TEDx Totnes


Playing the audience: Monday morning brain refresh

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The production of TEDxTotnes is both inspiring and terrifying. I often catch myself wondering about my responsibility to the audience. As a licensee I feel responsible for delivering thought-provoking, controversial and inspiring talks to the TEDxTotnes audience, be they in the room with us or watching it online from Houston, Belfast or Mumbai.

As part of the TEDx community I feel duty bound to not only provide brain food but also brain relaxation and for me this comes in the form of performance, laughter and a moment where I can watch and absorb rather than watch and think.

A wonderful example of this is Bobby McFerrin’s “play – the audience!” TED talk. It’s only 3 minutes long but if I need to reset my brain I watch this. It’s simple, it’s clear and it’s funny and it gives me confidence in the wonders of the human brain.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


The State of the ‘x’: February 2015 and All Time!

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Did you know in February this happened:

  • 208 TEDx events happened around the world
  • 187 cities hosted one or more TEDx event
  • 52 countries hosted one or more TEDx event

Did you know that since TEDx started:

  • 11,770 events have happened around the world
  • 2,639 cities around the world have hosted one or more TEDx event
  • 166 countries have hosted one or more TEDx event

I didn’t, I had an idea but I didn’t know the exact figures.

The state of the ‘X’ inspires me. It inspires me because it means that we are joining in with thinkers from all around the world and offering up our ideas.

We are taking part in a community that is Global as well as local. We have the opportunity to share our ideas with other inspirational thinkers around the world.

There is no doubt, in my mind, that TED and TEDx talks are changing thoughts, motivating, challenging, inspiring and changing the way individuals live, work, act and think.

To be able to bring an event of this kind to Totnes is a privilege and one we don’t take lightly.

In October this year, we will add to the state of the ‘X’ and we aim to do it well.

Start with Happiness, and don’t miss the unicorn

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I really enjoy Shawn Achor talking about happiness. Firstly, there is pleasant simplicity in wishing happiness for everyone. But, there is also reason behind it. If you are happy you are more likely to show success from your actions – because, for example, you are more creative within your profession. And anyway, clearly there are worse places to start from than a position of being happy.

The second reason I like this talk is that Shawn has a really down to earth way of talking about happiness. It is not illusive. It is there for the taking. Happiness is doable. Third, there is a really cool list of things proven to help the brain develop a steady happy state and therefore be more ready to be productive in whatever it does. This list includes some of my already favourite ‘happy-makers’ such as noting gratitude’s and undertaking random acts of kindness.

Lastly, Shawn delivers one of the fastest TED talks on my short-list of favourites. (I prefer a slower speaker to be honest). Partly this pacey delivery is his way, I suspect. Also he has lot to cover in one 12 minute talk – including the humour. Oh yes, the jokes makes you more happy. Making someone laugh whilst talking to them about happiness is like a double chocolate cake – seems excessive but actually very effective! But the jokes are delivered with pace so don’t miss them. Oh and look out for the unicorn. Unicorns make some people really happy…


TEDxTotnes 2015 dates announced

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We are hugely excited to launch the 1st TEDxTotnes.

A creative, inclusive event designed to celebrate our community and devote a day to sharing ideas, marveling at what is around us, questioning what we are doing and joining forces to start a dialogue for a better future.

So what is TEDxTotnes all about?

Each TEDx event has a theme and ours is: In our Hands, as in The Future is in our Hands.

Totnes has a unique and wonderful approach to not only the future but also to the here and now. As a community Totnes has a lot to be proud of and initiatives that originate here are now celebrated and adopted Globally. We should celebrate and be proud of this.

We should also celebrate what is around us. In a very Global world there is a wonderfully rich selection of ideas and initiatives started everyday with the aim of making our world a better place. How can we tap into the richness of the world that surrounds us?

How can we join our local, community-driven focus with the wonders of what is around us on a National and Global level to make the future of Totnesians the best it can be?

And, what can we learn from our past?

TEDxTotnes will celebrate Totnes, celebrate the world we live in and challenge ideas created by all of us.