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Our event is called TEDxStaffordshireUniversity where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxStaffordshireUniversity event, TED Talks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

Speakers will be confirmed following a meeting of the judging panel in February.

Tickets available to the public in April 2024.

2023 Speakers

George Bettany is wearing a black hoodie with the Sanctus logo, and a cream cap. He is standing in front of photo gallery wall.

George Bettany

George is the co-founder of mental health company Sanctus.

“I grew up playing football at Derby County FC, which was my life from 13 to 19. From there, I went to uni and started my entrepreneurial journey, starting several ‘businesses’ and eventually dropping out to run one company.

“The journey of running that company, and ultimately failing and struggling with my mental health as a result, then led me to starting Sanctus. A mental health company that I have run for the past six years and which now supports 1,000 people.

“Since the pandemic, I have returned to Staffordshire and started running. I have run four marathons and have also started a run club that is more focused on spiritual enlightenment than who goes fastest and furthest. MARA Run Club has grown to 150 members in the past year – and keeps growing.”

Keith Brymer-Jones sits at a potters wheel sculpting clay. He is wearing a black t-shirt and navy blue overalls.

Keith Brymer Jones

Keith is a potter and TV presenter.

“Discovering clay was like an epiphany, an instant connection with this natural material that humankind has been using for thousands of years.

“I’ve been making for over 40 years. Sitting at my wheel and throwing pots. I would go as far as to say my brain has been trained to literally think the moment I sit down to make – in my case, throw.

“The cognitive experience has not only enabled me to know the material well, but it has also shown me how to overcome problems within the making process. This ‘grown development’ has then transcended into many other areas of my life.”

Associate Professor Anna Francis

Anna is an artist and director of community-led organisation The Portland Inn Project.

“We’ve proposed a disused pub as a community space and social enterprise, testing the role of culture and creativity in community development settings. The project has received national recognition, via shortlisting for the RIBA Macewen Award, and we were one of the winners of the Whitegold International Ceramics Prize 2020.

“During 2021 and 2022, we’ve been working alongside residents to write a 100-year plan. Across arts and community sectors, the way that activity and development is funded is often in short-term, project-based works. It is widely acknowledged this can lead to a lack of opportunity to plan long-term, and often results in a lack of resource and opportunity to make lasting change.

“For a community to embark on putting together a 100-year plan, each smaller, short-term project can be viewed as part of a wider landscape plan.”

Sophie Jackman is wearing a red and black hair clip and black glasses. She has dark hair and is smiling to the camera in a garden.

Sophie Jackman

Sophie is an Animation student.

“I’m an 18-year-old first-year student, studying animation at Staffordshire University.

“I’ve always loved stories and animation in all its forms, but I like working in stop motion and 2D. Stories are a way to express yourself, share experiences, celebrate our differences and make connections with other people and I want to be part of it. Also, animation is beautiful.

“My talk is on the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in animation and its impact on society’s thinking.”

Josie Morris has short dark hair and is wearing a black shirt. She is sitting in front of a grey backdrop.

Josie Morris MBE

Josie is the owner of Woolcool.

“I am the managing director at Woolcool, a second generation, family business founded in 2009. Designing and manufacturing in the UK, we are leading innovators in the sector, producing insulated packaging using sheep wool, providing a sustainable alternative to polystyrene.

“We have recently diversified our product range into horticulture, with other exciting avenues to explore in the coming months and years. Woolcool achieved B Corp certification in 2020, promoting business as a force for good.

“I’m a massive advocate for creativity, diversity and the development of strong cultures within businesses and championing environmental responsibility and awareness.”

Darren Murinas is delivering a talk at an event. He is standing on stage talking into a microphone. He wears glasses and a check jacket and purple shirt.

Darren Murinas

Darren is a social entrepreneur.

“My background is not typical of a CEO. I was brought up in the care system and, after falling into addiction as an adult, ended up in prison. I had the epiphany that I could use my lived experience to help others.

“Then I was released homeless onto the streets of Stoke-on-Trent, feeling that the aspiration had been shattered. Eventually, I found my way back on my feet through a local housing support organisation and began thinking through how to make my epiphany a reality.

“In 2013, I volunteered to be part of a focus group that was pulled together by a local partnership to apply for National Lottery funding. This was to help people experiencing combinations of homelessness, mental ill health, addiction and offending behaviour. We were successful in securing almost £10m for Stoke-on-Trent over an eight-year period. Our focus developed into an unincorporated community organisation.”

Professor Raheel Nawaz is wearing dark glasses and is sitting at a desk. He has short dark hair and is wearing a grey suit, white shirt and checked tie.

Professor Raheel Nawaz

Raheel is a Staffordshire University Pro Vice-Chancellor, AI researcher and degree apprenticeships expert.

“My talk will explore why being a giver is the most selfish yet the most altruistic strategy.

Why should you choose to be a giver? Giving isn’t simply altruistic – it can also be a selfish act, and a way to materialise our immense potential. Growth Mindset is a systematic approach to understand this; Atomic Habits is a methodology to implement this, and Grit is the differentiator. “The only person you are destined to be is the person you decide to be”.

This talk will explore how personal growth through giving (and in turn, happiness), is systematically achievable.

We often have more influence than we realise and underestimate the impact we have on others. In every interaction, we choose to give, take, or be indifferent.”

Gemma Louise Walsh has short red hair and is wearing a blue shirt and pink lipstick.

Gemma Louise-Walsh

Gemma is a journalist, fiction writer and creative practitioner.

“This talk intends to encompass all I know about the creative process and making ‘art’ badly (along with my research in imposter syndrome). Heartfelt storytelling, real-world experience, and accessible tips, on how to go through the bad of the process to keep creating.

“The talk includes not only personal experience from my own journey with writing and creating ‘badly’, but also how the imposter voice plays into this, and proven methods of how to spot the good that can only come out of the bad.”

Clare Wood has short blonde hair and dark glasses. She is wearing a black shirt and is standing outdoors.

Clare Wood

Clare is Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the British Ceramics Biennial.

“I propose to talk about the civic contribution of arts organisations, drawing upon my role running the British Ceramics Biennial and my wider experience. I aim to include insights from other arts organisations also and incorporate the findings of international research to inform the presentation.

“The talk will be a positive demonstration of the relevance, capability and significance of arts organisations – proposing that there is a compelling reason for everybody to engage with the arts.”