Here at Nice Media, we are massive fans of TED Talks, so on the 31st of October we were really excited to be filming TEDxBrighton for the second year running.

Brighton Dome was buzzing. With all 900 tickets sold, there was a real air of enthusiasm. There were 19 speeches on a full of a range of topics, from truffle hunting to trans activism.

So if you couldn’t make it or want to re-live it, here is Nice Media’s summary report of the event:

Session 1: Reaching Out

The first session was on community and reaching out.

Karl Mattingly
The talks kicked off with Karl Mattingly, an ex-banker who was disillusioned by the financial crisis in 2007, so founded slowXchange, a crowdsourcing platform. Karl explained the surprising accuracy of collective knowledge and passionately emphasised the importance of collaborative work.

Ju Row Farr
The second talk was by Ju Row Farr, a founding members of Blast Theory, who talked about her experiences of travelling the world creating art with Blast Theory.

Stefania Druga
Then Stefania Druga spoke about her work with Afrimakers, an organisation which enables makers in Africa to develop sustainable projects. She then explained how after they travelled around several countries in Africa implementing these projects, they invited the participants to come to Berlin, where they set up a temporary makers’ community.

Deanna Rodger
The first session finished with a talk from Deanna Rodger, a spoken word poet and co founder of two spoken word events, Chill Pill and Come Rhyme With Me. Deanna performed some of her work and advocated the importance of expressing your opinion. (I recommend watching her poem criticising Lily Allen’s ‘Hard out here’ music video, which she discussed at TEDxBrighton).

Session 2: Drawn Together

The second session was on being drawn together.

Peter James
Crime and thriller novelist, Peter James, discussed his experience shadowing officers from Brighton & Hove police department, while researching his books. His talk used some amusing and some harrowing stories from his experiences to explain his high regard for the police force.

Megan Leckie
Megan Leckie, co-founder of BlockBuilders, revealed how they use Minecraft to get groups of children to learn about town planning in their local area, which encourages and involves these kids in working to improve their communities. Interestingly, when she showed the children’s designs to those actually involved in town planning, they were impressed by the ingenuity and were amazed the ideas had come from children aged 9-13.

Ruth Anslow
Ruth Anslow explained that when she used to work with supermarkets, a buyer for a large supermarket chain once excitedly told her how he had discovered that the chicken in their chicken pies was of ‘too high quality’ and by using a cheaper chicken, they could increase their profit margin. Ruth was outraged by this, so along with her sister Amy, founded hiSbe Food, an independent supermarket (near London Road, Brighton) built on ethical and transparent trading practises and sustainable sourcing policies.

Cici Blumstein
The section ended with a talk from the eccentric Cici Blumstein and her alter ego, Agent Amphibian. Dressed in green and donning a frog hat, Cici discussed how many species of frog are facing extinction.

Session 3: The Makers

The third section was hosted by Marc Koska and was a celebration of making things ourselves with our hands (as the theme of this year’s TEDxBrighton was ‘Many Hands’).

Jacques Peretti
Investigative journalist and broadcaster, Jacques Peretti, argued that we need to reconnect with ourselves (and our hands) to reverse the disconnection we face, because we’ve been duped by consumerism.

Benjamin Edmonds
Benjamin Edmonds, founder of Blok Knives, spoke about how stumbling upon a YouTube video about Knife making inspired him to make his own. He now creates high quality knives and has a 14 month waiting list.

Andoitz Telleria
Co-founder of Azalko, Andoitz Telleria, revealed how he was inspired on a trip to India to get into woodcraft. He now makes bespoke wooden bicycles and walking sticks.

EJ Osbourne
EJ Osbourne talked about how she wanted to simplify her life, so she began making her own wooden spoons. She now runs spoon making workshops and claims that as well as teaching how to make spoons, these workshops also inspire attendants to live in the moment and be ok with imperfections.

Tom Lywood
Tom Lywood is one of twelve professional truffle hunters in the UK. He bought his adorable, “sheep like dog” (as he described) on stage and explained how he hunts truffles.

James Otter
James Otter’s love of surfing and frustration with the short life span of his normal surfboards led him to make his own wooden surfboard. He now also runs workshops making them.

Jim Fleeting
Self-proclaimed failed rock star, Jim Fleeting, was a graphic designer but had always wanted to build his own guitars. He is now fulfilling his rock-and-roll dream, and has gone from having no wood work experience, to building guitars by hands.

Session 4: Going Beyond

The final section focused on where we should be going.

Camille Baker
Camille Baker explained how she uses digital and interactive art to find ways of expressing herself, and to help others express themselves. She’d always desired to communicate by telepathy and her work and art are now an extension of this.

Alan Pearce
Alan Pearce discussed how the monitoring of the internet is ruining the freedom it originally gave us. Alan joked we should send an email with the words ‘bomb’, ‘kill’, ‘Obama’ and ‘Thursday’ and see how long it takes the police to arrive. Hopefully, they won’t be coming to Nice Media HQ after publishing this…

Fox Fisher
Fox Fisher gave a personal and deeply moving talk about his own experience of being transgendered and how he is using his experience to further understanding of trans- related issues in his documentaries with My Genderation.

Sam Roddick
Founder of Coco de Mer, Sam Roddick, ended the day dramatically throwing away her notes at the beginning of her talk. Speaking without notes, she told us about how her parents developed their company, The Body Shop, based on ethical values. She encouraged us to all think carefully about where we spend our money, so that we encourage businesses to be more ethical and caring of their employees.

The conference

As a long-time fan of TED Talks, I was very excited to attend my first TEDx event and TEDxBrighton did not disappoint. It was a great day full of enthusiastic speeches on a wide range of topics.

The audience was responsive and energised, adding to the exciting atmosphere. We even managed to get #TEDxBrighton in the top 5 trending hashtags across the UK on twitter!

If you didn’t see the talks or would like to re-watch them – don’t worry! We are already busy editing the footage and will tweet them (@nicemediauk) as soon as they are uploaded to YouTube.

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