Taking the Long View: Magna Carta

2015 seems to be quite a significant year for anniversaries: the 1000th of Cnut’s invasion of England; the 750th of Simon de Montfort’s first ‘English parliament’; the 600th of Agincourt; the 200th of Waterloo; the 70th of VE day; and, of course, the 60th of The Lord of the Rings and the 50th of The Sound of Music. But it was the 800th of Magna Carta that was the inspiration behind this year’s theme.

It was a case of from the sublime to the sublime. On the Friday I was live blogging at TEDxExeter 2014, and on the Saturday and Sunday I was singing the services at Salisbury Cathedral. Salisbury hosts the best-preserved of the four remaining copies of the original version of Magna Carta – two of the others are in the British Library and the fourth in Lincoln Cathedral – and it was on view with interpretation in the Chapter House. I posted my response on Facebook: “Just had a major weepy moment viewing the Magna Carta at Salisbury. The calligraphy is exquisite, but it’s the clauses that are still in force that got me, enshrining our human rights and the law. I feel profoundly grateful to live in a country that has maintained these rights since 1215.”

From that encounter was born my desire to somehow put Magna Carta on the stage at TEDxExeter 2015. The influence it has had over so many years on the UK’s unwritten constitution, coupled with my understanding that long-termism was needed to address the challenge of climate change, led me to suggest taking the long view as a possible theme… and so it came to pass.

Dan Jones will be speaking at TEDxExeter 2015 about Magna Carta, so I will write no more, except to provide some interesting links:

And also to say… after a brief sojourn in London, Salisbury’s copy is now on show again in a new exhibition at the Cathedral. It’s well worth experiencing.

UPDATE: Dan has sadly withdrawn from speaking at TEDxExeter 2015.

Tickets available for Library livestream

Due to massive public demand TEDxExeter has found an additional venue for the public to attend this year’s conference. The talks will be streamed live from the Exeter Northcott Theatre on 24 April to an audience of 80 people in Exeter Library’s Rougemont Room.

Even though it’s all freely available online after the event, we think there’s something special about viewing the talks with like-minded people who are passionate and positive. The Library livestream of TEDxExeter will enable more of our local community to feel the buzz, connect with new people, share their responses and get excited about possibilities.

Lorraine Langdon, the Centre Manager at Exeter Library, says: “We are thrilled to be hosting the live stream of TEDxExeter at Exeter Library and are honoured to be able to help bring TEDxExeter to a wider audience across the city.”


Tickets for the livestream will be available free of charge from the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office. There are currently more than 100 people on the Northcott’s waiting list, and they will be contacted directly and given the first chance to apply.

Any that remain will be available from 6pm on Monday 23 February from the Northcott. Please check Twitter for updates before contacting the Northcott.

UPDATE: Tickets are now sold out.

TEDxExeter 2015: Sponsor launch


Photos from the Sponsor launch of TEDxExeter 2015 at the Southernhay House Hotel, featuring talks by Gabriel Wondrausch from SunGift; Mandy Reynolds from Stephens Scown; Deborah Clark from Southernhay House; Dom Course from Dacors Design; Roger Wilkinson from Wilkinson Grant; and Claire Kennedy, Ed Bird and Chris Perry from TEDxExeter.

Photos by James Millar. More are available in the full set on Flickr. The images can be downloaded under Creative Commons, but they still require acknowledgement using either of the following: © James Millar/TEDxExeter or Images by James Millar.