Other life: The X Factor

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Other life: The X Factor

Taking the helm as licensee of TEDxCanberra has been a rewarding journey for Wisdom Learning consultant Ingrid Tomanovits AFIML, on both a professional and personal level.

By Lisa Calautti

When Ingrid Tomanovits sat among the audience at her first TEDxCanberra event six years ago, little did she know she was about to embark upon a life-changing path.

Upon learning that the speaker and performer event was organised entirely by volunteers, Tomanovits made it her mission to get involved. Fast forward to 2018, and she is the TEDxCanberra licensee, where she oversees a volunteer crew, who spend more than 3,000 hours bringing an event to life each year in the nation’s capital.

The experience of organising has left Tomanovits grateful for those in the world who want to make life better for others. “One of the things that I love about TEDxCanberra is everybody on that stage is just an ordinary person who decided to pursue their ideas and take action to improve something,” she says. “It is really inspiring to me to see people who are relatable. You don’t have to be a business or industry mogul or a millionaire to have a positive impact on your world. That was the thing that stood out to me the most.”

TED originated in 1984 with the goal of spreading ideas via short and powerful talks, where Technology, Entertainment, and Design come together. Today, TED covers topics ranging from science to business to global issues. As one event in the global TEDx program, TEDxCanberra showcases the best-undiscovered ideas in the local community, which Tomanovits says is also about bringing people together to make things happen. Ideas on how to eradicate scabies, to schooling solutions for children suffering from critical or long-term illnesses, to starting a revolution of human kindness are just some of the talks that featured in the 2018 event.

Likening her work with TEDxCanberra to running a business in her spare time, Tomanovits’ passion is palpable. Her enjoyment at seeing the end result drives her, as she knows from personal experience that being in the audience can be life-changing. One achievement she is most proud of is securing more women speakers through taking a deliberate approach to finding and assisting them to prepare for the stage. Also, learning there are times as a leader when you don’t have all the answers has been a welcome lesson, she admits. “It might be contrary to a lot we are taught about leadership but, for me, it is about having the humility to know that I don’t have all the answers but I do know how to ask for help. I have found time and time again, if I am prepared to ask for help, it will be there,” she said.

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