a potential reach of around 54 per cent of New Zealand Twitter users.

Will Alsop next speaker for Auckland Conversations

On Tuesday 10 November 2015 daring British architect Will Alsop will present Make Life Better: The Will Alsop Experience. He is renowned for his controversial avant-garde architectural forms.

Will Alsop has been involved in a number of iconic projects under his philosophy to ‘Make Life Better’ and will discuss art, architecture, modernism, urbanism and other subjects.

Will’s been involved with master plans and regeneration projects from all over the world, his work also incorporates urban design and planning.

And, you can look forward to an inspiring line-up of speakers confirmed for Auckland Conversations in 2016. Some of the speakers for next year include:

Skye Duncan – Global Designing Cities Director, National Association of City Transportation
Joe Minicozzi – Founder of Urban 3, North Carolina
Gil Penalosa – Founder and chair of the board of 8 80 Cities

To find out more about the Will Alsop event and to watch the discussion live please click here.

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