TEDx Clapham

So we did our first TEDx talk! We were thrilled to be asked to speak at the TEDx Clapham event which was themed ‘Grow’. Twelve other speakers stepped up with completely different and fascinating insights into the Grow theme; everything from cardiac regeneration techniques, to using physical exercise to boost our brain function. Oh, and pirates. Yes the ‘ooh arrr’ type. 

We headed down to Clapham at the crack of dawn (ok 8am but it was a Sunday so that counts) The TEDx crew were on point making sure the beautiful Clapham Grand was TEDx-ready! Alex Merry founder of TEDx Clapham and all round super coach helped our cofounder, Richard and the other speakers prepare in the run up to the big day. Alex also led the speakers through a relaxation and focusing session on the morning of the talks in the Clapham Grand, which involved lying on the ground holding your own shoe under a massive crystal chandelier, which wasn’t at all surreal. We trusted he knew what he is doing, and it must have worked because every speaker delivered a seamless talk! 

Up first was Sam Conniff Allende cofounder of Livity and author of Be More Pirate. He believes “non-sustainable business is nothing less than war crime”. He gave a pretty outstanding argument on why we should ‘be more pirate’ and challenged the stereotype of pirates as thugs, when they were actually at the forefront of equality in terms of gender, ethnicity, LGBT and even health insurance! I could actually write an entire blog just on pirates alone now thanks to Sam!

Next was Harriet Guinness Jennings an archaeologist whose research lies in Blick Mead in Stone Henge revealed some pretty fascinating reasons why Stone Henge may have been chosen for the site we still see today. She makes you excited about trees and stones and urges us all to take note of our local area.

Then our Richard spoke about the Growing Underground farm. It was fascinating to see him take the audience on a journey through the tunnels’ history, right up to the present day farm and what is still to come, not just on the farm but in the grand scheme of things. He described a future where technology enables a more sustainable world for all which is needed given the need to feed our growing population. He got a fantastic response and was a little bit surrounded afterwards by keen audience members, as I’m sure all the other speakers were too!

Leon Taylor is a Silver Olympic Medalist in diving for GB. He gave a charismatic delivery of how he uses his past experience to promote physical exercise to address our mental health issues. Leon also led a ‘Stress’ workshop in the break energising the whole audience! 

Sam Bunch author of Collecting Conversations interviewed 100 women about the everyday mundane to the meaning of life and death. Her account made us all quite emotional. Sam urges us to listen more; “Stop. Listen. You’ll be amazed what you may hear”.

Dhruv Boruah fascinated us with his bike ride ON the River Thames collecting plastic! He drew concerns of microplastics and what technologies are coming to deal with this.

Aptly as it was Fathers Day, Dr Anna Machin explained in scientific terms why we need to change the conversation on dads, their role in the family unit and why this must involve closing the gender equality pay gap. 

Dr Michela Nodeda gave an insight into cutting edge single cell technologies leading to cardiac regeneration and self repair!

Billie Quinlan cofounder of Leika spoke of how women lack equality not just in the boardroom but also in the bedroom. When asking women to describe a good sexual experience, she repeatedly got the response “one that doesn’t cause too much pain”. Which was extremely sad but unfortunately not surprising.

Che Lingo mc and rapper self professed to arriving unprepared and spoke from the heart. He was saddened by how people of colour are still being profiled in 2018 and gave an emotional performance of words.

Kate Bright, founder of Umbra International explained how her company represents elite female security professionals and how this is relevant in today’s society.

Sara Naim a Syrian born artist explored ‘borders’. She creates micro formation visuals of items such as skin cells to challenge our physical interpretations of boundaries. She asked “If borders do not exist in a cellular scale, can we define border on a macro scale?”.

Finally the troublesome twosome Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman founders of Chosen Bun talked about their new venture Not Meat. They had the audience in stitches as they tracked their quest to find plant based meat products that are not filled with horrible additives and preservatives. But joking aside this quest sounds exciting for both humans and cows, and a bit delicious too! 

Got to say, always a bit anxious when at an event all day whether you’re gonna be hungry but we needn’t have worried. Potage sated our appetites with the most delicious and healthy lunch, also thanks to Swell for the super cool stainless steel water bottles! Awesome day all round, each speaker spoke with passion of their chosen path, we are super proud that our cofounder Richard was one of them. I feel we took away a little bit of each of them and there was a real buzz in the Clapham Grand that Sunday at TEDx Clapham. Right now I’m off to be a pirate…

Click to watch Richard’s talk: How Technology will allow us to Feed Future Cities by Richard Ballard, cofounder Growing Underground