A sold-out audience of 300 people and a live stream audience of hundreds more were challenged, inspired and entertained at TEDxTruro on Friday, 27 October. And now thousands more will have the opportunity to enjoy the TEDxTruro talks, as the videos are live on YouTube.
TEDxTruro had the theme ‘Beyond Barriers and talks covered topics as diverse as conservation, robotics, endurance, depression, period poverty and inclusion.
Mandy Reynolds, TEDxTruro curator and co-licensee said: “Our speakers each have an important story to share; from cutting edge research, to the most thought provoking personal experiences. All of our speakers lived up to the TED and TEDx promise of giving the ‘talk of their lives’. I’m excited for their stories to reach an even bigger audience now they are on-line.”
TEDxTruro talks from last year have been viewed by thousands of people around the world, including Victoria Milligan’s talk on the tragic speedboat accident in Padstow that left her disabled and took the lives of her husband and daughter, which has been viewed over 33,000 times.
Award-winning blogger Hayley Goleniowska gave a moving and honest account of the birth of her daughter Natty and how society’s attitudes to Down’s syndrome affected her. An uplifting and inspirational talk, the message was that we have nothing to fear from Down’s syndrome.
Will Coleman, the creator of the award-winning Man Engine, the giant mechanical puppet, which will tour Cornwall again next year talked with raw honesty about what the project cost him personally, both financially and in terms of his mental health.
Mental health was also the theme of Emma Wright’s talk. At her lowest point, Emma promised herself that when she recovered she would share her story to help others suffering from depression.
Will Jackson of Engineered Arts, the Cornish company whose humanoid robots are in demand all over the world, gave a talk which was delivered by RoboThespian, one of the robots he has created. The talk explored the difference between robots and AI, and the role that humanoid robots can play in the future.
The day’s first speakers were Joanna Grace and Chloe Salfield who challenged the audience to think about inclusion and argued that this should be based on gain, not pity.
Susie Green is the CEO of Mermaids, a charity that supports transgender children and young people and their families. She shared the moving story of her daughter Jackie’s transition, highlighting the shocking rates of self harm and suicide among the transgender community.
TEDxTruro featured young speakers for the first time this year. Fifteen-year-old Bimini Love, a pupil at Truro School talked about the issue of period poverty and shared the story of why she started Street Cramps earlier this year, to help homeless women in Cornwall by providing them with sanitary products and other hygiene items. Thirteen year old Max Caddis has dyslexia and created a video about his experiences, which was shown at TEDxTruro.
Dyslexia was also a theme of Shawn Brown’s talk. An inventor and winner of the UK’s young engineer of the year, Shawn’s dyslexia affects his memory and meant he struggled with exams. Shawn’s talk urged educators to embrace neurodiversity, so that we don’t miss out on the next generation of inventors and innovators.
The University of Exeter’s head of conservation and self-confessed ‘turtle hugger’ Professor Brendan Godley has studied sea turtles for most of his career. He enthralled the audience with his passion for these fascinating creatures.
Laura Penhaul was the team leader of the Coxless Crew who set two world records in January 2016, when they undertook an epic nine month unsupported row across the Pacific. Laura discussed resilience, drawing on her own experience, as well as others who have pushed themselves to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Professor Simon Jackson from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry asked the TEDxTruro audience to think about the air we breathe and shared his ground-breaking research decoding the messages cells in our immune system send to barrier cells in our lungs, which could unlock new ways to diagnose and treat disease.
Fred McVittie of Cornish Edible Insects encouraged the audience to relish the sensation of disgust they may feel at the thought of eating insects. Many of the audience took the opportunity to try some crickets and mealworms at lunch time.
TEDxTruro also included performances. Folk singer Kezia enthralled the audience with her haunting folk songs, which are inspired by her upbringing in a Cornish ex-mining town.
TED began in the USA in 1984 and is devoted to ideas worth spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks of 18 minutes or less. Today TED covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. TED has become a viral video phenomenon and global community, with millions of people around the world watching and sharing TED talks online. TEDx events are inspired by TED, but are independent and self-organised.
To view the TEDxTruro 2017 videos go to: