TEDxBrighton 2014: Connectivity, Convergence, Community

It is just two weeks until TEDxBrighton 2014 and tickets are selling fast.

Saturday, 18th October 2014, 5:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:17 pm

It is just two weeks until TEDxBrighton 2014 and tickets are selling fast. The focus this year - the biggest-ever edition of the event - is on themes of community. Organisers have curated an inspiring line-up of speakers, including a frog collaborator, an ethical pioneer, the creator of an iconic detective, and an erotic feminist activist.

And it is all under one roof, on one day, in the concert hall at The Dome on Friday, October 31.

Crime fiction fans will be excited to see best-selling author Peter James explore the formation of his Brighton-based character Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. Also focusing on our city, Megan Leckie co­-founded, with Joe Palmer, BlockBuilders - a project that aims to get children involved in the future of their towns.

Sam Roddick - artist, radical activist, and ethical erotic emporium founder - will take to the stage to share her ideas on ethical business communities. Sam has been actively campaigning from an early age and has tackled issues including feminism, exploitation, human rights, and raunch culture.

Also focusing on new ways of doing business, ethical pioneer Ruth Anslow will talk about how she and her sister, Amy, co-founded hiSbe, a different type of supermarket that is independent and built on ethical and transparent trading practises and sustainable sourcing policies.

The arts are represented by three speakers who will share some unique viewpoints: Ju Row Farr is one of the founders of Blast Theory, renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists' groups using interactive media; CiCi Blumstein is an installation and performance artist, choreographer, artist film-maker, and frog collaborator.

Also confirmed is Fox Fisher, artist, trans activist, gender documenter, and co-founder of My Genderation documentary films, featured in My Transsexual Summer on C4.

TEDxBrighton is happening on Friday, October 31 in the concert hall at The Dome. There are a few tickets remaining, which can be bought by visiting: www.tedxbrighton.com. Twitter: @TEDxBrighton.

Full-price tickets are available for £30, with student discount tickets at £20. TEDxBrighton is also offering discounts of 10% on group bookings of more than 10 people this year.

The Ideas Lab

The Ideas Lab, which is free to attend, will run in the Dome foyer throughout the day and is an interactive soapbox for the very best ground-breaking inventions, designs, and new technologies from the southeast and beyond. Expect to experience a new kind of 3D gaming from Oculus Rift, live eye-tracking analysis from No Pork Pies, and a 360°-view of the Royal Pavilion when it was a war hospital, created by Say Digital. You can also try reading bedtime stories to your kids from anywhere across the globe and help build a giant communal Lego sculpture.

A Community of Makers

Marc Koska, TEDxBrighton curator

This year, I have the exciting challenge of curating a session that delves into the many aspects and people that make up a community, a town, a group.

The sub-theme for the session is "making things", focusing on the connection we seemingly have lost by being consumers and not makers or repairers.

Among the speakers, we have Jacques Peretti - who recently fronted the BBC2 series, 'The Men who Make us Spend!' - and Tom Lywood, the best Truffle Hunter in Britain. He tells me the South Downs are prime hunting areas.

I am also particularly excited about James Otter (Otter Surfboards), who teaches people how to make the most beautiful wooden surfboards in a week, from scratch. You build it. You surf it. I was excited to spend the day with James and hear about all the fascinating transitions that happen leading to customers building what is seemingly an impossible product. For some, it literally changes their lives.

Other speakers include Enrique Ardura, from Axalco bikes, and Ben Edmonds from Blok Knives.

Top Picks

Sam Orams, TEDxBrighton producer

Starting out on a completely new project with no idea of how things are going to pan out is pretty scary. With just two weeks to go, I'm happy to say that all fears have disappeared and we are extremely excited about the tremendous line-up of speakers. With so many in store, it's hard to single out any one person for special attention. That said, here is a selection of the talks I'm most looking forward to.

Have you ever wished you could predict the future? Karl Mattingly is a man who can do just that. Karl is chief executive of slowXchange, a company he created to harvest the wisdom of crowds in order to predict, among other things, the outcome of geo-political events. The results have been scarily accurate and Karl is hoping to make some predictions about the future of Brighton.

Since taking part in My Transsexual Summer 2011, which coincided with the beginning of his medical transition, Fox Fisher's life has changed dramatically. Fox is taking to the TEDxBrighton stage to share his experiences as a leading and very public member of the transgender community.

Anyone who loved the recent series 'The Men Who Made Us Spend' will be looking forward to meeting Jacques Peretti, the writer and presenter, investigative journalist, and broadcaster. His new series, airing in January, tackles inequality: what is really driving it, and why it has been accepted as inevitable?

Sam Roddick is founder of Coco de Mer and a regular contributor to television and radio. Sam was one of the first people I invited to talk as I just knew she would light up the stage with her passion, enthusiasm, and fresh thinking. Sam's the kind of person that you can't help but listen to and admire, so I'm really looking forward to hearing her talk.

I would also like to say a big thanks to everyone who has bought a ticket and shown their support for this completely volunteer run and not for profit event. Every penny we make this year will be re-invested into making next year even bigger and even better. If you haven't bought a ticket yet, hop to it, as they are selling out fast.

Clockwise, from top left: Fox Fisher, Karl Mattingly, Peter James, Sam Roddick, Sam Orams, and Ruth Anslow