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TEDxExeter 2015 – Taking the Long View

We are delighted to be able to announce that TEDxExeter will once again be happening in the Exeter Northcott Theatre on 24 April 2015, with the theme “Taking the Long View”.

It is a truism to say that our present has been shaped by our past, but some events and cultures have had a more lasting impact than others. For example*, 2015 will be the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, yet several clauses are still in effect, in particular the right to due legal process. 2015 will also see the 750th anniversary of the meeting of Simon de Montfort’s parliament, the first English parliament without royal authorisation. The 9th century Persia gave us algebra and algorithms. What did the Romans ever do for us? Quite a lot! Then, of course, the ancient Greeks invented democracy, and many doctors still swear the Hippocratic oath.

Many of these innovations were made to solve immediate problems, without any thought to future generations. By contrast, we have an example of taking the long view to the future in the builders of the dining hall at New College Oxford. Kirsty Schneeburger described in her TEDxExeter 2013 talk how they planted oak trees in order that there might be timber available to replace the ceiling hundreds of years later.

At TEDxExeter 2015 we aim to take the long view back into the past, and explore how it has shaped the world we now live in. We want to ask about what responsibilities the past places on us in the way we live now and how we innovate. We will also take the long view to the future. In the present time, we bemoan the short-termism of much political and economic decision-making, and if we are honest our personal decisions are rife with short-termism too. How can taking the long view into the future reveal and help us to understand the challenges that face us now, and shape the way we live and the decisions we make?

We very much look forward to seeing you there.

* Disclaimer: The examples given are no indication of what subjects our speakers might explore!