An open letter to journalist Martin Robbins

Hi Martin,

I’ve just come across an article called ‘The Trouble with TED Talks‘ that you wrote for the new statesman a few years back and thought I’d drop you a line. I am the curator of TEDxClapham and we had our first event in January under the theme ‘Creating Change’.

We received some stick from those that thought a TEDx event in Clapham was a step too far; which is probably something to do with the abundance of red chinos and the infamous night life that Clapham is often associated with. On a larger scale, there is talk on the internet that too many licenses are being handed out and that TED/TEDx talks have become diluted.

It took me 18 months and countless rejections to get my license, so while I don’t agree with the initial point, I do think the second one links to your article where you mention that many TED/TEDx talks lack substance. I agree with you to an extent, which is why our event set out to challenge this notion and show Clapham in a more positive light.

Our first talk is now online and thought you might like to see it. To give you some context, the speaker is sending the talk to key decision-makers in several European governments, NATO and Interpol prior to face to face meetings with them over the next few weeks. She is hoping to use the talk to help put serious pressure on them regarding issues in terrorism finance at the moment.

Hopefully it shows that when approached correctly, TED/TEDx talks can be used as an aid to help create positive change on a global scale.

Any comments, suggestions and feedback would be gratefully received. I look forward to hearing from you,


TEDxClapham – Who wants in?

One of the main reasons for writing the ‘TED Talks of Tomorrow‘ article is because I want to run a TEDx event that will make a lasting impact on the community and inspire those all lucky enough to be in the audience.  To be able to persuade just one of those figures to speak at the conference would be impressive.  However, if I can put together the right team, I truly believe we could create one of the best TEDx events that London has ever seen.

So, the journey has begun to create TEDxClapham; after all where better to have the event than the hub of graduate life?   Those that join the team will have the chance to meet with some of London’s future influencers, add several new strings to their bow and be a part of something that’s reach could easily exceed London.  There is no doubt that it’s going to be a journey full of highs and lows, a phenomenal learning experience and most importantly a lot of fun.

There has already been lots of interest, and unfortunately there is a limited number of places available, but in the spirit of TED, the opportunity is open to everyone.  Those wishing to get involved must dream big, have unwavering commitment and relish a challenge. If this is you, fill out the form below and I will be in touch with the next step within a week.

Aimee Bateman – TED Talks of Tomorrow

Aimee Bateman

Aimee plunged herself into the world of careers from the moment she graduated; initially excelling in recruitment and now as the founder of one of the most respected career advisory companies in the UK –  Her simple take on how to do what you love is brilliant; which is probably why she has been inundated with awards over the last 18 months.  Aimee has been on BBC television on several occasions and her careers advice has been featured across the UK’s national press.  She is one to watch out for in the future and she needs to get on that TED stage!

My search for the founders of TEDxClapham is underway – Make sure you click on the link to see how you can become part of the team!

Lucie Green – TED Talks of Tomorrow

Lucie Green banner

As well as being one of the world’s leading experts on solar physics, Lucie is heavily involved in engaging with the public through science making her the perfect choice for any TED event.  She is part of the team preparing for the launch of the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter programme, which is sending a satellite out into space to conduct some pioneering studies on the Sun’s relationship with Earth. Lucie’s not a stranger to the big stage either, having featured on several BBC astronomy programmes.

My search for the founders of TEDxClapham is under way – Make sure you click on the link to see how you can become part of the team!

Guy Watts – TED Talks of Tomorrow

Guy Watts Banner

In 2009, Guy broke two world records as part of the first and fasted pair to row unassisted, land to land, across the Indian Ocean.  On his return, he co-founded the award winning social enterprise Streetscape, which offers long-term unemployed youths apprenticeships in landscape gardening. These achievements resulted in him being selected as one of London 2012’s Olympic torch bearers and deservedly so.  Guy has an incredibly clear vision as to what the future holds for social enterprises and it would certainly be a talk to remember.

My search for the founders of TEDxClapham is under way – Make sure you click on the link to see how you can become part of the team!

Ben Hunt-Davis MBE – TED Talks of Tomorrow

Ben Hunt-Davis banner

It took Ben 9 years of trying before winning his very first international regatta; 15 weeks later, that crew went on to win Gold at the Sydney Olympics.  Now having written a book about his Olympic journey, Ben has become a well established public speaker and performance coach for businesses, schools and future athletes; using the lessons he learned on route to becoming Olympic champion as the foundations for success. His desire for success is contagious and would make his TED talk one to remember.

My search for the founders of TEDxClapham is under way – Make sure you click on the link to see how you can become part of the team!

Karren Brady CBE – TED Talks of Tomorrow

Karren Brady Banner

Known as the ‘First Lady of Football’ Karren firmly established herself in what was a male dominated society and achieved extraordinary success when floating Birmingham City FC in 1997, becoming the youngest Managing Director of a plc in the UK.  She has recovered from a cerebral aneurysm, published 4 books, and is now Lord Sugar’s aid on The Apprentice and Vice-Chairman of West Ham United FC. Where does she fit into TED? Well, she does a huge amount of work championing women in the workplace and I think this is where Karren would add some serious value on stage.

My search for the founders of TEDxClapham is under way – Make sure you click on the link to see how you can become part of the team!