Posted by: alexswallow | January 26, 2014

My first real life experience of the power of TEDx- #TEDxEastEnd

Recently,  I went to my first ever TEDx event- TEDx East End. Here is my Storify of the event.

I have been a fan of both TED and TEDx for some time and have previously blogged about the amazing TED talk by Dan Pallotta that really changed the way that I look at the world of charity/nonprofits.

I was excited about going to TEDx East End for three main reasons:

1- I wanted to see what an event felt like live and feel the atmosphere in the room

2- I wanted to go to something in the heard of the East End (I used to live a stone’s throw away in Stepney Green) and have been a supporter of the work of UpRising, which is based nearby.

3- I knew that one of the main people behind the event was Maryam Pasha– which gave me high hopes it was going to be good!

Speakers included Sugata Mitra (via a video update), Laura Bates, Peter Tatchell, Dr Brooke Magnanti, Mark Easton, Paul Smyth, Mitu Khandaker, Martin Wright, Leandro Herrero, Mica Nava and the brilliant Chill Pill Poets.

I really enjoyed the day and thought it was such a treat to have other people to go to the trouble of finding and inviting so many inspirational speakers who expanded the minds of the audience- including the audience watching on the live feed.

There was a real buzz in the room and a feeling that we were learning something special together.

My personal highlights included:

– Finding out about the amazing work of Sugata Mitra. We heard about his ‘School in the Cloud’ idea (see the video at the top of this blog), were updated via an exclusive video and then had the opportunity to hear live from Liz Fewings who is a volunteer for one of his projects.

– Hearing about the Everyday Sexism project direct from its Founder Laura Bates. Although I had already heard about the inspiring work they do, it was great (though at times shocking) to have the opportunity to hear from her first hand, and she was an excellent speaker.

– Listening to the positivity about the diversity of London from Mark Easton and Mica Nava. It makes me think just how narrow-minded the media in this country sometimes is.

– Being able to hear some brilliant poetry live to round off the event from the Chill Pill Poets. I hope I have the opportunity to hear them again.

I really liked the interplay between the co-presenters Maryam and Mike Mompi. It kept the atmosphere friendly and I am sure lessened the nerves of the speakers.

I was so impressed with the army of volunteers who made the event run so smoothly and who we gave a big clap to at the end.

There was a very clever Twitter competition going on during the conference to promote the associated hashtag. I was pretty pleased with my 34 RTs for one of mine, though that was some way off the winner!

I came away with my head buzzing with ideas, new things to explore and possible new avenues of collaboration for the future.

Here is Laura Bates of Everyday Sexism speaking at another TEDx event:

The Chill Pill Poets:

Mitu Khandaker

Please look out for the videos from the event which will be available soon and please consider going to/getting involved with a TED or TEDx event yourself. They are only as good as the people who get involved and who support them with time, passion and skills. Luckily at TEDx East End, all three had clearly been invested.


  1. […] course there are so many ways that it is possible for us to expand our minds. I was inspired when I went to my first TEDx event not too long ago. There are so many forward-thinking projects and initiatives which you might […]

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