Cornwall’s first TEDx event took place on Friday, 9 September and was a resounding success, with inspiring talks on topics from marine conservation, searching for life in space and grief to genetics. The videos are now live on TEDxTruro.com or on YouTube. (Link: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=TEDxTruro or search TEDxTruro)
Inspired by the TED conference, where some of the world’s best thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives, TEDxTruro took place at the Burrell Theatre, Truro in front of an audience of 150.
The theme of the day was ‘Time and Tide’ and the varied speakers had all spent their lives creating change: some through researching and educating; others by facing and rising above adversity.
Mandy Reynolds, TEDxTruro Curator and Licensee, said:
“This gives Cornwall a global platform. TEDxTruro was an inspiring event and we want as many people as possible to have access to these fantastic talks. From prompting us to ask where the fish on our plate comes from and who caught it to challenging us to think about how technology can play a part in managing chronic illnesses, our speakers really did give the talk of their lives.”
The day’s first speaker was Sam Amps, a freediving instructor and former UK team freediver. In a fascinating talk entitled “Under pressure and under control” Falmouth-based Sam explained how the tactics that freedivers use to survive can also help the rest of us make it through when pressure is high and time is tight. View Sam’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLdZj4EoERw.
One of the talks which had the biggest impact was from Victoria Milligan. Overcoming tragedy and making the most of the time you have was the focus of Victoria’s talk. Her life was torn apart in 2013 when she was involved in a speed boat accident in Padstow, which claimed the lives of her husband and eight-year-old daughter. View Victoria’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiZOH_ANTks.
The speakers also included Dr Heather Koldewey from the Zoological Society of London who’s talk “Optimistic Oceans” put the case for a more positive approach to promoting marine conservation. View Heather’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp5Ccer5NM8.
Divorce and separation was the focus for Herve G Wery, who talked about the need to make a parent’s love for their child the priority during family breakdowns. View Herve’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcPKcmPLepg.
Clinical psychologist and software designer Dr Craig Newman looked at the potential for technology to empower patients of chronic illnesses. View Craig’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ56a1g9CbY.
Olivia Lowry, a Cornish writer and performer, talked about the inspiration for her play The Coastguard’s Daughter, which is based on true events which unfolded in and around her family home in Pentewan. She asked the audience to think about the untold stories in their own lives and encouraged them to share those stories. View Olivia’s talk and performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFaQtPw3Va4.
Dr Jess Tyrrell from the University of Exeter asked: “Is life tougher for short men and overweight women?” She used “big data” and genetics to provide the answer. View Jess’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaWxoa-l8cU.
Chris Williams from the New Economics Foundation talked about fishing and the need for fresh thinking to ensure that the industry reaps the greatest benefits for society. He challenged the audience to think about where the fish we eat comes from and who catches it. View Chris’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea1VBCYrURY.
Nathan Mayne, a senior lecturer of astrophysics at the University of Exeter focused on the search for life in distant solar systems and reminded the audience to take care of our own precious planet. View Nathan’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYx-IaOXiug.
Popular sea shanty choir the Aggie Boys closed the event, with a rousing set of songs that fitted perfectly with the event’s theme of ‘Time and Tide’. The Aggie Boy’s performance is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFRtTSz63jA.