A senior NASA economist will tell thousands of Kiwis about the future of space exploration at this year's TEDxAuckland event.
US-based Alexander MacDonald advises private space exploration companies and has used satellites to monitor earthquakes and environmental issues.
He comes at an exciting time for the New Zealand space industry, with the recent founding of the New Zealand Space Agency and the successful launch of Rocket Lab's Electron earlier this year.
MacDonald will join 20 other local and international experts, innovators, and entrepreneurs to speak to a 2,000-strong crowd when TEDxAuckland hits the Aotea Centre on December 1st and 2nd.
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks in more than 100 different languages, and across a vast range of subjects.
Independently run TEDx events are designed to help communities, organisations and individuals spark conversations and connections through local TED-like experiences.
TEDxAuckland licenser and producer Elliott Blade says this year's event is going to bring a diverse and vibrant range of ideas to the audience.
Blade stating, “We spread innovative, creative ideas from the TEDxAuckland stage to the rest of the world.
“Experiencing TEDx Talks can and does make an impact on everyone, and our dream is that this impact leads to new ideas and social growth in our society.
The speaker lineup includes another intergalactic expert, space entrepreneur Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom who recently moved to New Zealand from Silicon Valley to co-found SpaceBase, a space tourism company.
The 2017 TEDxAuckland event is sponsored by nib New Zealand, and chief executive Rob Hennin says it aligned with the company's ethos of continuous innovation and challenging the status quo.
He states, “We understand the value of informed, intelligent discussion about the future of life here in New Zealand and want to make it easier for Kiwis to hear, share and discuss these ideas.
“We can't think of a better way to bring new, exciting and even some cautionary ideas here.