Ghosts of TEDxExeter past and future

Some news from Hazel Stuteley, one of our speakers past…

Since TEDxExeter 2013, the Connecting Communities (known as C2) programme has now spread to India! As part of the ‘Community Centred Medicine’ workstream within the College of Medicine, Hazel was invited to speak at the Global Health Futures conference in Bangalore in November sponsored by the World Health Organisation. Other speakers included fellow TEDx presenter Sir Jonathan Porritt, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and HRH Prince of Wales. The focus of the conference was to define solutions to tackle the impending crisis caused by the ‘silent epidemic’ of preventable long term chronic disease. C2 has a track record of preventing the health behaviours which lead to these conditions and following Hazel’s presentation,she was invited back to India in 2014 to deliver a 3 day C2 learning programme to equip practitioners there with the skills and mindset needed to promote community resilience and self-management.

…and Karima Bennoune, one of our speakers future…

Karima’s book “Your Fatwa does not apply here” has been chosen by the American Library Association to feature on their Booklist Editors’ Choice list for 2013. The Editors selected titles which are representative of the year’s outstanding books for public library collections. Their scope is intentionally broad, and they attempted to find books that combine literary, intellectual, and aesthetic excellence with popular appeal.

TEDxExeter story: Sarah Bird, 2013 attendee

The second of our short series of stories from speakers and attendees at previous TEDxExeter events. Sarah Bird enjoyed TEDxExeter 2013 so much, she volunteered for the organising team and is co-ordinating the volunteers for 2014.


Last year I was drafted in as a last minute addition to the TEDxExeter 2013 volunteer team, and I jumped at the chance to be part of the local expression of the global phenomenon that is TED and TEDx. The day itself is mind-blowing. And tiring, because of course it is tiring to have your brain repeatedly stretched like silly putty. You know all those studies on neuroplasticity and the capacity for brains to change? They worked that out by scanning the brains of TED delegates before and after a conference.*

For me, the success of TED lies in its simplicity and focus on quality over quantity. We all know that it’s difficult to concentrate for longer than about 20 minutes on one thing, that a picture can paint a thousand words, and that positive, quality communication of a great idea can change people. TED simply brings these ingredients together.

TED and TEDx events also bring together like-minded people and gives them a space where they can share their passion and ignite each other’s ideas like sparks off a block.  And when I say like-minded, I don’t mean alike in terms of culture and background, because there are TED aficionados from all over the world and all walks of life. But they are alike in that they are usually open-minded, eager to learn, positive, and ready to change the world. You will meet critical thinkers at TED and TEDx conferences, but you are unlikely to meet many jaded cynics. Cynicism uses up too much energy when you’re a busy person with stuff to do, like sail the world in a boat made from plastic bottles (Jo Royle), or campaign for Fairtrade phones (Bandi Mbubi), or trek to the north pole (Ann Daniels), or grow guerrilla vegetables (Pam Warhurst), or become a community pirate (Kester Brewin).

So if you’re reading this with your ticket in your hand for TEDxExeter 2014, you’re in for a treat and I look forward to meeting you there. If you missed out this year, join the community anyway by following TEDxExeter on Twitter, reading the live blog from storyteller Clare on the day, and marking the 2015 ticket launch in your diaries now (though you might be ahead of the team on that one).  

*Almost definitely probably true.

Selling out fast

TEDxExeter_2014_PosterWell, tickets for TEDxExeter 2014 went on sale on 4 December, and the concessions had gone within two hours. We’re sorry if anyone was disappointed. Two days ago there were only 50 tickets left, and we expect we’ll probably be sold out before Christmas, so recommend grabbing yours quick via the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office.

If you would like to put up a poster, either to encourage your family, friends and colleagues to come, or to remind you what you can look forward to in March, we have a jpg and a pdf to choose between.

TEDxExeter story: Andy Robertson, 2012 speaker

The excitement over the release of the tickets for TEDxExeter 2014 showed just how important the event is to many people. We’re planning a short series of stories from speakers and attendees – their own unique perspectives on the previous events. Shortly after the first ever TEDxExeter in 2012, Jeanie Honey wrote about the thrills and spills of being an organiser. Andy Robertson spoke at that buy ambien from india event about sustainable perspectives on video games. Here’s his story.



The invitation to talk at TEDx is a strange one. Prestige, celebrity, kudos and possibly fortune await those whose “idea worth spreading” breaks out into the larger TED orbit. Equally though it’s a lot of work to talk to a few hundred people for 10 minutes or so without being paid.

I’d do it again in a flash.

More than the ups and downs of public speaking, online reception and resulting connections, ideas and projects, it was pivotal at a personal level. You see, TEDx events have built into them the idea that ideas worth spreading come with people attached. A TEDx talk is a personal thing to do, a bearing not only of your best idea but the best of your self in public.

This slowly dawned on me during the four weeks or so I spent writing, rehearsing, self filming and testing my talk on friends. What started as some novel ideas about video-games – my intentional category mistake of talking about them as if they meant something — had to be brought down to land in me as a person.

Having a reason to do this, and slowly realising it was too late to back out now, meant that I spent time working out what it was I really thought about the video-games I wrote about on a daily basis.

It’s here I found not only what I really wanted to say, but what I wanted to pursue after I’d said it. There was a collision in me; video-games and theology and community and creativity. The result was my 10 minute talk about how we might sustain grown-up talk about video-games, but not only that. I also knew myself a little better.

This is why I’d do it again. This is the opportunity offered to TEDx speakers and this is what makes TEDx such an engaging event not just ideas worth spreading, but the people that come with them.

Andy Robertson is now a freelance family gaming expert for the BBC and runs Family Gamer TV YouTube channel.

Ticket countdown – 2 days to go!

We are very excited to announce our programme for TEDxExeter 2014 – Ideas Without Frontiers!

At TEDxExeter 2014 on 28 March, our speakers and performers will connect us with other worlds. Our talks will expose corruption in big business, share effective approaches to tackling social inequality and give a voice to those whose human rights are under threat. We will explore the impact of fast changing technologies on all our lives. We’ll journey through fire and forest to frozen landscapes and we’ll be challenged to consider worlds of extremes, cutting edge controversies and risky opportunities.

To help us, we have gathered another group of outstanding innovators, activists and performers who are changing the world through their ground breaking work and ideas.

It’s a day not to be missed. As with our previous two conferences there will be music, an excellent locally sourced lunch and wonderful opportunities in the breaks to meet your fellow TEDxers and continue the conversation.

Our confirmed speakers include:

  • Ann Daniels – record breaking polar explorer
  • Patrick Alley – co-founder of Global Witness
  • Allyson Pollock – Professor of Public Health
  • Ben Eaton – digital and interactive artist, mapping happiness
  • Claire Belcher – wildfire researcher
  • Joel Gibbard – robotics designer
  • Matt Hayler – digital technologies and cyberculture researcher
  • Sarah El Ashmawy – minority rights advocate
  • Simon Peyton Jones – programming language designer and ICT education consultant
  • Sonia Livingstone – Professor of Media and Communications. expert on the impact of new technologies on children
  • Vinay Nair – poverty reduction innovator
  • Karima Bennoune – Professor of Law, champion of untold stories from the fight against Muslim fundamentalism

We’ll be announcing more speakers, performers and details about the day on our website, Facebook and Twitter.
Tickets will be available from 4 December 2013 from the Exeter Northcott Theatre’s box office. They will cost £50, and a limited number of £20 concessionary tickets will be available. The ticket price includes a sustainably-sourced lunch.

Please be aware that our TEDxExeter events 2012 and 2013 sold out 3 months in advance and we expect that tickets for TEDxExeter 2014 will sell out very quickly. Please contact organiser Claire Kennedy on if you would like to know more.

We are looking forward to seeing you in March!

The TEDxExeter team    

Allyson Pollock biography

Allyson PollockAllyson Pollock is Professor of Public Health Research & Policy at Queen Mary, University of London. She is one of the UK’s leading medical intellectuals, and undertakes research and teaching intended to assist the realisation of the principles of social justice and public health, with a particular emphasis on health systems research, trade, and pharmaceuticals.

She trained in medicine in Scotland and became a consultant in public health. Among her previous roles she has been director of the Centre for International Public Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh and director of research & development at UCL Hospitals NHS Trust. She is the author of NHS plc and co-author of The New NHS: a guide.

Ann Daniels biography

Ann DanielsAnn Daniels is the first woman in history, along where to buy synthroid in the uk with expedition teammate Caroline Hamilton, to reach the North and South Poles as part of all women teams.

Ann has learnt to survive in the most hostile environments on earth. In the year 2000, she and four other woman skied 700 miles across Antarctica to become the first British women’s team to sledge haul to the South Pole. In 2002 Ann then put together an expedition to ski from Ward Hunt Island to the North Pole to become the first women’s team to ski to both poles. They suffered frostbite, wet gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning and, after skiing over 500 hazard-filled miles, finally reached the pole to make the world record.

In 2009 Ann became head of ice operations for the ground-breaking Catlin Arctic Survey. This project completed a unique environmental study of the rapidly disappearing frozen Arctic Ocean. Ann was responsible for leading the team on the ice and finding a safe route, making difficult decisions in the most extreme environment on Earth for 74 consecutive days.

Our oceans make up 99% of the world’s living space and it is now known that the chemistry of these oceans are changing and becoming more acidic. In 2010 Ann was asked back to lead a second Catlin Arctic Survey supporting scientists working to understand this change and the potential threat it poses to the environment. Spending 63 days on the ice the team of three were able to capture valuable data in regions inaccessible to most scientists.

In 2011, Ann returned to the Arctic for the final Catlin Arctic Survey. This survey looked at the thermahaline (temperature and salinity) properties of the Arctic Ocean and explored the possible effect this could have both on oceans worldwide and on the weather patterns that these oceans help to regulate.

Bandi Mbubi biography

Congo Calling was launched at TEDxExeter 2012 following Bandi Mbubi’s powerful call for the development of fair trade technology which uses ethically-sourced, conflict-free minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We are delighted to welcome Bandi back to TEDxExeter to share the many successes of Congo Calling and his vision for the campaign.

“My wish is to convince everyone to do one simple thing: to cheap effexor xr 150 insist on fairly traded mobile phones, tablets, and games consoles, and in so doing, transform an industry and the world. The illegal trade in minerals for these devices has fuelled two decades of violent war in my home country, the DRC, and in so many others, but one small action by many could help end the violence.” — Bandi Mbubi, July 2013.

Ben Eaton biography

Ben EatonBen Eaton is a digital and interactive artist. He works exclusively as part of Invisible Flock.

Invisible Flock is a group of artists based in Leeds who make large-scale works that tread a line between documentary and fiction, incorporating public art, digital and interactive work as well as performance. Their work is primarily about reframing the world around us and encouraging audiences to behave differently within it.

The collaborators in Invisible Flock are Ben Eaton, Victoria Pratt and Richard Warburton. They have worked all over the country and abroad. They are in Exeter running their flagship project Bring the Happy, their large scale attempt at mapping the happiness of the world.

Ben is particularly interested in new and mobile technology as an enabler of change in society as well as technology and games as artistic practice. He is becoming increasingly focused, both in his practice and politically, on issues of internet freedom.