Taking the Long View: Further together

As TEDxExeter has approached – only one week to go now! – I have become ever more appreciative of the huge amount of teamwork that has gone into putting on the event. It really has been a privilege to work with some brilliant lovely people over the past three-and-a-half years, and experience the energy that is generated from collaborating on a common goal… and see something good grow out of it.

It has also been a privilege to hear and write about some of the stories that have arisen from TEDxExeter and some of the impacts it has made in Exeter and further afield.

So in tribute to my fellow TEDx-ers, here are some quotations about how we can go further together.

The first is from Al Gore about the need to work together and quickly on climate change:

There’s an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We have to go far — quickly. And that means we have to quickly find a way to change the world’s consciousness about exactly what we’re facing, and why we have to work to solve it.

Then there is this from Dean Koontz in “From the Corner of His Eye”, channelling the idea of the butterfly effect:

Each smallest act of kindness, reverberates across great distances and spans of time – affecting lives unknown to the one who’s generous spirit, was the source of this good echo. Because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage, years later, and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each expression of hatred, each act of evil.

I first came across “The Big Mo” through being glued to The West Wing, and it’s very pertinent at the, er, mo. It’s related to the snowball effect, hopefully in the sense of a virtuous circle as more people get on board your good idea. Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

The Big Mo (“Big Momentum”) is behavioural momentum that operates on a large scale. The concept originally applied to sporting events in the 1960s in the United States… Successful teams were said to have “The Big Mo” on their side. This has since extended [to] situations in which momentum is a driving factor, such as during political campaigns, social upheavals, economic cycles, and financial bubbles.

There is of course a related TED talk…

…and a related quote from Mahatma Gandhi, because no list of quotes is complete without Gandhi:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

 And finally, no list of quotes about working together is complete without Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

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Taking the Long View: Up the Women

Will you be voting in the General Election on 7 May?

In 1915, to coincide with Magna Carta’s 700th anniversary, the suffragette campaigner Helena Normanton published an essay on ‘Magna Carta and Women’. She argued that the disenfranchisement of women contravened Magna Carta’s clauses 39 and 40, which are still valid under the charter of 1225:

(39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.

(40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

For Normanton, “it is expressly contrary to Magna Carta to refuse, deny, or delay, right or justice. The right of the franchise is still unconstitutionally withheld from women, but the spirit of Magna Carta sounds a trumpet-call to them to struggle ever more valiantly to realise its noble ideal.” Normanton went on to become the first female barrister to practise in England.

Because of Clause 40, Magna Carta has come to symbolize equality under the law. And although it includes one example of blatant discrimination against women in Clause 54 – “No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman for the death of any person except her husband.” – it also contains some protections for women, like the protection of a widow’s marriage portion or inheritance in Clause 7, and the right of a widow to refuse to marry in Clause 8.

So why did it take so long to achieve universal suffrage – not until 1918 for men and 1928 for women – in Britain? This Spring, there was a fascinating series on BBC2 about “Suffragettes Forever! The Story of Women and Power” , in which Amanda Vickery traced the long history of the struggle for women’s political rights. The three episodes are dropping off iPlayer, but are still available on Youtube.

But Vickery notes that the struggle is still going on today, a message that was echoed by the concurrent programme “Hillary Clinton: The Power of Women”. In 1995, Clinton made a ground-breaking speech in Beijing, challenging the world to treat women’s rights as human rights, but twenty years later change for the world’s women has been patchy at best.

The Fawcett Society, named for the suffragist campaigner Millicent Fawcett, says: “While there is much to be celebrated in women’s lives today, the UK’s record on women’s rights is still poor. Women and girls are exposed to inequality, discrimination and harassment, and face significant barriers to achieving their full potential.”

Our 2015 speaker Michelle Ryan researches the phenomenon of the glass cliff, whereby women (and members of other minority groups) are more likely to be placed in leadership positions which are risky or precarious.

In the parliament which has just been dissolved, just 148 of the 650 MPs are women, and just five of 22 Cabinet ministers. Since both percentages are 23%, I suppose Cabinet is at least representative of Parliament, but they compare poorly with Afghanistan, where 28% of MPs are women.

All of which is why it is damaging that there is a gender ‘turnout gap’ in general elections, with fewer women voting than men, and indeed that turnout has fallen across the board.

Politics is relevant to women and men alike, to anyone that uses the NHS, or drives or takes public transport, or buys food, or works or is on benefits or receives a pension.

So I ask you to honour the long view taken by those who campaigned for voting rights and equality. Take a long view yourself regarding what you think is right for the UK. Register to vote by 20 April, and use it on 7 May.

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Taking the Long View: If you go down to the woods today…

…you may not find anything left. Following on from my last post about Climate, I want to consider the related issues of trees and afforestation.

Forests, especially the equatorial rainforests, are the lungs of the planet. They breathe in carbon dioxide, and breathe out oxygen. Without them we wouldn’t be here in the first place, and now they scrub much of our excess carbon emissions out of the atmosphere. NOAA’s observations of carbon dioxide concentrations show the strong seasonal cycle, caused by the variation in growth of vegetation in the land mass of the Northern Hemisphere. The rainforest also affects rainfall patterns, with the Amazonian rainforest transferring moisture inland, as well as being a treasure trove of biodiversity. Trees purify our water, and provide us with of fuel, medicine and raw materials.

And there’s the rub, and why instead of protecting and cherishing woodland and forests, humans are laying waste to them. Oh, and they also get in the way of palm oil plantations and beefburger ranches, and so thousands of acres are just slashed and burned. Yet another example of short-termist Darwin-award-worthy human activity.

REDD, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries, paid for by developed countries, was one of the few agreed deals that came out of the Copenhagen climate negotiations in 2009. Unfortunately, it could counteract indigenous rights.

Which is why we need organisations like Global Witness, who uncover illegal industrial logging in the Tropics, as Patrick Alley described at TEDxExeter 2014; and Cool Earth, whose work with indigenous communities to put endangered forest out of reach of loggers we will hear about at TEDxExeter 2015.

And we need people with the vision to replant forests, even though they may not see the results of their labours. People like Wangari Maathai, who started the Green Belt Movement and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She said: “If you destroy the forest then the river will stop flowing, the rains will become irregular, the crops will fail and you will die of hunger and starvation.” The campaign encouraged women to think ecologically and to plant trees in their local environments – more than 50 million across a number of African countries – but she also saw tree-planting in a broader perspective which included democracy, women’s rights, and international solidarity.

At TEDxExeter 2013, we heard about the long view to the future taken by the builders of the dining hall at New College Oxford. Kirsty Schneeburger described how they planted oak trees in order that there might be timber available to replace the ceiling hundreds of years later.

Earlier in March, the Eden Project was in the news for its scheme to preserve Californian coastal redwoods for future generations. At 115m in height, they are the tallest living things on the planet, but almost all have been cut down and the remaining trees are under threat from drought, forest fires and changes to the local foggy, chilly climate. Conditions at Eden are apparently perfect for redwoods, and clones have been flown in to create a new plantation. Tim Smit says: “The idea is that when they grow they will be seen for miles around and become a new landmark. Planting saplings which could exceed the height of a 30-storey building and live for 4,000 years requires a different kind of planning.”

These last two examples are relatively small, but for the people who Maathai encouraged until her death in 2011, and for the human race as a whole, taking the long view of our forests is a question of survival.

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Performing miracles

“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises” said Mae West. We think that to announce our performers is worth quite a bit too. We haven’t quite finalised the line-up yet, but here are a couple of good’uns.

First, we are really looking forward to hearing Kieron Kirkland talk about the intertwining of magic and technology. He will also be weaving some of his magic live on stage, so prepare to be perplexed, befuddled and amazed.

And we’re also delighted that, fresh from being featured on TED.com and being viewed more than half a million times, Harry Baker has agreed to return to TEDxExeter this year! As one of the comments on TED.com said: “Just an absolute artisan with his words, bravo! The first one entertained me, the second made me think and the last one made me feel (brought a tear to my eye). Quite amazing the power that words can have.”

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Taking the Long View: Climate change and knitting

In the summer, Alan Rusbridger is stepping down after 20 years of editing the Guardian. In advance, he tried to anticipate whether he would have any regrets… only one: “that we had not done justice to this huge, overshadowing, overwhelming issue of how climate change will probably, within the lifetime of our children, cause untold havoc and stress to our species.”

Changes to the climate rarely make it to the front page or the home page. They are happening, but they are happening too slowly for the fast-paced news cycle or the time-poor reader. And many of the changes are not yet news, but exist as predictions, scenarios and probabilities: “There may be untold catastrophes, famines, floods, droughts, wars, migrations and sufferings just around the corner. But that is futurology, not news, so it is not going to force itself on any front page any time soon.”

Which is why the Guardian is taking the long view: putting climate, “the biggest story in the world”, on its front page every Friday; and campaigning to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

It is a timely campaign. This year is vital, as governments are meeting in Paris in December, and hopefully they will come to a ground-breaking agreement on the climate. They need our support and encouragement.

During Lent – 18th February to 4th April – the Church of England in the South West is running a Carbon Fast. Instead of giving up chocolate, it is 40 days to reflect on how we affect our planet and consider what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. Roughly concurrently, from 6th March to 19th April in Bristol Cathedral, I am exhibiting “A Stitch in Time”, 3D knitted representations of a series of greenhouse gases that are implicated in climate change.

Human activity has caused the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to increase from 287 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution to 400 parts per million today. But carbon dioxide is just one of many greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. How much each gas contributes – its Global Warming Potential – depends on its structure, its emissions and concentration in the atmosphere, and how long-lasting it is. For example, the concentration of nitrous oxide is much lower, but its lifetime in the atmosphere is 121 years, and it has a Global Warming Potential nearly 300 times as much as carbon dioxide.

Reducing our emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases substantially, as we urgently need to, still requires doing something countercultural. Knitting also requires being countercultural. The making of “A Stitch in Time” required presence in the moment and attentiveness; there are no short cuts to knitting. At times, it became a contemplative practice, each stitch a mantra. At other times, I found myself mulling over the issue. The slowness in the making led me into a deeper care and concern for the planet, and attention to how the audience might understand the issue and take the long view.

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TEDxBarcelonaSalon features Karima’s talk

Every month, TEDxBarcelona hold a salon event, in which they screen a TED or TEDx talk, share questions and opinions in discussion, and continue the conversation over tapas. In February this year, TEDxBarcelonaSalon featured Karima Bennoune’s talk from TEDxExeter 2014. José Cruset from TEDxBarcelona kindly passed on some insights from the discussion.


We wanted to discuss about fundamentalism because it is a hot topic right now. And from the talks I found about islam, fundamentalism, terrorism, arabic countries, etc., this one was (to my mind) the best. It was personal, very positive and inspiring, and it was very TED (especially the usage of the watch and the time the watch stopped, at 5:17). Great talk, unforgettable.

The discussion was very good because we had some people with knowledge about islam within our group. I was a bit afraid before the event about the outcome. But afterwards I was very relieved.

When people signed up we asked them beforehand to send us questions they would like to discuss. These questions helped to structure the discussion. The first and most important question was: What is the reason for islamic fundamentalism? The main answers were: education and poverty. Some people reminded us that fundamentalism is not tied to any religion. We even talked about nationalism and related terrorism (like we had in Spain with ETA).

One of our volunteers gave me this summary [which I translated from the Spanish and Oriana corrected]:

The lack of education is not necessarily the reason for the rise of fundamentalism. 

  • Include Religious studies and Information and communications technology in schools as a preventive measure, and create opportunities for reflection for young people.

Hypocrisy and double standards in the West: what do we do / what can we do as citizens?

Religion is not the cause of fundamentalism, but becomes a tool that is easy to use to cultivate it.

  • The hatred of the unknown is a way to plant the seed of fundamentalism.
  • Religion is a tool which was originally intended to help, but historically has been used to repress the people; anything can be used as an excuse.
  • The prophet never politicized Islam. But historically there have been groups who over time have used it to their advantage.

Immigrants in Western countries: integration into the system or thriving in the system?
We are all responsible: some by omission and others by commission.
The language rivalries (eg in the Basque Country) must be overcome.


We are thrilled that Karima’s talk has prompted such discussion and reflection, and that it continues to be watched on TED.com, now passing 1.25 million views.

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Taking the Long View: The telescope

For my second post on the theme of “Taking the Long View”, I’m literally taking the long view.

Telescope: tele- +‎ -scope, from Latin telescopium, from Ancient Greek τηλεσκόπος (tēleskópos, “far-seeing”), from τῆλε (têle, “afar”) + σκοπέω (skopéō, “I look at”).

This is not a history of the telescope, merely a smattering of quite interesting factoids.

First, and Inevitably, answering “Galileo” to the question “Who invented the telescope?” would trigger the full QI klaxon and flashing lights. The first recorded telescopes appeared in the Netherlands in 1608. The first person to make a drawing of the moon through a telescope was English. Later in 1609, Galileo built his own telescopes, improving on existing designs, and published his findings. It is also quite interesting to consider how historical misconceptions arise. Being the first to publish and nearly being burnt at the stake for it probably helped Galileo get ahead.

A demonstration of the telescope by Galileo at a reception in 1611 prompted the coining of the word, but by whom? Was it the Greek mathematician Giovanni Demisiani, or Prince Frederick Sesi?

How do you measure the distance from the earth to the sun? In 1716 Edmund Halley (he of the comet) illustrated that it could be calculated by timing the transit of Venus across the sun’s face, which led to Captain James Cook’s first voyage around the world in 1769.

Cook himself was one of the astronomers on board Endeavour. The other was Charles Green, and they trained others on board as observers. The voyage to Tahiti took about eight months, about as long as it would take modern astronauts to reach Mars. They set up three portable observatories on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea, with instruments supplied by the Royal Society and Royal Observatory. The telescopes included Gregorian reflectors fitted with micrometers. Isaac Newton may have been the first to build a reflecting telescope in 1668, but not the first to design one. That was Scottish mathematician James Gregory five years earlier.

The weather smiled on Cook, Green et al, although their observations were sabotaged by the “black drop effect”. Neverthless, the observations taken on 3 June 1769 gave the distance from the earth to the sun as 93,726,900 miles, about 0.8% out. Not bad!

Both this and the earlier unsuccessful attempt in 1761 were international endeavours, with observations taken across the globe. Even though Britain and France were at war or in competition, each granted safe passage to the other’s astronomers. But Cook had other sealed orders to open after the transit – to seek and claim Terra Australis Incognita. This led to the charting of New Zealand and eastern Australia, including Botany Bay.

At the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, Nelson received an order transmitted by signal flag to withdraw his ships. Except he didn’t receive it, but lifted his telescope to his blind eye and said “I really do not see the signal”, thereby coining the phrase ‘to turn a blind eye’. Cursory googling reveals no extra details about the telescope.

Nowadays, telescopes are big enough to have names. But imagination has not kept up with gigantism. The Very Large Telescope, or VLT, is an array of four 8.2m reflecting telescopes in the Atacama desert in Chile. The Southern African Large Telescope, or SALT (kudos for the acronym), is in South Africa, in the Karoo. And the Very Large Array, or VLA, is a radio telescope in New Mexico.

Jocelyn Bell spent two years of her PhD building a radio telescope in a field, in theory to study quasars, but in practice to discover pulsars in 1967… for which she didn’t receive the Nobel Prize. Today, the rather more splendid sounding Interplanetary Scintillation Array looks as though it could be used to grow hops.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, and is still in operation. It has taken some remarkable pictures, including this HD panoramic view of the Andromeda Galaxy (see also video below), and done some science too. Apparently, anyone can apply for time on the telescope, including 13 amateur astronomers between 1990-97. Here’s how.

Finally, there will be a solar eclipse on 20th March. Don’t point a telescope directly at the sun. Enjoy!

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Harry Baker on TED.com

We’re thrilled that Harry Baker’s grand slam poetry performance at TEDxExeter 2014 has been selected to feature on TED.com. This is a huge achievement. Under 1% of TEDx talks make it on to TED, and this choice is testament to Harry and his fantastic performance last year. His performance has already gone viral and been viewed nearly 169,000 times. Going onto TED.com means his poetry will reach a potentially global audience.

Harry is understandably excited…


I couldn’t be happier right now. I have always written my poems to be performed and shared with people, the fact that so many people now get to see the words that started out scribbled in my notebooks and performed in pubs is amazing.

I am in my final term of a maths degree at university and when I graduate I want to be a full-time writer, so this is a massive step in making that dream a reality, both in terms of confidence in what I’m doing being worth it, and the practical nature or more people becoming aware of my work.

It’s hard to explain to people what I do, it’s far easier to show them. Now I feel I have the best possible way of doing that.

^^^^ that is 100% true and sincere and genuine but almost feels a bit measured (aka boring) for what is maybe the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me so umm…


This is nuts. It’s crazy stupid brilliant nuts. When I got the email I was in an Algebraic Number Theory lecture on a Monday morning and I wanted to scream but I don’t think anyone would have understood. I love what I do. I want to do it forever. I’m going to do it forever. I loved performing at TEDxExeter because it felt like what I had to say was important. I was doing the same poems that I’ve performed to audiences of 6 people in a pub basement and I was performing them in-between a guy who invents robot hands and a woman who had triplets and then went to both the North and South Pole. That’s fun. Now it’s going on the main site with the crazy beatbox guy and Bono. I’m really happy.

I write stuff to try and connect with people, I always have. It being shared on TED.com just means it connects with a whole lot more people overnight and hopefully can continue to in the future.

Life is exciting.

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Speaker update

Unfortunately, Jack Monroe has had to step back from speaking at TEDxExeter 2015. Instead, we’re delighted to announce new speakers Carmel McConnell and Beth Barnes.

Carmel is the founder of Magic Breakfast, a charity which delivers free, nutritious breakfasts to schools where over 35% of pupils are eligible for free school meals. They already support more than 400 schools, so that instead of arriving too hungry to learn, children can eat a healthy breakfast that helps with concentration, behaviour, attendance and attainment.

Beth is a student at Exeter College. She won a competition we jointly organised to give the students an opportunity to present an idea they feel passionately about at TEDxExeter. Many congratulations Beth!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Teaching creative computer science

Early this week, Computing at School (CAS) and Microsoft released two surveys which showed that: two-thirds of teachers are worried their students know more about computing than they do, and after one term of teaching the new computing curriculum, four-fifths wanted more training and development; and that more than half of their students believed they knew more than their teachers about programming and creating websites.

Simon Peyton Jones, chairman of CAS and TEDxExeter alumnus, has been involved in launching the QuickStart Computing programme. This was launched by the Department for Education this week, and is aimed at helping to train teachers in delivering the new computing curriculum. Simon’s TEDxExeter talk, badged as “Teaching creative computer science”, features in Section 2 of the CPD toolkit for secondary teachers.


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TEDxExeter story: Nicola Evans, 2012 attendee

The fifth of our short series of stories from speakers and attendees at previous TEDxExeter events. Claire met Nicola at the Northcott as she was buying tickets for TEDxExeter 2015. It’s an inspiring start to the new year.


Completely unrelated to TED, my partner Sarah and I had been thinking for some time about making our wills more meaningful than splitting our estate into small portions and distributing amongst members of our family, who didn’t really need it. Whereas, as a whole, it was a not insignificant sum that could make a real difference.

There were a number of things floating around in minds, including:

  • We had recently visited Costa Rica and were quite taken with the ethos of the country: no military, for which they were nominated a Nobel Peace Prize – a lot of their taxes go into the education of their children. Whilst they are a relatively poor country economically, they consistently perform well in the Human Development Index and have twice ranked the best performing country in the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index. It is also on schedule to become the first carbon neutral country in 2021
  • We believe that the only thing that will radically change the world is education. Not just academic but an understanding and embracing diversity through knowledge
  • We believe that children are our future and, although we don’t have any of our own, we need to invest now to help them make things better for future generations – it really is our duty
  • We believe that women have a huge contribution to make but in many parts of the world are still considered second class citizens and victims of atrocious human rights violations.

… but it wasn’t until TED that all of our thought began to gel into a coherent plan and the starting point was at our first TEDxExeter in 2012, when we heard Mike Dickson talk on “What is enough?” We were genuinely inspired, so we hi-jacked him over a sandwich at lunch time and he subsequently invited us to meet him in London to discuss our plans further.

Sarah and I then gave each other space to consider what we wanted to do individually and when we came together to reveal our thoughts – guess what? They were exactly the same:

We wanted our money to be used to set up or support a school for the education of mainly female (but not exclusively) children in Costa Rica or a similar country (more research needed). We have subsequently set up a trust to do just that.

TEDxExeter gave us the freedom to think differently about things and empowered us to act on aspirations beyond those for ourselves.

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Peace on earth

As Malala Yousafzai accepts her Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo today, TEDxExeter 2014 speaker Karima Bennoune has written an open letter to her:

“please know how many human rights activists around the world — especially women — are grateful to you. They stand with you in your struggle for girls’ empowerment and for unfettered access to education. In Muslim majority countries and in the diasporas, they also stand with you to fight against the extremism which blocks these advances. You are a true hero, and as you know, you are also one of a peaceful army of thousands doing this work.”

Both Karima’s TEDxExeter 2014 talk “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism” and Scilla Elworthy’s TEDxExeter 2012 talk “Fighting with non-violence” are now featured among the ten talks on the TED.com playlist The Road to Peace: “Peace. It’s humanity’s eternal, elusive dream. These speakers offer inspired ideas, practical advice and real-world examples from around the globe of how it just might be attainable.”

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TICKETS for Taking the Long View, 24 April 2015

Tickets for TEDxExeter 2015 will be available from the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office – in person, by phone and online – from Monday 1 December 2014. The box office opens at 10am.

Tickets cost £50, with a limited number of concessionary tickets at £25 to benefits claimants, disabled, full-time students and under-18s.

Please be aware that TEDxExeter 2014 sold out in one week, and concessions almost immediately. Judging by the intense interest already, we expect tickets for TEDxExeter 2015 to sell very quickly again.

Please follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for the most up-to-date information about ticket availability, the programme and the day itself.

About the event

Our fourth TEDxExeter conference will take both the long view back into the past and the long view ahead into the future, and ask how they can reveal and help us to understand the challenges that face us now, and shape the way we live, make decisions, and innovate. TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection.

Your tickets will give you access to a day of barn-storming talks and performances, a sustainably-sourced buffet lunch and refreshments during breaks. Registration on the day will start at 8.25am, and the event itself will start at 9.25am and end at 5pm.

Our speakers will include:

Celia McKeon, a peace-builder who has worked in post-Yugoslav states, Colombia and Northern Ireland; Chetan Bhatt, Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE, and writer on wars, human rights, and extreme religious violence; Clive Stafford Smith, a lawyer specialising in representing prisoners facing the death penalty; Dick Moore, campaigner on adolescent emotional wellbeing; Jenny Sealey, artistic director of inclusive theatre company Graeae and co-director of the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games; Kieron Kirkland, magician, technologist, and social innovation geek; Matthew Owen, who works with indigenous communities keep their rainforest standing; Michelle Ryan, Professor at Exeter University and researcher into the phenomenon of the glass cliff; Peter Randall-Page, artist of international repute; Rachel McKendry, Professor at the London Centre of Nanotechnology, integrating nanotechnology, telecomms and big data to track and treat infectious diseases; Sara Hyde, leading thinker on women and criminal justice, and theatre writer and performer.

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Unveiling the new design for TEDxExeter 2015

TEDxExeter 2015 – Taking the Long View

Until now, the TEDxExeter design has been fairly low-key, and we’ve been doing the work within the team. But we’ve been thinking for a while about wanting a distinctive design for each year’s theme; the ‘D’ of ‘TED’ stands for Design, after all! And after TEDxExeter 2014, Dacors Design approached us about doing some pro bono work.

So today sees the unveiling of the all new design for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View” on our website and social media platforms. We’re very grateful to Dacors, and hope you like the new look.

Dom Course from Dacors explains…

Whilst exploring ideas about time, perspective and views through binoculars or telescopes; we stumbled across a traditional kaleidoscope toy. And we couldn’t put it down.

The images are hypnotic and instantly reminded us of the sort of montage sequence used to represent time travel in vintage sci-fi films.

As you move a kaleidoscope you settle on the more pleasing patterns or mandalas. The images give the illusion of infinity and can evoke cellular growth, religious iconography or just make a pretty pattern.

A slight move can ruin it or make it better, but the change is throughout the image.

We feel the kaleidoscope images are suitably complex and abstract to illustrate the wide range of talks covered by a TEDxExeter event. They represent the idea of how a slight change here and now can make huge changes everywhere in the future; and how all things – especially people’s ideas, actions and subsequent outcomes – are interlinked.

Save the date!

TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View” will take place on 24th April 2015 at the Exeter Northcott Theatre.

Please don’t contact the team about tickets. At the time of writing, we expect them to be available from the Northcott Box Office from the end of November. More soon…


We would be interested in hearing from you if your company would like to sponsor TEDxExeter 2015, or you would like to become a Friend.

Please email claire@tedxexeter.com if you would like to know more.

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We have a winner!

It has just been announced that Karima Bennoune has won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction for her book “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism”. This is a huge achievement, and we at TEDxExeter are so excited for her!

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding. Launched in 2006, it has already established itself as one of the world’s most prestigious literary honors, and is the only literary peace prize awarded in the United States. As an offshoot of the Dayton Peace Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize awards a $10,000 cash prize each year to one fiction and one nonfiction author whose work advances peace as a solution to conflict, and leads readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view.

In accepting the prize, Karima said: “Winning the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction for Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism is deeply meaningful – especially now – because the prize recognizes the unfathomable courage shown by so many people of Muslim heritage around the world – from Iraq to my father’s home country Algeria and beyond – in their often life-threatening struggles against extremism. These are the stories told in the book, and in our turbulent times such critical voices of tolerance and hope from Muslim majority societies must be heard internationally, but often are not. The DLPP is making an invaluable contribution to changing that. Given the mission of the prize, there is no other award that would mean more to me or to so many of those in the book – victims of terror who organized against its perpetrators, women who filled bomb craters with flowers, journalists who defied machine guns armed only with pens, artists who could not be censored by death threats (or worse), feminists who demanded the right to have human rights, secularists who spoke out, mullahs who risked their lives to revive the enlightened Islam of our grandparents. I share the prize with all of them. For me, the award is ultimately a much-needed recognition that fundamentalism is a threat to peace, and that those who challenge extremism and jihadist violence in their own communities are waging a battle for true peace, and deserve global recognition and support. That is the message I tried to get across in Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here. I am sincerely grateful to the selection committee and to the organizers of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for helping to share this message by selecting the book, and I am honored to receive this very special prize.”

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Can anyone think of 10 great websites for children?

Hot on the heels of our last post, about Simon Peyton Jones’ talk on “Teaching Creative Computer Science” being distributed in schools…

Now we are really pleased to announce that Sonia Livingstone’s TEDxExeter 2014 talk “How Children Engage with the Internet”, has been chosen to be one of the TEDx Talks Editor’s Picks for this week.

Sonia is a social psychologist, and researches how children engage with the media environment. She conducts surveys, interviews children, and observes how children engage with the media in homes and schools.

She says we need to think about the balance between the risks and the opportunities of technology, and we perhaps need to give more thought to developing the benefits.

Can anyone think of 10 great websites for children, as you could think of 10 great books for children?

Can we explore a journey of possibilities, rather than lock children into walled gardens?

Great questions for the media and entrepreneurs of all ages to explore.


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Sparking connections at Franklyn Hospital

At TEDxExeter 2013, Carrie Clarke spoke about what we can still do for people with dementia, to strengthen their sense of belonging and their connection to place, people and each other. We learnt of the importance of design of the physical environmental of care centres, and she described the refurbishment and new garden being created at Franklyn Hospital in Exeter. She also told stories of how creating paintings together with artists had brought healing to people.

Artist Simon Ripley from Double Elephant Print facilitated a number of these sessions at  Franklyn. He created work both in advance of the sessions, to spark the people staying at the hospital at the time, and after in response to their work. Examples of Simon’s work were hanging in the Exeter Northcott Theatre’s auditorium during TEDxExeter 2013.

On 28 August, yours truly the TEDxExeter Storyteller was able to go to the opening of a thought-provoking exhibition in the Family Room at Franklyn, featuring work by former and current patients, and two of Simon’s prints. Numbers were small, but we – staff, relatives of former patients, Double Elephant – had some profound conversations. We were also able to see the garden, a beautifully-designed sensory space that looked absolutely stunning in the evening sunshine. Please see the photographs below.

At some point during the evening, Carrie told me briefly about how she was working with the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, a collaboration that arose from a connection made at TEDxExeter 2013 with Camilla Hampshire, who spoke about RAMM: Home to a Million Thoughts. The following are Carrie’s words. For more information about the Fund she mentions in the last paragraph, please contact Carrie.

Collaboration with RAMM

With regards to collaboration with the museum: following TEDxExeter 2013, I made contact with Camilla to discuss the potential for any collaborative work. She put me in touch with Ruth Gidley, their Community Participation Officer. Ruth has been working hard on developing the museum into a more ‘dementia friendly’ venue, and as part of this has been collaborating with various local organisations such as Age UK and Innovations in Dementia. Through this contact, I was invited to speak at RAMM’s ‘Collaboration in Practice’ conference last November, which in itself brought about some more useful contacts.

In May Ruth and I attended a workshop in Bournemouth delivered by staff from the Museum of Modern Art in New York; they have been running a successful programme for several years now called ‘Meet me at MOMA’. This is a structured art discussion group for people with Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias and their carers, each session looking at approx 6 paintings with a common theme. Ruth has set up a pilot project based on the MOMA approach, using their latest exhibition ‘Detached and Timeless’. I have today just got back from taking one of our service users to the session, which was excellent; it has given her a stimulating experience and provided her with something to talk about when her family visit. She commented that she would very much like to take her grandson to the exhibition, because of his interest in art. So for this particular woman, it was a great way of enabling her to feel more connected with the world around her, and will hopefully also be a point of connection with her grandson.

Ruth and I have also had some discussions about two other potential projects: 1. bringing quality photographs of the paintings form the exhibition to run a similar session at the hospital (thereby enabling more people to participate) and 2. Developing outreach sessions from the museum, using a collection of objects based around the theme of seasons. There’s an interesting link between handling objects which provide a range of sensory experiences, and how this can stimulate memories and possibly create new neural pathways. It’s what I touched on briefly in my TED talk: the sensory-emotional link. We are then considering creating some audio books made by the individual participants (Ruth has experiemented with this already), and also the potential for using stop-motion animation as a creative way of capturing some of the stories which arise from the sessions. I’ve been using stop-motion animation with our service users for a while now, and it’s an amazing therapeutic tool! I’ll be speaking about my work at the Bristol Encounters short film and animation festival next week. If this approach proves effective, we will look at applying for funding to run a larger scale project, commissioning professional animators to work with us with a possible big screening at the museum. But that’s a long way off yet!

As a result of the museum conference, I was approached by a photographer, Ruth Davey from Stroud. She has recently facilitated a photography workshop with a group of service users at Belvedere [unit at Franklyn] in our new ‘Beautiful View’ garden. The process itself was very beneficial in terms of enabling sensory experiences, providing a space where people could express themselves creatively, and stimulating some fascinating story telling. And the end results were amazing! They will form our next exhibition at the hospital, and I hope will also be shown more widely.

This workshop was funded through the Margaret Whitaker Therapeutic Art Fund. Margaret’s daughter Carol set up the Fund in her mother’s memory, because she was so grateful to see her mother re-engaging with her love of art during Simon’s sessions run at Franklyn, and Carol saw the joy it brought her in her last few months. So that’s a wonderful legacy, with which we hope to continue to provide stimulating therapeutic arts activities at Franklyn.

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1 million, 2ndary schools, 3 playlists

Karima Bennoune’s talk is watched 1 million times

We’re delighted that Karima Bennoune’s talk “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism” passed 1,000,000 views on Sunday evening! So delighted, in fact, that we issued a press release. We’re also very pleased that the transcript of the talk is available in 12 languages, from Hebrew to Japanese, with Arabic due to be published soon.

The talk has had a major impact on Karima’s work.

On the anniversary of 9/11, she was interviewed on Capital Radio: “President Barack Obama has made his case for airstrikes against the militant Islamic group ISIS in the Middle East. But has the world community focused enough on supporting Muslims who oppose fundamentalism and terrorism as a way of defeating Islamic extremism? And how has Muslim fundamentalism changed 13 years after Sept. 11?”

Also on the anniversary of 9/11, Open Democracy re-published the second and third parts of her father Mahfoud Bennoune’s 1994 article “How Fundamentalism Produced a Terrorism without precedent” that Karima had translated. Part one was published back in May. She says: “Sadly, in light of events in Iraq and elsewhere, it has never been so relevant.  I hope this may be of interest, as it discusses both the history and the ideology of jihadism and fundamentalism.” Here are the links:

  • Part 1 – Algeria and Nigeria: sharing the deadweight of human mindlessness
  • Part 2 – From 1990s Algeria to 9/11 and ISIS: understanding the history of “Homo Islamicus Fundamentalensis”
  • Part 3 – From 1990s Algeria to Iraq today: trampling Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad

And Karima’s book “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here” has been nominated among the non-fiction finalists for the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, this prize is “the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace.”

But most important of all is the impact that interest in the talk is having among Muslims in Algeria and elsewhere.

The support groups in Algeria are moved and heartened to know that so many care and want to be informed about their lives, their realities. In view of all the terrible news right now it is so important that so many people are listening to the voices of those who can help us understand this best.

One of the stories Karima shared was that of Algerian law student Amel Zenoune-Zouani, who was murdered in January 1997 by the Armed Islamic Group. Amel was only 22. She was killed for having dreams of a legal career and refusing to give up her studies at law school. Yet Amel’s name means “hope”. Hope can be found in the strength of her family and all the other families to continue telling their stories and to go on with their lives despite the terrorism. And hope can be found everywhere that women and men continue to defy the jihadis.

The world came to Exeter at TEDxExeter 2014. We were honoured to host Karima, and challenged to become part of something larger than ourselves. We want to encourage everyone to watch her talk at TED.com. As Karima says, “It is not enough… just to battle terrorism. We must also challenge fundamentalism, because fundamentalism is the ideology that makes the bed of this terrorism.”

Simon Peyton-Jones’ talk to be distributed to secondary schools

Simon spoke in his talk of Computing at School, the grass-roots organisation he chairs, which is at the centre of the challenge of training teachers across the country to teach computing. Those who were there, or who have watched the video since, may remember he gave a call to action: if you are an IT professional, get involved; if not, at least talk to your local schools.

“Quickstart Computing: a toolkit for secondary teachers” is a Computing at School initiative funded by Microsoft and the Department for Education, to help train teachers for the new Computing curriculum. One of the things Quickstart is doing is to develop a CPD package of training materials for teachers, for distribution free to every school. It will be launched in January at BETT 2015, the British Educational Training and Technology Show. The package will include Simon’s talk, available both on CD and online. The aims are to provide the context for the challenge, and to motivate and give experienced teachers the confidence to teach computing.

We’re thrilled that Simon’s talk will be used in this way, and that TEDxExeter will have a legacy in education, through inspiring teachers to inspire the next generation of computer scientists.

Karima and Scilla Elworthy’s talks are featured on 3 playlists

Karima’s talk is featured on a powerful TED.com playlist:

  • Insights on Terrorism. It’s a solemn subject—one of the harsh realities of our world. Here, speakers with insightful thoughts on why terrorism continues … and what we can do to stop it.

And Scilla’s talk “Fighting with non-violence” is nearing the 1 million mark too. It is now on two TED.com playlists:

  • Freedom Rising : From the Arab Spring to the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, a new generation of freedom fighters — entrepreneurs, journalists, activists — shares powerful stories of resistance against dictatorships and oppression.
  • The Road to Peace : Peace. It’s humanity’s eternal, elusive dream. These speakers offer inspired ideas, practical advice and real-world examples from around the globe of how it just might be attainable.

Save the date!

The next TEDxExeter event takes place on 24 April 2015 at the Exeter Northcott Theatre, with the theme “Taking the Long View”.

We would be interested in hearing from you if your company would like to sponsor TEDxExeter 2015, or you would like to become a Friend.

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[Updated] Karima Bennoune on TED.com

Karima Bennoune’s talk from TEDxExeter 2014 had already been featured by TED editors among their selections on the TED.com home page, and we’re delighted that the talk itself has now been published on TED.com. Together with the talks by Bandi Mbubi and Scilla Elworthy at TEDxExeter 2012, that makes three!

Update: As of 11 August, our three TED Talks have now reached a combined viewing total of over 2 million! We think this is truly amazing, but not surprising considering their content and the emotion of the speakers. So to see why these powerful are so popular, give all three a watch, then let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

Karima has written a message for the people of TEDxExeter:

It is so very meaningful for me to be able to share on TED.com the stories of some of those challenging fundamentalism in Muslim majority contexts, stories which have never been so relevant given events from Iraq to Nigeria since I gave my talk in Exeter at the end of March. I am deeply grateful to the TEDxExeter team, and everyone at TED.com for all their work on this and support.

It is not an easy job to turn a 342 page book (Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism) into an 18 minute talk. The guidance and encouragement provided to me by the wonderful volunteers at TEDxExeter over two months made a huge contribution.  I remember thinking in January – “why are they asking me to work on this now? The talk is in March.” But, I found that it really did take two months to shape the diverse stories into this format.

I will never forget the electric atmosphere at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter on the day when I was able to share all of this work with more than 460 people – people who really seemed to care. Recently, I was able to show the resulting video – which includes pictures of their own murdered family members – to survivors at the offices of Djazairouna, the Algerian Association of Victims of Islamist Terror from the 1990s.  It seemed to mean a lot to them to know that, thanks to the unique TED platform, people around the world may now share some of their sorrow, and may even do something about it. Maybe for once their voices will be heard. For that, I will be eternally grateful to all at TEDxExeter and especially to Claire Kennedy.

Please help share these stories – tweet, email, post, skywrite… To take action to support people like those in the video, kindly visit wluml.org or any of the other wonderful groups listed under my recommendations on TED.com

In gratitude and friendship, Karima

Karima has also written an article for the TED blog about “The untold stories of the heroes fighting fundamentalism”. You can watch Karima’s talk here. And don’t forget, the other TEDxExeter talks are available on this site and on the TEDx YouTube channel.

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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!

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Ideas from Exeter reach the world!

Exciting news! Karima Bennoune’s 2014 TEDxExeter talk “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here” has been selected as one of TEDx’s Weekly Editor’s Picks. This is a huge achievement and offers a real opportunity for her ideas to reach a significant, global audience.

A veteran of twenty years of human rights research and activism, Karima Bennoune draws on extensive fieldwork and interviews to illuminate the inspiring stories of those who represent one of the best hopes for ending fundamentalist oppression worldwide. In this powerful talk Karima gives voice to individual Muslims struggling against fundamentalism and terrorism.

Karima is a professor of international law at the University of California Davis School of Law. She grew up in Algeria and the United States and now lives in northern California.

We now have a fantastic opportunity to help spread Karima’s ideas even more widely. Please share her talk with your networks, on Facebook, and on Twitter using the hashtags #TEDxExeter #TED #KarimaBennoune.

If you know any NGOs, faith groups, activists or journalists or who would be interested in her work please share it with them too and ask them to spread the word.

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TEDx celebrates its 10,000th event…

… and has published a handy infographic to show just what that means. We’re very proud to be part of this world-wide community that is helping to spread those ideas worth spreading. Here are a few facts culled from the infographic:

  • TEDx is in 167 of 249 countries, representing 96 of the world’s population.
  • There have been TEDx events at Mount Everest Base Camp, Sydney Opera House, the Great Wall of China, and the Exeter Northcott Theatre. This last may not actually be mentioned on the infographic!
  • Collectively, viewers have spent over 3,000 years watching TEDx Talks on YouTube. Watch the talks from TEDxExeter now.
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TEDxExeter 2014 videos are now online

At TEDxExeter 2014 our speakers and performers connected us with other worlds. Our talks exposed corruption in big business, shared effective approaches to tackling social inequality and gave a voice to those whose human rights are under threat. We explored the impact of fast changing technologies on all our lives. We journeyed through fire and forest to frozen landscapes. We were challenged to consider worlds of extremes, cutting edge controversies and risky opportunities.

We are very happy to announce that the talks and performances are now available to view online. We hope that those who were able to be with us enjoy reliving the day, and that those who couldn’t make it are as inspired by them as the rest of us were.

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One week on…

This morning I’m very excited because I’m going to see the videos for the first time. Andy has already been through the live edits. Now it’s our chance to make sure they are as good as they can possibly be.

I’ve been through the live blog and tried to get rid of some of the infelicities. Any typos, misrepresentations, etc etc are still all mine. The website links put it all in chronological order now, and I’ve added a couple of fun addenda to Ann’s and Joel’s posts.

Last night, I went to the opera (my life isn’t always this interesting) to see Bizet’s “Doctor Miracle”. Completely new to me. It struck me that Doctor Miracle would be a good name for a super hero. After hearing Allyson’s talk, goodness knows we need one to help save the NHS.

And finally, I’m sure you were wondering who moved all that cheese left over from lunch. Well, the lovely Sara had the brilliant idea of taking it to Gabriel House of the Shilhay community, who were over the (green cheese) moon.

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Blog blog!

Again, in 2012 and 2013, I collated links to blog posts and photos. So as I’ve created a rod to beat my own back, here we are again. Please let us know of any more out there, and watch this space…

At the frontier

will789gb questioned Simon Peyton Jones’ emphasis on computer science rather than technology.

verbal onslaughts was at the event with her two flatmates and a friend all the way from Prague. She picked out some highlights, pretty much most of the day!

Speaker Claire Belcher hopes that “if just one person in that audience, which included several school groups is able to say ‘wow I never knew that about wildfires’ and it sparks one persons interest and perhaps another via the internet then that’s how ideas start spreading.”

… speaker Patrick Alley summarises his talk, describing “How the logging industry tricked us into financing our own destruction”.

… and Chromatrope describe how they filmed the event and why they are on board for 2015!

Picture this

“Here comes @TEDxExeter”, a Vine behind the scenes from former speaker turned team member Andy Robertson.

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Tweet tweet!

Thanks everyone for tweeting before, during and after the event. The last two years, I collated some Tweflections on the day, so I guess it’s now a tradition. Here are some from this year.

Everything was awesome!

@MichelmoresLaw : @blondedigital @TEDxExeter – Amazing Day! Inspirational speakers. Plenty to think about.

@SaksExeter : @ClaireKennedy24 @TEDxExeter @Saragibbs2000 @JeanieHoney it was such an amazing day and you did the most incredible job THANK YOU all xxx

@ExeterCCM : .@TEDxExeter Thank you so much for an inspiring, moving and thought-provoking day… Brilliant… You done good… #TEDxExeter #Exeter

@dacors : @TEDxExeter a perfect programme of philanthropy, politics, parenting, poles, prosthetics, postman pat & p-p-p-poetry. pic.twitter.com/2TkbqH4UU0

@honeyscribe : Thanks @TEDxExeter for inspiring day yesterday. A heart-warming reflection of desire & actions that make positive changes to people’s lives.

@diane_boston : great day yesterday @TEDxExeter … so much food for thought but also inspiration to act …. thanks to the whole team

‏@nickex5 : Well @tedxexeter was great. Interesting & inspiring with plenty to go away and think about.

@robjglover : Fabulous #TEDxExeter yesterday – yet another quality production from the @TEDxExeter team

@Sarah_L_Vickery : @TEDxExeter A day of inspiration to act locally and globally. Came away with an idea to follow from every talk. Thank you.

@rachelwh1te : I thoroughly enjoyed last Friday. It was insightful and inspiring. Brilliant organisation on the day too. Thank you @TEDxExeter

Difficult to pick out highlights

@saratraynor : A highlight of #TEDxExeter was @harrybakerpoet performing 59 – a love story involving prime numbers http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ-WUU_Q_Ig … @TEDxExeter

@CEWilmot : Brilliant words @TEDxExeter Friday @globalwitness Patrick Alley co-founder 2014 TED Prize winners. Spread their Wish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1O97HZev7A&feature=youtu.be …

@Emmajadebird : Congratulations @cryurchin! MT “@TEDxExeter: Images of @cryurchin speaking at #TEDxExeter http://ow.ly/i/53nX1 http://ow.ly/i/53nXe ”

@thehallexeter : @harrybakerpoet you killed it @TEDxExeter Are there any poetry slams in the SW?

@AmbiosLtd : Inspirational #TEDxExeter Ann Daniels, N & S pole talk @TEDxExeter. Physical adventure And global climate change data pic.twitter.com/MZlbP6xTSM

‏@phillmaddick : @harrybakerpoet – Amazing performance today at @TEDxExeter – Standing ovation from me

‏@phillmaddick : Amazing talk for fair trade technology from @CongoCalling @TEDxExeter @BandiMbubi @ExeterNorthcott #TEDxExeter pic.twitter.com/xIGG0FPCAC

@SaHobson : Lighthearted highlight of @TedxExeter the #Exeter School Vocal Ensemble singing ‘Postman Pat’ #TedxExeter #Postmanpat pic.twitter.com/kqT5D1zJwh

@SaHobson : Inspirational day at @TEDxExeter. @BandiMbubi calling us to demand fair trade technology #fairtrade #TEDxExeter pic.twitter.com/zcc2uVAH9K

@Sarah_L_Vickery : @AnnDanielsGB Thank you for the great @TEDxExeter talk & giving me the inspiration to act to improve marine ecology. Plus you are awesome!!

@robjglover : Slam Poet @harrybakerpoet was awesome at #TEDxExeter well done that man!

@ChrisDavisCLX : Great talk @AnnDanielsGB loved having you with us. @ExeterNorthcott

@Sarah_L_Vickery : @invisibleflock absolutely loved your talk at @TEDxExeter yesterday thank you #whosestreersourstreets Where can I see #bringthehappy?

@AnnaLodgeALC : Mums and Dads #FF @ParentPerspec great talk from Fin at #tedxexeter today. Sage words and sound advice.

Our speakers and performers liked it too!

@ParentPerspec : @saratraynor @ClareBryden @TEDxExeter had a great time! Thanks Sara you’ll have to see how you can use me to help out next year! :)

@vinaynair : Back to London after stunning day at @TEDxExeter. A special thanks to team and the utterly inspirational @ClaireKennedy24 & @JeanieHoney

@harrybakerpoet : Still buzzing from @TEDxExeter – inspiring to know there’s such incredible people out there already changing the world. Videos to follow!

@Fionn_Connolly: Really enjoyed singing in the choir @TEDxExeter. My favourite moment- @harrybakerpoet ‘Paper People’ #TEDxExeter

Looks like tickets for 2015 will be like gold dust

@MariaBowles : @TEDxExeter I definitely want to be there for #TEDxExeter 2015, my flatmates and I have already decided :)

@suscred : @TEDxExeter Inspirational day yesterday. Congrats to the organisers and all the volunteers. Looking forward to next year!

@thehallexeter : Dont usually dish out advice but set alarm for 1/11/14 labeled ‘Buy tickets for @TEDxExeter 2015′ U missed a treat. pic.twitter.com/1dn4naiHZZ

@DramatherapySW : Thank you @thehallexeter for reminding us to also spread the word to our members. Alarms set for 1/11/14 ticket sales for @TEDxExeter 2015

@MrsBoyson : Thank you @TEDxExeter – we had a wonderful time today. They all said “can we come again next year?!”

Thinking about sponsoring?

@TEDxExeter : BIG thank you to our sponsors @WebsitesAhoy @Sonic_Group @SouthernhayHome @ExeterMBA @EgremontGroup @StormpressExe #TEDxExeter

@TEDxExeter : BIG thanks to our sponsors @WilkinsonGrant @Chromatweet @SunGiftSolar @AnTech_Ltd @SouthWestWater @SaksExeter @Jimmillar1975

@SaksExeter : Absolutely loved today @TEDxExeter another incredible independent #TED event this time we were able to help sponsor pic.twitter.com/Bft0gdV2yu

@ExeterCCM : Last Friday I attended amazing @TEDxExeter.. Check-out great future #TEDxExeter sponsorship opportunities.. http://tedxexeter.com/sponsors/ #Exeter

@dacors : @TEDxExeter Danke! Choose D for Dacors and we will deign to donate some dashing designs for your delegates’ details in 2015. Deal?

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Good Morning Devon! TEDxExeter on BBC Radio

BBC Radio Devon spoke to Ann Daniels and Patrick Alley before their talks at TEDxExeter, and the interviews were broadcast during the Good Morning Devon programmes over the weekend.

On Saturday’s programme you can hear Ann Daniels talking about ocean acidification for 4 mins at 01:27:02.

On Sunday’s programme you can hear Patrick Alley talking about the Global Witness logging campaign for 4 mins at 50:19. He can also be heard in the news bulletins at 7am (at 2:33) and 8am (at 1:03:04).

Both programmes will be available on the BBC iPlayer for seven days after their live transmission.

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