TEDxMacclesfieldreturned to Townley Street Chapel on Saturday 5 May once again collating a diverse array of inspiring speakers confronting engaging ideas with energy and insight. The seven short talks interspersed with two musical performances, followedthe true spirit of TED, the international non-profit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.
The sell out event – organised entirely by volunteers benefitted from striking graphic design (Jennifer Maddock), clever animations (Andy Beska) and a fabulous stage set (Anna Riordan) depicting the Macclesfield skyline and green hills beyond.
This years’ event increased the reach by offering a further 100 seats at a special Webcast Lounge at Macclesfield Library, allowing a second audience to watch the talks live-streamed and start their own conversations triggered by the covered topics. All attendees were invited to meet speakers post-event in the Snow Goose Café Bar to make connections and further explore the plethora of topics.
Seven speakers, all with a strong connection to Macclesfield talked passionately about the ideas that drive them:
Barbara Evans, Professor of Public Health at Leeds University explained how her ‘Shit Flow Diagram’ visually simplifies a widespread problem for the world’s poor in a way that kickstarts meaningful solutions
Rachael Ainsworth, Research Associate,Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics argued passionately about how tying career advancement to publishing of data is damaging both science and scientists and urged for a collaborative transparent approach: open science
Alistair Hudson, Director of The Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery explained his controversial mission to disrupt the art market, and upset the elitist dealers, by ensuring art is first and foremost useful
Shelley Metcalfe, Founder, The Digital Life Skills Company asked the audience to recognise their power to shape the digital landscape and halt the spread of online misinformation by employing a few simple tips
Paul Robinshaw, Flour Water Salt,had much of the audience clutching tissues as he shared his slow but passionate journey of setting up an authentic bakery at the heart of a community and how that community has responded with their loyal support
Esther Bird, youth activist revealed the snowball effect that has taken her from schoolgirl to eco-activist in the space of a year and how she believes that if you stand up for what you really believe in, it will encourage others to offer their support
Ailsa Holland, Poet, Activist and Co-creator of @onthisdayshe envisions a time when ‘women’s history’ will be a thing of the past as history will be inclusive, already incorporating the achievements of women from all walks of life
The audience left the elegant surroundings of Townley Street Chapel moved, inspired, uplifted and chatting to new contacts as they shared disbelief, sadness and the whole gamut of emotions provoked by the by originality of the ideas. All speakers werefilmed and the talks will be made available to a global online audience of 10 million subscribers through the TEDx YouTube channel in June.
The event was once again organised by Lynne Jones and Jude D’Souza. Jude commented:
“The success of the inaugural TEDx Macclesfield in 2018 set a pretty daunting benchmark for this year’s event. Could we unearth seven more speakers of the same calibre within Macclesfield, each with equally compelling ideas? Thankfully, we found another wonderfully diverse group of individuals with intriguing but accessible stories and lessons. Our hope is that their talks were not merely interesting but also empowered our audience to consider how they too can make a difference, whether in their careers, their community or the wider world.”
Co-organiser Lynne Jones thanked all those who took part, supported or funded the event, and added “Once again the people of Macclesfield came together to deliver a fantastic event and I hope that the connections made and conversations started will trigger change in our town.’
Each guest was presented with a goody bag (curated by Alice and Chun-Kit Kan) made from re-purposed cereal boxes, oozing with heartfelt tokens and handmade treats from the sponsors and volunteer team.