Call-out for TEDxExeter 2016 volunteers

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 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!

TEDxExeter 2016 announcement

TEDxExeter 2016 Dandelion

Live in the Exeter Northcott Theatre : £60
Livestream in the Alumni Auditorium : £20

15 April 2016

Tickets will be available
from 10am on Tuesday 1 December 2015
from the Exeter Northcott Theatre Box Office

Exeter’s leading ideas festival is back for the fifth year with an exceptional line up of speakers who are changing the world through their groundbreaking work and ideas. Their talks will inform, challenge, entertain and encourage the audience to connect with each other, reflect on the day and turn inspiration to action.

In response to the unprecedented level of demand last year, when tickets sold out in two hours and all concessionary tickets were gone in under 20 minutes, we will be offering twice as many tickets in 2016.

The conference will still be held at Exeter Northcott Theatre, which seats 465 people. A further 450 people will be able to watch a simultaneous livestream in the adjacent Alumni Auditorium at Exeter University. Both audiences will come together to meet speakers and each other and reflect on what they have heard during the breaks.

To enable us to include far more people in TEDxExeter this year all our concessionary tickets are for the Alumni Auditorium.

TEDxExeter will double its audience in 2016

Press release

Date of conference: Friday 15 April 2016
Tickets go on sale: 10am on Tuesday 1 December 2015 from Exeter Northcott Theatre Box Office.

TEDxExeter will offer twice as many tickets for its 2016 conference as it did last year. Exeter’s leading festival of ideas, which is now in its fifth year, is responding to the unprecedented level of demand last year, when tickets sold out in two hours, and all concessionary tickets were gone in under 20 minutes.

The 2016 conference will still be held at Exeter Northcott Theatre, which seats 465 people. A further 450 people will be able to watch a simultaneous livestream in an adjacent auditorium at Exeter University. Both audiences will come together to meet speakers and each other and reflect on what they have heard during the breaks. The theme for the day will be “Dreams to Reality”.

“We want to maintain the wonderful intimacy fostered by the Northcott’s auditorium,” says TEDxExeter licensee and curator Claire Kennedy, “but we also want to allow many more people to experience TEDxExeter and the connections and conversations that flow. By livestreaming the whole day into the Alumni Auditorium we can offer many more concessionary tickets as well as doubling the size of the audience gathered on the day.”

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 nearly 5 million times. Four of them have been featured on 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…

“As demand for our events grows, we’re exploring ways to increase their reach and impact,” adds Claire Kennedy. “We want to catalyse conversations with policy makers, thought leaders and activists to create positive change locally and beyond. We are excited by the ripple effects from this year’s conference. These include acres of rainforest protected though CoolEarth, and Magic Breakfasts’ plans to launch in schools in Exeter to provide healthy breakfasts so children don’t go to school too hungry to learn.

“We also hope that the cheaper tickets in the Alumni Auditorium will encourage a younger audience to come along. We are reaching out to schools in the local area, inviting them to bring groups of their students to the Livestream event.”

Tickets for TEDxExeter 2016 will go on sale at the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office 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 (this is a charge to cover the cost of lunch and refreshments).

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 years talks, readers can join the TEDxExeter mailing list at

For more information about TEDxExeter please contact Cathy Debenham,, 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 For more information visit our website:

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 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, 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, on Facebook at or Instagram at

Theme and Variation

Peter Randall-Page spoke beautifully at TEDxExeter 2015 about “Theme and variation in nature and culture”. He has now created a new ceramic frieze, called “Theme and Variation” for the façade of the Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham.

The abstract design of the frieze is derived from the visual interpretation of improvisation in jazz music. It is constructed from over 900 unique hand made terracotta tiles using the ‘Sgraffito’ technique. There is an accompanying exhibition on the making from 8 October 2015 to 27 January 2016, which looks well worth a visit.


TEDxTotnes tomorrow!

TEDxExeter wishes TEDxTotnes all the best as they hold their first event tomorrow… and massive congratulations!!

The theme In our hands? looks thought-provoking:

TEDxTotnes will focus on our future, questions whether it is in our hands. Talks will focus on community and some of the hidden issues that lie within it. It will also celebrate ideas and question what we can do to better our future, or whether, ultimately we can!

It’s featuring some great speakers, including TEDxExeter alumni Rob Hopkins, Jackie Juno, Matt Harvey. No wonder it sold out so early 🙂

We noticed that the organiser asked on a TEDx organisers’ forum: Can anyone provide last minute tips before a first-time organizer’s event? We want to echo one of the responses: Take some time to enjoy the day as well. You worked hard for it!