“Crime against humanity, crime against culture”

Your fatwa does not apply here

In October, TEDxExeter alumna Karima Bennoune was appointed as a UN Special Rapporteur on culture. Sadly, her first statement in this capacity was about the Paris attacks: “Crime against humanity, crime against culture”. You can read it on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights website in English and French.

It is as necessary as ever to hear the message she gave in her talk at TEDxExeter 2014, “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism”, which is now featured on TED.com. In September 2014, she also wrote A Ten-Point Plan for Defeating ISIS and Muslim Fundamentalism, which covers the following in more detail:

  1. The international community must stand together.
  2. Our strategy must be cross-regional.
  3. Support must be given to people of Muslim heritage who oppose extremism.
  4. There must be an immediate humanitarian response to the desperate needs of those affected by ISIS brutality.
  5. We must not just battle terrorism, but fight the underlying fundamentalism.
  6. We have to dry up the funding sources of ISIS.
  7. Unequivocally defend women’s rights.
  8. The response to ISIS must respect international law.
  9. This is not a partisan issue.
  10. We must fight discrimination against Muslims everywhere.

Thankfully, Karima’s is not the only sane voice amidst the empty rhetoric and hate-mongering. Deeyah Khan is a documentary film-maker and activist. Shortly after the Paris attacks, she wrote in the Guardian about how “Together, we can conquer Isis’s savage world view”, and in the Evening Standard about British extremists’ path to radicalisation and their warped world of hyper-masculinity. Deeyah’s film “Jihad” explores the root causes and appeal of radical extremism to young Muslims in The West. “Banaz – A Love Story” tells the story of Banaz Mahmod: her murder by her own family in an ‘honour killing’, and how the police finally brought them to justice.

Inspiring a Swedish pop song…

How do I deal with a Bully, without becoming a Thug?

Our talks have inspired a great many people, and really made a difference in places. This is an impact with a difference!

At the end of the summer the Swedish band Hi-Lili Hi-Lo released their EP debut “Birds”. Their single “Seven Words” features a collaboration between the band and “Fighting with non-violence”, the TEDxExeter 2012 talk by Scilla Elworthy:

Hi-Lili Hi-Lo Seven WordsComposer and leader of the band Mikel Morueta Holme got inspired by the talk and incorporated parts of it on the demo-version to accentuate the message of the song. The song is about prejudices and conflict while Scilla’s words serve as an inspiration to find solutions. Originally, the single was composed as an assessment work on Mikel’s music studies in Brazil in 2014. Once he returned to Sweden the band decided to record the final version. The band is proud to present the result of the collaboration with Scilla Elworthy, her team and TEDxExeter.

The debut-EP “Birds” is the outcome of acoustic and electronic paths where challenging strings arrangements, carved melodies and intense passages lead to a common ground.

“Seven Words” and the whole EP are available through Spotify, iTunes, and Bandcamp.

The One and The Many

fitzroyplace-byThomasRandall-Page-cropped

fitzroyplace-byThomasRandall-Page-croppedPeter Randall-Page has a new monumental public sculpture now on view in London.

Way back in August 2014, Claire and I visited Peter’s studio and were privileged to see the work in progress. I have no idea how the stone could ever have got there through the high-edged windy lanes of deepest darkest Devon, or how it got out again. What I do know is that it is a stunning complement to Peter’s talk at TEDxExeter 2015 on “Theme and variation in nature and culture”, truly taking the long view.

The website for The One and The Many is beautiful, and extremely informative. And yesterday, Peter was on Radio 4’s Start the Week talking about the sculpture and ideas behind the project. The program is now available as a podcast.

Here’s a snippet from the publicity around the unveiling:

Commissioned for the recently opened Fitzroy Place, The One and The Many is primarily a celebration of human ingenuity and imagination. Embracing many cultures, the sculpture is situated in the heart of Fitzrovia, an area with a rich and vibrant cultural history and thriving creative community.

Carved from a 25 tonne, 3.5 metre high naturally eroded granite boulder the sculpture is inscribed over its entire surface with marks carved in low relief representing writing systems from the earliest cuneiform script (active 5,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia) to those still in use today. The texts themselves are creation stories from various cultures, each conveyed in their own writing systems.

The One and The Many powerfully expresses Peter’s passion for the way in which we imbue the world with human meaning through our creativity and imagination and the mark making which has been fundamental to the way we communicate our thoughts and ideas from our ancestors to the present day.

A scholar from Exeter University checked the classical Arabic, lines from Ibn al-Nafis’ Theologus Autodidactus.
Carving of the Braille text in progress, lines from ‘The God’s Script’ by Jorge Luis Borges.

The way we work

MichelleRyan_portrait

Michelle Ryan’s talk from TEDxExeter 2015 on “Work-life balance: balancing time or balancing identity?” is currently headlining a playlist curated by TEDx Talks on YouTube.

Michelle says:

It was incredible to participate in the TEDxExeter event, and be able to speak to so many engaged people about my research. To see the talk reach out to a global online audience through the TEDx Talks website is really rewarding. We really need to rethink what we mean by work-life balance and understand how issues of identity and belonging might feed into how we might strike a balance between who we are at home and who we are at work.

The playlist “The way we work” also features talks on “How to manage for collective creativity” and “Why work doesn’t happen at work” among others.

TEDxExeter: the hottest tickets in town sold out in a record 22 minutes

Press release

Massive demand meant that tickets to TEDxExeter 2016 sold out faster than ever before on Tuesday. Tickets for the live event at the Exeter Northcott Theatre sold out in 20 minutes, and tickets for the simultaneous livestream to the nearby Alumni Auditorium all went before the end of the day.

TEDxExeter is Exeter’s leading festival of ideas, and next year’s conference will be the fifth held in the city. It is also streamed online so that everyone who could not get tickets can still watch it live. Videos of all the talk will also be free to watch online after the event.

“We are delighted at the enthusiasm for tickets for our event,” said Claire Kennedy, licensee and curator of TEDxExeter. “The hunger for it has grown exponentially over the five years we have been organising TEDxExeter, and this year’s unprecedented rush did cause some problems with the online booking system. Our apologies to those who had a frustrating time as a result, and our thanks to the staff at the Exeter Northcott Theatre for all their hard work getting the bookings through.

“We hope that all those who missed out on tickets will still take part and watch the livestream. It is a great opportunity to get a group of friends or colleagues together and start your own conversations in the breaks. Anyone who wants to run a viewing party can contact us for more information.”

A proportion of the tickets for the livestream to the Alumni Auditorium have been reserved for schools groups and there are still a small number available. Schools who want to bring students along should contact Jackie Bagnall, co-ordinator of educational experiences, on jackie@tedxexeter.com for more information and a booking form.

TEDxExeter 2016 takes place on Friday 15 April 2016 at the Exeter Northcott Theatre and the Alumni Auditorium at the University of Exeter.

For more information about TEDxExeter please contact Cathy Debenham, cathy@tedxexeter.com, 07786 440129.

Photographs of past speakers and events are available for download from the TEDxExeter Flickr page. Click on individual pictures to see captions and picture credits.

Notes to editors

TEDxExeter is organised by a team of local volunteers. It is made possible by the generosity of local companies who support the event.

Our sponsors are:
University of Exeter
Stephens Scown
Egremont
SunGift Energy
Wilkinson Grant
Antech
LHC Architects
Exeter Northcott Theatre
Websites Ahoy
Southernhay House
Chromatrope
Stormpress
Dacors Design
Exeter College
Saks
First Sight Media
Luscombe
MailChimp

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Follow TEDxExeter on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDxExeter. For more information visit our website: www.tedxexeter.com.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED or Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted.

Sold out

Tickets for TEDxExeter 2016 went on sale at 10am on 1 December, and massive demand meant that tickets to TEDxExeter 2016 sold out faster than ever before. Tickets for the live event at the Exeter Northcott Theatre sold out in 22 minutes – shades of Glastonbury – and tickets for the simultaneous livestream to the nearby Alumni Auditorium all went before the end of the day.

This year’s unprecedented rush did cause some problems with the online booking system. Our apologies to those who had a frustrating time as a result, and our thanks to the staff at the Exeter Northcott Theatre for all their hard work getting the bookings through.

We’re sorry if you were disappointed not to get a ticket. But the Northcott does have a waiting list and as in 2015 we will make the livestream publicly available. It is a great opportunity to get a group of friends or colleagues together and start your own conversations in the breaks. Anyone who wants to run a viewing party can contact us for more information.

A proportion of the tickets for the livestream to the Alumni Auditorium have been reserved for school groups and there are still a small number available. Schools who want to bring students along should contact Jackie Bagnall, co-ordinator of educational experiences, at jackie@tedxexeter.com for more information and a booking form.

TEDxExeter_Ticket_Northcott_2016
Queuing for tickets in person at Exeter Northcott Theatre. Credit: Clive Chilvers.

TEDxExeter reserves space for school groups for the first time

Press release

School groups are being offered concessionary tickets at Exeter’s popular festival of ideas for the first time in 2016. The theme for next year’s event is Dreams to Reality.

The one day conference which brings together speakers with “ideas worth sharing” has been running at Exeter Northcott Theatre since 2012. This year it will have a simultaneous livestream to the nearby Alumni Auditorium, where some of the seats will be reserved for schools and colleges around Devon. Audiences from both venues will come together for breaks and lunch in the University’s Great Hall.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students to hear from people who are finding innovative ways to deal with many of the most challenging issues facing society today,” said Jackie / Claire. “While TEDxExeter’s speakers are experts in their subjects, they are also excellent at making them accessible to a general audience. Audiences come away inspired, entertained, provoked and often moved to take action themselves.

“We know how much work teachers have to do, so are keen for parents to point out this opportunity to the relevant person at their children’s schools and colleges. This offer is limited, and tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so people need to act now if they want to secure tickets.”

More information about the event and how schools can reserve seats is available from Jackie Bagnall, jackie@tedxexeter.com.

Schools that don’t manage to get tickets can organise their own lifestream event. Last year the conference was streamed for the first time on the internet, and was watched by 1,500 people at viewing parties across Exeter. These included police leaders at Middlemoor and students at schools, Exeter College and the university. Groups also watched at the library, the City Council, St Loyes and the Met Office. Individuals from 38 countries including Iraq, Swaziland and Canada also tuned in. This year TEDxExeter aims to expand this audience too.

All the talks are filmed and made freely available on the internet. So far TEDxExeter speakers’ talks have been viewed more than 5 million times. Four of them have been featured on TED.com: Karima Bennoune sharing stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities; Scilla Elworthy speaking on non violence; Bandi Mbubi calling for fair trade phones; and slam poet Harry Baker’s love poem for lonely prime numbers…

For more information about TEDxExeter please contact Cathy Debenham, cathy@tedxexeter.com, 07786 440129. An image of this year’s theme is attached.

Photographs of past speakers and events are available for download from the TEDxExeter Flickr page. Click on individual pictures to see captions and picture credits.

Notes to editors

TEDxExeter is organised by a team of local volunteers. It is made possible by the generosity of local companies who support the event.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Follow TEDxExeter on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDxExeter. For more information visit our website: www.tedxexeter.com.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED or Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted.

Don’t miss TEDxExeter 2016: tickets expected to sell out in record time

Press release

People hoping to attend the TEDxExeter conference on 15 April 2016 will need to act fast when tickets go on sale at 10am on Tuesday 1 December 2015 from Exeter Northcott Theatre Box Office and online at https://exeternorthcott.co.uk/about-us/booking-tickets/. Each year, since the event began in 2012, tickets have sold out faster than the year before.

Last year tickets for the popular event at Exeter Northcott Theatre were all gone in two hours, with concessionary tickets sold in 20 minutes. This year there will be twice as many tickets available, with a simultaneous livestream from the Northcott Theatre to the adjacent Alumni Auditorium at Exeter University. However, tickets are still expected to sell out in less than a day.

“We hope to reach a wider range of people this year,” says TEDxExeter licensee and curator Claire Kennedy. “The expansion into the Alumni Auditorium enables us to offer many more tickets at a concessionary rate. Both audiences will join together in the breaks and at lunchtime to share reactions, reflections and ideas, as well as refreshments and the chance to talk with speakers.

“We are particularly keen to encourage more young people to attend. This year, schools and colleges from around Devon have been invited to bring groups of students to the Livestream event. This is a great opportunity to stimulate thought, inspire action and challenge preconceptions in all our audience.

“This year’s theme is Dreams to Reality. While having a dream is a good starting point, our speakers are people who have moved on to take concrete action: they are challenging mainstream beliefs, inventing both new products and new ways of doing things, inspiring people both by their actions and the beauty of their art, and helping people to find their own solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Speakers lined up for next year will continue to match the extremely high standards audiences have come to expect from TEDXExeter.”

The conference is not limited just to those with tickets. Last year it was streamed live on the internet for the first time, allowing anyone anywhere to watch. TEDxExeter was watched by about 1,500 people gathered in viewing parties across Exeter. These included police leaders at Middlemoor and students at schools, Exeter College and the university. Groups also watched at the library, the City Council, St Loyes and the Met Office. Individuals from 38 countries including Iraq, Swaziland and Canada also tuned in. This year TEDxExeter aims to expand this audience too.

All the talks are filmed and made freely available on the internet. The TED translation project means ideas from Exeter reach a truly global audience. So far TEDxExeter speakers’ talks have been viewed more than 5 million times. Four of them have been featured on TED.com: Karima Bennoune sharing stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities; Scilla Elworthy speaking on non violence; Bandi Mbubi calling for fair trade phones; and slam poet Harry Baker’s love poem for lonely prime numbers…

Tickets for TEDxExeter 2016 will go on sale at the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office and online at 10am on 1 December 2015. Tickets to see the conference live in the theatre will cost £60. Tickets for the simultaneous livestream to Exeter University’s Alumni Auditorium will be £20.

The ticket price includes lunch and refreshments during the breaks. Registration will open at 8.30 on the day, the conference will start at 9.25 and finish at 5pm. There will be generous morning and afternoon breaks with refreshments in the University’s Great Hall and lunch will be sustainably sourced.

To keep up with speaker announcements and news about ticket sales or to watch last year’s talks, readers can join the TEDxExeter mailing list at tedxexeter.com.

For more information about TEDxExeter please contact Cathy Debenham, cathy@tedxexeter.com, 07786 440129. An image of this year’s theme is attached.

Photographs of past speakers and events are available for download from the TEDxExeter Flickr page. Click on individual pictures to see captions and picture credits.

Notes to editors

TEDxExeter is organised by a team of local volunteers. It is made possible by the generosity of local companies who support the event.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Follow TEDxExeter on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDxExeter. For more information visit our website: www.tedxexeter.com.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED or Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted.

Call-out for TEDxExeter 2016 volunteers

TEDxExeter 2016 Dandelion

Would you like to volunteer at TEDxExeter 2016? We are now seeking applications.

TEDxExeter 2016 will be on the theme “Dreams to Reality” and will be held in the Exeter Northcott Theatre and Alumni Auditorium on 15 April 2016.

TEDxExeter volunteers play a crucial part in making the event a smooth-running and memorable occasion. As a volunteer, you will support the sharing of ideas that might just change the world.

Download the application form as a doc or a pdf.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 24 November at 5pm. We will let you know if you’ve got a place by 30 November. Tickets for the event will go on sale at 10am on 1 December 2015.

Dreams to Reality

TEDxExeter 2016 Dandelion

TEDxExeter 2016 DandelionIn 2016, we want to encapsulate the idea of movement… that grappling with humanity’s toughest questions requires first a vision, a dream, and then action.

TED and TEDxExeter are devoted to ideas worth spreading. But why are those ideas worth spreading? Because they might spark a new way of looking at the world in our audience, or they might generate a new connection, or offer a new perspective on a complex issue. But ultimately because they are about creating a better world, a better future.

Without a dream, people struggle to keep on keeping on: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18a). But dreams by themselves are ineffectual, just “pretty bubbles in the air” that “fade and die” (Dean Martin). They need grounding in reality and dedicated action.

We are delighted that so many of our talks in previous TEDxExeter events have incorporated healthy doses of dreaming and realism, and that so many of our team, sponsors and delegates have caught the dreams and helped to create new realities.

As we dream TEDxExeter 2016 and curate all the talks and performances into reality next April, we might have some inkling of the sorts of seeds they might release into the world. But we can’t plan for our audiences, how those seeds might disperse and where they might land, and who else might be involved in watering and feeding them and nurturing the tiny shoots to fruiting plants.

So we invite you to dream dreams alongside us, dreams that are not bubbles but seeds, dreams that through action will one day become reality. And do join us on the day!