TEDxExeter 2016 – Dreams to Reality

TEDxExeter 2016 – Dreams to Reality

TEDxExeter 2016 Dandelion


The fifth year of Exeter’s leading ideas festival, featuring an exceptional line up of speakers who are changing the world through their groundbreaking work and ideas. Their talks informed, challenged, entertained and encouraged the audience to connect with each other and turn inspiration to action.

On 15 April 2016 we held our live event once more in Exeter Northcott Theatre, and for the first time a livestream in the nearby Alumni Auditorium. We also made the livestream publicly available, and people and groups from around the world tuned in and created their own conversations.

Dreams to Reality

In 2016, we wanted to encapsulate the idea of movement… that grappling with humanity’s toughest questions requires first a vision, a dream, and then action.

TED and TEDxExeter are devoted to ideas worth spreading. But why are those ideas worth spreading? Because they might spark a new way of looking at the world in our audience, or they might generate a new connection, or offer a new perspective on a complex issue. But ultimately because they are about creating a better world, a better future.

Without a dream, people struggle to keep on keeping on: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18a). But dreams by themselves are ineffectual, just “pretty bubbles in the air” that “fade and die” (Dean Martin). They need grounding in reality and dedicated action.

We are delighted that so many of our talks in previous TEDxExeter events have incorporated healthy doses of dreaming and realism, and that so many of our team, sponsors and delegates have caught the dreams and helped to create new realities.

As we dreamt TEDxExeter 2016 and curated all the talks and performances into reality, we might have had some inkling of the sorts of seeds they might release into the world. But we couldn’t plan for our audiences, how those seeds might disperse and where they might land, and who else might be involved in watering and feeding them and nurturing the tiny shoots to fruiting plants.

So we invited our audience on the day, and we invite you still, to dream dreams alongside us, dreams that are not bubbles but seeds, dreams that through action will one day become reality.

The videos of the talks and performances are now available; click on the photo. Please also have a read of our speaker and performer biographies. The programme is also available for downloading as an A4 pdf.

Morning Session: Renewed Understandings

Welcome and Introduction to TEDx and TEDxExeter

Danny Dorling Imagining the world anew

Alan Smith The numbers are us

Fiona McNae “Do you know what I mean?” Taking responsibility for being understood

Pragna Patel Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

Matthew Owen How a TEDx talk is helping save the rainforest

Morning Session: Global Challenges

TED Talk Al Gore The case for optimism on climate change

Manwar Ali Reclaiming Jihad

Zia Nath Performance: Sacred Sufi dance

Giles Duley The power of a story

Afternoon Session: Creating Identities

Marcus Lyon Is your identity given or created?

Alex Holmes Beat bullying; why young people hold the key

Abbie McGregor Remember to DREAM

Anna Frost Raising adventurous and brave children

Deeyah Khan What we don’t know about Europe’s Muslim kids and why we should care

Afternoon Session: Changing Perspectives

TED Talk Robert Palmer The Panama Papers exposed a huge global problem. What’s next?

Cormac Russell Sustainable community development: shifting the focus from what’s wrong to what’s strong

Usman Haque decisions, decisions, decisions

Matt Harvey Performance: Poems for driftwood lovers and corporate thieves

Lindsay Levin CompassionX: the bridge from cleverness to wisdom