On Friday 25th October 2018, TEDx is happening in Truro. Operating under licence, TED talks have actually been around since 1984 however this is only the third year that TEDx has been in the Cornish city and Harland Director Deborah Edwards has been fortunate to attend each one so far. Here is her account of why TEDx is an opportunity not to be missed.

I must admit, I did a bit of the hokey cokey / will I / won’t I go this year. As a business woman, anything that takes a whole day of my time, away from clients, my team and importantly, because it’s in half term, my family, has to be pretty good.

Here are my reasons why time spent at TEDx Truro is time well spent:

Grabbing the opportunity to do something different 

The talks are curated under a different theme each year. It’s a bit like going to a restaurant and submitting yourself to the chef, trying ingredients that you would never typically choose on your own. Unlike many seminars, you don’t get to exercise bias over what you attend. Everyone attends everything.  TEDx talkers are experts in their field who have walked the walk and have first hand experience of their subject.  Moreover they have a passion that flows through their veins and with each talk lasting no more than twenty minutes, it’s impossible to drift off and if the subject doesn’t grab you, well, it’s not going to kill you.

Meet people 

Equally, familiarity and comfort is often achieved from behind a screen. TEDx provides a great opportunity for face to face networking and it’s not always the usual suspects that we know and love frequenting the usual circuits. TEDx attracts an audience and participators not just from the business sector but also from the charity & public sector or just interested like-minds from all walks of life and so I’ve made plans to meet acquaintances and share coffee to get to know them better as well as reinforce existing connections and relationships.

What’s more, the TEDx environment provides fodder for great conversation starters with strangers which makes for a less awkward networking experience. No need for “so…. what do you do?” Everyone has something in common from the get go.

Expanding the mind 

It is my opinion that if left to default, we can live in a algorithmic world of same old outcomes, default & familiarity. Attending TEDx for me is all part of a personal program to think differently, be different and to make choices based on knowing that the world is a little bit bigger than the day before. A soupcon, if you like, of insight into the world of space technology or antibiotic resistance and cake baking. Being a big Rogue Theatre fan I’m particularly looking forward to Ollie Oakenshield’s talk which is bound to live up to the “Wonder” theme if their shows are anything to go by.

To be inspired 

To do that, you have to go in with an open mind. ‘They’ say that “small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.” As I write, I have no idea what might grab me and I’m looking forward to being surprised. I also have no idea how any of these talks may influence my professional career, my desire to find out more on a subject or perhaps to get involved in something new and continuing the discussion with my own family around the dinner table on Friday night, maybe igniting that same curiosity in them too.

Whatever the reasons for taking a day out to attend TEDx Truro, I know it will be the right one. The talks are being live streamed for anyone unable to attend too and I look forward to the conversations that follow with anyone who is also privileged to attend after the event.

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