So – you’ve heard of TED talks, right? TED are a non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, which invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less, standing on the iconic TED red circle. What you might not know is the TED effect is multiplied through thousands of TEDx events worldwide – local events like TEDxExeter bring people together to share the best ideas and speakers in a TED-like atmosphere.
And Exeter, Devon, just happens to be home – not only to Bird Sunglasses HQ – but also the fourth leading TEDx event worldwide. TEDxExeter punches way above its weight, ranked FOURTH out of the thousands of TEDx events around the world – and number one in Europe – for the number of talks with a million-plus views on TED.com.
We are super proud to be sponsors of this local ideas machine, and a number of our team are closely involved in organising the event. All TEDx events are run by volunteers, no one is paid for their time, just their love of great ideas.
Tickets sold out in just a few hours but don’t worry if you missed out – you can watch the whole thing on livestream. Register here to hold your own viewing party or tune in on the day to find the live links and watch TEDxExeter from the comfort of your home.
Here’s our top pick of speakers that we can’t wait to see this year, and a few of our favourites from years gone by.
2018 Top Picks
Patrick Grant is a regular media commentator on fashion, clothing and textiles. After taking over as director of Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons, Patrick was named Menswear Designer of the Year at the 2010 British Fashion Awards. In 2015, he purchased ailing Blackburn clothing manufacturer Cookson & Clegg, saving the factory from closure. This was followed by the launch of Community Clothing, a social enterprise with a mission to sustain and create jobs in the UK textile and garment manufacturing industry.
Farrah Storr is the award-winning editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. She took over the brand in 2015 where she was tasked with reimagining it for the millennial woman, subsequently increasing circulation by an unprecedented 59%. In 2017 Farrah was cited as one of only 36 BAME leaders in The Guardian & Operation Black Votes UK’s 1000 Most Powerful list.
Amy and Ella Meek founded their campaign Kids Against Plastic in 2016 after learning about the UN’s Global Goals and taking seriously the need for everyone to do their bit. They realised plastic was a double-edged sword: a magnificent invention, but also an enormous environmental monster in waiting. So they decided to act, and over the last two years have worked hard to inspire school children, engage politicians, business leaders and academics, and to motivate families, cafés, businesses and people to become Plastic Clever.
Rob Wilson: Ending food waste one beer at a time
If you want to save the world, you’ve got to throw a better party than the people destroying it. That’s the philosophy behind Toast Ale, a social enterprise tackling food waste by brewing beer from waste bread. We’ll drink to that!
Matthew Owen: Cool Earth: saving rainforest a village at a time
The best way to tackle climate change is protect rainforests, and Cool Earth have found the best way to do this is to work with local people as forest custodian. So far they’ve saved over 216,402,960 trees, and this talk shows how.
Go on, admit it…we’ve all secretly got a bit of pirate in us deep down. Kester Brewin is a ridiculously talented writer, teacher and consultant. We love this talk on the history of piracy and what we can learn from pirates today.
Matt Harvey: Poems for driftwood lovers and corporate thieves
Poet and lyricist Matt Harvey was first official Poet-in-Residence at the Wimbledon Championships and has been commissioned by – among others – the Science Museum, the Open University, the Energy Ombudsman and the BBC. He’s one of our favourite poets and we dare you not to fall in love with his hilarious poems.