Matthew Owen biography

Matthew OwenMatthew set-up Cool Earth in 2007 to work with indigenous communities keep their rainforest standing. Cool Earth now works throughout the tropics and has put 500,000 acres of endangered forest our of reach of loggers. Matthew has run a childcare charity, managed a research group and spent 15 years in investment banking. He now lives in Falmouth with three daughters.


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 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.”

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.

Beth Barnes biography

Beth is a student in her last year at Exeter College. She became involved in the Effective Altruism movement last year, and took the Giving What We Can pledge. This year she started Exeter Effective Altruism Society. Next year she hopes to go on to study Biological Natural Sciences at Cambridge, and is currently considering pathways to making a difference and careers such as research into biosecurity, working to combat neglected tropical diseases, or biological software engineering.

Carmel McConnell biography

Carmel’s background is a mixture of social activism and senior corporate roles. She has an MBA is in change leadership and technology, and has worked at senior levels in BT, UBS and 20th Century Fox, as well as working as growth and strategy adviser to many FTSE 100 companies.

Shocked by the numbers of children arriving at school too hungry to learn, she founded Magic Breakfast as the first stage in a global approach to give every hungry child a good breakfast as fuel for learning. The charity aims to be a catalyst, helping schools provide a healthy breakfast and parent support, as part of each school’s plan to improve child educational outcomes and health. Put simply, a hungry child cannot concentrate, and the most important lessons are taught in the morning. Magic Breakfast can provide porridge, bagels, healthy cereals and diluted fresh orange juice for just 22p per child per morning. So a Magic Breakfast is a very effective investment!

Carmel is delighted to work on the expert panel supporting the School Food Plan. She is a strong advocate for the Plan, believing it to be the best chance to improve school food for the future and, in the words of the authors “create a golden age of school food”.

Carmel was awarded the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award (New Statesman/Edge) in 2008. Magic Breakfast won the No 10 Big Society Award in 2010 and is currently the Pearson UK Employee Charity of the Year. In April 2014 Carmel was voted number 4 in the BBC Women’s Hour top 100 list of most influential “gamechangers”.

Carmel is on Twitter at @magiccarmel
For more information about Magic Breakfast, please go to

Chetan Bhatt biography

Chetan BhattChetan Bhatt is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE. He has taught at several UK universities and published widely. His recent writing has focused on wars, human rights and extreme religious violence. He has been involved for several decades in international work related to human rights, human freedoms and social justice.


Clive Stafford Smith biography

Clive Stafford SmithClive Stafford Smith OBE is a lawyer specialising in defending people accused of the most serious crimes, and is Founder and Director of the UK legal action charity Reprieve.

Clive spent 26 years working as an attorney in the Southern United States, where he represented over 300 prisoners facing the death penalty. Whilst only taking the cases of those who could not afford lawyers, he prevented in the death penalty in all but six cases (a 98% “victory” rate). Few lawyers ever take a case to the US Supreme Court. Clive has taken five, and all of the prisoners prevailed.

In 2001, when the US military base at Guantánamo Bay was pressed into service, Clive joined two other lawyers to sue for access to the prisoners there. He believed the camp to be an affront to democracy and the rule of law. His ultimate goal is to close it and restore to the US and its allies their legitimacy as champions of human rights.

To date, Clive has helped secure the release of more than 60 prisoners from Guantánamo (including every British prisoner) and still acts for 17 more. More recently, Clive and Reprieve have turned their eye to other secret prisons, and to the victims of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Alongside many other awards, in 2000 Clive received an OBE for ‘humanitarian services’ and in 2014, the Contrarian Prize.

Dick Moore biography

Dick MooreDick Moore has been an English teacher, rugby coach, senior school housemaster and prep school headmaster, the latter for almost 23 years. Circumstances led to a developing passion for adolescent emotional wellbeing. A qualified instructor for Youth Mental Health First Aid, Dick is also closely involved with the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, for whom he is a Trainer. As such, he visits businesses and schools around the UK and overseas to talk to pupils, parents and teachers about the challenges of adolescence – for young people and those who care for them – and about the signs and symptoms of common mental health disorders. Dick has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5, as well as local radio and BBC1’s Breakfast TV, and has a passion for The Great War and Fulham FC!

Harry Baker biography

Harry Baker

Harry is about to graduate with a Maths degree from the University of Bristol. In his time there tobuyaccutane he has won the Poetry Slam World Cup; written and performed a 5-Star sellout Edinburgh Fringe show; accidentally become an international rap battler; learnt to write poems in German as well as English; had his work published on; and released his first anthology of poems ‘The Sunshine Kid’ (available at He is looking forward to the next set of adventures!