Exeter college student wins opportunity to do a TEDxExeter talk

Press release

A long-term fan of TED Talks has won a place on the Northcott stage at next month’s TEDxExeter Conference. In the face of tough competition from fellow members of the College debating society, Abbie McGregor (16) who is in her first year at Exeter College wowed the judges from TEDxExeter with her talk Remember to DREAM.

Abbie was introduced to TED Talks by an inspiring teacher at primary school when she was 10 or 11. “I really liked the idea that people stood there telling us what they thought,” she says. “I watched as many as I could. Through TED Talks I learned about the inequalities in the world. I love the ones about justice. They  made me want to be a lawyer, to stand up for justice, to stand up for people who are misrepresented.”

She lives in Torquay and attended Torquay Girls Grammar before moving to Exeter College for A levels. A keen singer, dancer and actor, Abbie is now also an active member of the Exeter College debating society.

“The idea of joining it came out of critical thinking classes. It’s like drama, but more meaningful as it’s changing something. It’s so entertaining to watch and to be part of it. Exeter College puts a lot of effort into it, and we enter into lots of competitions.

“I’ve always loved English: interested in books, poetry and drama – just saying what you think. Now I’m studying English literature and language. I can’t get enough of it.” She hopes to study law at university.  

Abbie follows Beth Barnes onto the TEDxExeter stage. Beth won the Exeter College competition last year. Her talk on Effective altruism has been watched by nearly 11,000 people.

“We are tremendously proud as a college to have one of our exceptional young people speaking at TEDxExeter 2016,” says Exeter College assistant principal Emma Fielding. “I have no doubt that Abbie’s thought provoking and insightful reflections will challenge those listening to reflect on  how we can best support future generations to turn their dreams into realities.”

TEDxExeter is keen to reach as wide an audience as possible, and that includes young people. This year, as well as filling the Exeter Northcott Theatre (tickets sold out in just 22 minutes), it is livestreaming to Exeter University’s Alumni Auditorium where groups from local schools and colleges will be in the audience. Tickets are now available for livestreams at Exeter Central Library and the Pavillions, Teignmouth. Seats at RAMM are available on a first come basis.

Notes to editors

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

University of Exeter
Stephens Scown
Egremont Group
SunGift Energy
Wilkinson Grant
Websites Ahoy
Dacors Design
First Sight Media
Luscombe Drinks
Exeter College
Exeter Northcott Theatre
Exeter City Council
Matt Round Photography

All TEDxExeter talks are filmed and made freely available on the internet. The TED translation project means ideas from Exeter reach a truly global audience. So far TEDxExeter speakers’ talks have been viewed more than 5.25 million times. Four of them have been featured on TED.com: Karima Bennoune sharing stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities; Scilla Elworthy speaking on non violence; Bandi Mbubi calling for fair trade phones; and slam poet Harry Baker‘s love poem for lonely prime numbers… Michelle Ryan’s talk on work-life balance tops a TEDx YouTube list on the way we work.

About TEDx x = independently organized event

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

Follow TEDxExeter on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDxExeter. For more information and to watch our talks visit our website: www.tedxexeter.com where you can also sign up to receive our newsletter.

About TED

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

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

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