TEDxLondon – 4th June

On 4th June 2017 we hosted TEDxLondon which explored what being confident means in an uncertain world. The event shined new light on the extraordinary capacity of individuals to survive and thrive, celebrate those who have the self-belief to break the mould and ask big questions about the future of our societies and the planet.


Abbie Hutty

Abbie was inspired to pursue a career in science and engineering by the Beagle 2 Mars lander programme, and gained her Masters’ Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2010 at the University of Surrey.

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Here she received several awards and prizes, including for her placement year at SSTL, her Masters’ thesis on the use of composites in spacecraft structures, and for the highest graduating mark in the department.

While at Surrey she also participated in the restoration of the Concorde supersonic airliner at Brooklands Museum and led a team of engineers in designing and building a single-seat racing car for the international “Formula Student” competition.

Abbie joined Astrium at Stevenage, now Airbus Defence and Space, as a Mechanical Engineer in 2010, moving to the ExoMars rover team as a Spacecraft Structures Engineer in 2012.

Now lead structures engineer for the Rover Vehicle, she coordinates a team of specialists in the design of the ExoMars Rover Vehicle Structure, and is responsible for aspects including Stress Analysis, Design Office, Materials and Processes, Testing, and Design support to Manufacture.

Alongside her day job, Abbie takes on many STEM Education and Outreach roles, talking about the mission and her role to students and the wider public in order to promote engineering careers and the study of STEM subjects to the next generation.

She has appeared in numerous print, radio, and televisual roles in her capacity as an ExoMars Engineer, including on the Sky at Night, the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, and on Stargazing live with Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain. In 2013 she was selected as the IMechE’s Young Member of the Year and later named as the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year, followed by the accolade of “Rising Star 2014“ from the Royal Academy of Engineering. A chartered engineer through the IMechE, as well as a member of the IET, in 2016 Abbie was elected Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the youngest individual in the Institution’s 169 year history to achieve this status at only 29.

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Anderson and Low

Jonathan Anderson and Edwin Low have been collaborating as Anderson & Low since 1990, and are known for bringing drama and mythic qualities to their wide-ranging work.

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Recurrent concepts bring unity to their output as a whole, whilst stylistic shifts allow them the best expression for each new project.

Recurrent themes include the relationship between fantasy and perceived reality, pushing at the boundaries of what a photograph is ‘supposed to do’, ideas surrounding human identity, and relating these concepts to art history. Their work resides in numerous museum collections worldwide. They were official artists for the London 2012 Olympiad; were invited to create an art project based around the James Bond film Spectre, and created images for Star Wars VII; their project Manga Dreams was exhibited in the 2011 Venice Biennale.

Their latest project Voyages is on display at the Science Museum until 25th June; it is a startling reimagining of the Science Museum’s large collection of model ships, transforming them into magical vessels on heroic quests, making epic voyages. Resembling paintings, the images are a complex study of the interplay between perception, reality, the physical world and imagination.


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Catherine Edsell

Catherine Edsell FRGS is an adventurer and global expedition leader.  An avid naturalist, she combines her passion for adventure and effective conservation through independent

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and collaborative expedition work in the most remote areas of the world.

She is a trained PADI Divemaster, Reef Check Trainer, Mountain Leader, Jungle Trainer and Yoga Teacher, with 20 years’ experience working in all manner of terrains, often with her children in tow.

Inspired by her immersion in stunning natural habitats, Catherine is now leading a series of transformative adventures solely for women.  Through travel to extreme wilderness locations, in close proximity to wildlife. Catherine designs expeditions that open up her world of adventure to any woman who wishes to seize the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone, push their own mental and physical boundaries, and in doing so, rediscover themselves.

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Emily Milan Rea

Emily is an aspiring entrepreneur and scientific researcher. Though still at school, her interest in scientific innovation stretches back many years.

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In 2012, after Hurricane Sandy destroyed her cousin’s house, Emily built a wave generator inside a five-foot fish tank to test the efficacy of different shoreline barriers. She has supported children and families affected by the devastating disease Epidermolysis Bullosa (known as EB) which affects the skin. Her current research focuses on relieving the chronic itch from wounds suffered by EB children. Born and raised in and around New York City, Emily leverages her creativity, determination and self-discipline to build successful collaborations, while keeping her sense of humour and innate ability to never take no for an answer.

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Emma Lawton

Four years ago, just as Creative Director Emma’s company was redesigning the Parkinson’s UK website, Emma was diagnosed herself

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with Young Onset Parkinson’s. She was aged just 29. Yet Emma has gone on to do more in those four years than she ever expected to achieve in a lifetime.

Her journey has taken her from an unexpected diagnosis to winning CharityComm’s Inspiring Communicator of the Year Award 2015, featuring in a BBC television documentary and articles in magazines, such as Cosmopolitan, reaching out to other young women. Last year she published her first book ‘Dropping the P Bomb’ sharing her experiences of receiving the bombshell that was her Parkinson’s diagnosis.

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Hugh Montgomery

Hugh Obtained a 1st Class degree in physiology and neuropharmacology before graduating from the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1987.

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He completed specialist training in cardiology, general internal medicine and intensive care medicine, and now practices as a consultant intensivist at the Whittington Hospital in North London.  He obtained his research degree (MD) in 1997, and is now Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London. Hugh described the ‘first gene for human performance’ in Nature, and has published over 300 scientific papers.

Hugh has a strong interest in the relationship between climate change and environmental damage, and human health and survival. He is a Greater London Authority ‘London Leader’ in this field. He founded the children’s education programme on climate change, Project Genie. He has attended many of the international climate negotiations (‘COPs’), sat on the 2009 Lancet Commission on Climate Change and Health, and co-chaired the 2015 Commission. He co-chairs the ongoing Lancet Countdown on Climate Change and Health.

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Jack Martindale

Jack was born in Islington and grew up in North London. From as early has he can remember, he’s wanted to understand how the world works. He pursued his academic interests to 

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the University of York when he studied for a degree in English and Politics.

In his final year, Jack’s life was almost snatched away from him in a catastrophic car accident. Following nine months at the Queen Elizabeth Foundation (QEF), a neurological rehabilitation centre in Surrey, Jack went on to complete his degree and wrote Battling a Brain Injury: the life that Jack built. The writing process enabled Jack to recover the belief that as long as you don’t take anything about yourself too seriously, you can’t lose!

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Jaspreet Kaur

Jaspreet Kaur, better known as Behind the Netra for her poetry is a spoken word artist from East London. By day, she is a History teacher, with an academic background in both History and Gender Studies.

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Her work aims to tackle issues related to gender discrimination, mental health stigma, decolonisation and more.

Over the last year she has performed at different shows all around the UK. Recently she performed at the NHS annual conference and spoke at TEDxUCLWomen. It’s been an incredible year for Behind the Netra, being in the national #thriveon advert with Idris Elba and working with the UN on the HeforShe campaign. The end of 2016 brought Behind the Netra the title of one of the Top 10 Inspirational Sikh Women in the UK. She has now been shortlisted for the Asian Women of the Year award by Women of the Future in the Arts and Culture category and a National Diversity Award for being a Positive Role model for her work in poetry and teaching.

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John Sutherland

John Sutherland

John Sutherland is a father of three, who lives with his wife and children in south London. For the best part of twenty-five years, he has served as a Metropolitan Police officer.

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He won the Baton of Honour as the outstanding recruit in his training school intake and rose through the ranks to become a highly respected senior officer. Over the course of his career, in which he has been awarded several commendations, he has worked in seven different London boroughs, in a variety of different ranks and roles.

His most recent operational job was as the Borough Commander for Southwark. For the past three years, he has been writing a blog about policing (policecommander.wordpress.com) and he has now finished his first book. ‘Blue: A Memoir’ is being published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on May 25th.

You can follow him on Twitter: @policecommander

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Matthew Shribman

Matthew Shribman is a science and maths educator, specialising in education that inspires genuine curiosity and a long term love of learning for his students around the world.

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In his spare time, Matthew produces engaging science videos with a global reach of millions, on his Facebook and YouTube channel ‘Science In The Bath’.

Besides his work in education, Matthew has written and produced songs featured by BBC Radio 1, NME, Guardian, Clash and 6Music. His music, under the name Ash Lad, has been championed by The Times on its list of Hottest Tracks. Matthew has worked with Alt-J’s award winning producer, Brett Cox, and performed live at major UK festivals, on primetime television, and at sell-out shows from Ronnie Scott’s to O2 Islington.

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Ndidi Okezi

Ndidi Okezi is an executive director of Teach First – the charity with a mission to end inequality in education by building a community of leaders who create change within classrooms, schools and throughout society.

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She was part of the first cohort of the Teach First programme in 2003 and became assistant head at the Burlington Danes Academy, contributing to it eventually becoming one of the country’s best state schools. Ndidi joined the Teach First staff in 2012 and is currently accountable for the charity’s ambassador (alumni), access and collective action strategies.

She believes in setting and achieving audacious goals that disrupt a negative status quo and create better life outcomes for children. A prolific speaker, she is passionate about identifying educational leaders that can help create a world where all children can realise their full potential.


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Ozwald Boateng

International Fashion Designer Ozwald Boateng is Founder of the brand Ozwald Boateng – ‘Bespoke Couture Ltd’. Celebrating over 25 years in fashion, Ozwald Boateng conceived a new silhouette

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and palette for international menswear; creating a concept of style and luxury for men not previously envisaged but desired by men everywhere.  Previously, he held the position of Creative Director of Givenchy Homme. He began making bespoke suits in the 1980’s and is widely credited with introducing Savile Row tailoring to a new generation. In 1994, he was the first tailor to stage a catwalk show in Paris during Paris Fashion week.  Boateng’s many clients include Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Daniel Day Lewis, Russell Crowe, Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Spike Lee, and Mick Jagger.

He was recently awarded a honorary degree for ‘ An Outstanding Contribution to the clothing and Fashion industries’, Named as one of the Most Influential Londoners by the Evening Standard and awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2006 Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Ozwald Boateng also co founded Made In Africa Foundation, in 2011 alongside Kola Aluko and Atlantic Energy. The Foundation was set up to support and fund master plans and feasibility studies for transformational and large scale developments and infrastructure projects across the African continent, introduce a funding mechanism to assist successful businesses in Africa to transform their existing investments and prospects and give Africa Independence through development and infrastructure.

“It’s a well-known statistic that US$400 million of funding for feasibility studies and master plans across sub-Saharan Africa would develop over US$100 billion of infrastructure projects, which in turn would create a trillion dollars of value across Africa. The first step is often the hardest and we have created this Foundation with Atlantic Energy to make that step easier for Africans.”  Ozwald Boateng

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Ravi Gurumurthy

Ravi Gurumurthy is the Chief Innovation Officer and head of the Airbel Centre at the International Rescue Committee. The IRC works in over 30 countries helping people affected by conflict

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and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. The purpose of the Airbel Centre is to design, test and drive the adoption of life-changing, scalable solutions for people affected by crisis.

Prior to joining the IRC as Vice-President of Strategy and Innovation in 2013, Ravi spent 15 years in the U.K. Government, holding a number of senior roles in social, environmental and foreign policy. Most recently, he was Director of Strategy at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. From 2005-10, he was the Strategic Advisor and Speech Writer to David Miliband – playing a key role in shaping the Climate Change Act 2008, and in UK foreign policy. Ravi has also worked in local government and began his career at the think tank Demos.

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Reverie Choir

Reverie Choir

Reverie is a contemporary vocal ensemble, with particular expertise in presenting new music in creative and unusual formats. Founded by conductor Robbie Jacobs in 2012, the group

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has designed and curated choral installations for The Princess of Wales Glasshouse at Kew Gardens, the ‘Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire and Revolution’ exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, and has performed at some of the finest concert halls in London and abroad, including King’s Place, St John’s Smith Square, and City Hall, Hong Kong.

Reverie is committed to making new music accessible to a wide and diverse audience through engaging inventive programming, and its ongoing education work with young people across the UK. Reverie’s ‘The Rope and Glass Between Us – Pepys visits Pepys’ project was selected by Classical Music Magazine as their New Music pick of 2016

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Richard G Smith

Richard Smith

Richard is a philosopher and urbanist based at Swansea University in the United Kingdom. He was educated at Lawrence Sheriff School (Rugby, Warwickshire) and

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the University of Hull (BA Hons, 1st class), before completing his doctorate at the age of twenty four at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Sir Nigel Thrift. His research has been reported on extensively in the world’s print media, and is among the most highly-cited and reprinted in the world, his research forms a part of the AS / A Level Geography syllabus.

Richard is known for his work on how the world’s cities are connected together through the networks that constitute globalization. A long standing critic of the concept of ‘global cities’ and the idea that global capitalism is a ‘system’ that is somehow commanded and controlled through the world’s leading business and financial centres; Richard has nevertheless argued that whilst we cannot ‘take back control’ as such, we can be confident in London’s continued success – even in light of ‘surprising’ events such as the 2008 financial crisis and the Brexit referendum – because of its unrivalled position in international networks.

Richard’s latest book marks the tenth anniversary of the death of the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard:




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Robbie Stamp

Robbie Stamp is Chairman of Bioss International, a consultancy interested in decision making and human judgement particularly in relation to machine learning and AI.

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Way back when in 1995, Robbie was a Founder of The Digital Village with the late great Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Company created the Computer Game Starship Titanic and h2g2.com, the real “earth edition” of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was sold to the BBC and subsequently bought back.  So Robbie is now Chairman of Not Panicking Ltd, which owns the digital rights to  the earth edition and is imagining a new future for “The Guide”.

Robbie was an Executive Producer on the Hitchhiker Movie made by Disney and relased by Touchstone Pictures in 2005. He advised Disney on the overall marketing and positioning of HHGG, as well as working closely with the Internet, games, mobile, licensing, publishing and DVD teams. It was a lot of fun!

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Shapla Salique

Shapla Salique

East London raised singer-songwriter, Shapla Salique is known for her incredibly powerful voice and edgy acoustic Bengali folk music with jazz and funk influences.

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Shapla is one of Britain’s most successful British-Bangladeshi artists. Her soulful sound has captivated audiences worldwide, from London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Houses of Parliament to Canada and Italy.

Shapla’s dynamic spiritual melodies and soaring vocals are gaining her recognition on the world music scene. Most recently she has been featured in Songlines magazine and has received a great review for her new album ‘No Boundaries’.

Her style is deeply rooted in the Bengali folk Baul tradition which she carries forward and experiments using western instruments. She performs with her jazz band across the UK and abroad.

Shapla has been singing and performing since she was a little girl. From playing at East London local schools, community centres and festivals, to leading vocalist at the Royal Albert Hall and making appearances on various mainstream TV shows.

Shapla continues to push boundaries with her musical talent and will be performing material from her hugely successful recent album, No Boundaries.

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Tamsin Waley-Cohen

Described by the Guardian as a performer of “fearless intensity”, young British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen is one of the ECHO Rising Stars of the 2016/17 season.

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The only British artist selected for the prestigious programme of the European Concert Halls Organisation, she will embark on a major tour to Europe’s foremost concert halls, including Musikverein in Vienna, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Barbican in London and Philharmonie in Cologne. The tour will begin with her return to Birmingham Symphony Hall – the venue that nominated her for the programme. Her recital programme will include a new work by Oliver Knussen, written for Tamsin Waley-Cohen and commissioned by the ECHO Rising Stars programme. One of the Wigmore Hall’s “Emerging Artists” of the 2015/2016 season, she has already performed with major UK orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and this season will see her debut with the Hallé Orchestra, with whom she will perform the Tchaikovsky concerto with Stephen Bell. She will also make her debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko.

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Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is an interpersonal intelligence expert and public speaker. Her behaviour research lab ‘The Science of People’ has been featured in Fast Company, Inc

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Men’s Health, Forbes, and on Fox News. She is a monthly columnist for Entrepreneur; the leading instructor in people skills on Udemy and CreativeLive; and has led training sessions at a number of Fortune 500 companies around the world. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Event Host - Rick Edwards

Rick Edwards

Rick began his career on the standup circuit after graduating with a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University. He now works as a journalist, presenter and screenwriter.

He actively campaigns for youth engagement in politics and voting and, in Summer 2014, delivered a hugely successful TEDx Houses Of Parliament talk offering some solutions to get more young people to vote. His first book, None Of The Above, was subsequently published in March 2015 by Simon & Schuster. In it he describes the basics of the political process in the UK, gives an overview of the issues facing the country, and explains the power of your vote.

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Rick hosts the podcast Science(ish) alongside Dr Michael Brooks which delves in to the science behind popular culture. The series has proved such a hit that the duo have been commissioned to write a book of the same name for publication in Autumn 2017 by Atlantic.

As a broadcaster Rick has most recently made a foray in to the world of quizzing as the host of BBC1’s daytime show !mpossible which aired in January 2017 and will return for an extended second run in May this year. Amongst his other numerous presenting credits are: ITV2’s comedy roast Safeword, BBC Three’s live current affairs debate show Free Speech and Channel 4’s Paralympic Breakfast Show. As a writer his original film Burger Van Champion was commissioned as part of C4’s Coming Up strand in 2013 and was described by the Observer as ‘a remarkable debut’ and by Time Out as ‘funny, touching [and] superbly written’.

He has a monthly column in the Observer Magazine, and contributes regularly to the Evening Standard and Huffington Post. Amongst his other interests are the environment (he is a regular on the Observer Ethical Awards judging panel), mathematics (his mental arithmetic is impeccable), and snooker (highest break: 32).

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