Seven speakers have been announced for TEDxBristol 2019 today (Wednesday 21 August). This first line up announcement comes as full-price tickets go on sale for the event, which will take place at Bristol Old Vic on 17 November.

TEDxBristol Creative Director, Mel Rodrigues, said:

“We’ve had over 300 applications for this year’s TEDxBristol, so there’s been some tough decision making for our volunteer speaker team. We’ve held six workshops across the city over the past few months to be able to mentor and get to know as many candidates as possible, as well as doing a temperature check on what Bristolians really care about in this moment of global upheaval.

We have been bowled over by the sheer quality and ingenuity of ideas that have been pitched to us, and believe that the first seven speakers we’ve chosen represent Bristol’s diverse population and radical approach to creating positive change.”

TEDxBristol 2019 will be split into three sessions under this year’s theme, ‘Reflect: Rethink: Reboot’. The morning session, Reflect, is all about taking a moment of pause to check-in with the world and explore new insights on a range of topics and stories. Speakers include:

  • Linda Geddes, a science journalist and author, who will be reflecting on our pivotal relationship with light, how modern habits have dramatically altered our relationship with the 24-hour cycle of light and dark that we evolved under, and asks, what would happen if we reverted to a more traditional way of living?
  • Stephanie Campbell, an eye specialist and creative technologist, who will be reflecting on A.I and the future of healthcare. The potential for life-saving innovations is huge, but there are also big questions that need answering. How much do we want to know about our future health and, most importantly, how much do we want others to know?
  • Jasper Thompson, Founder of innovative charity Help Bristol’s Homeless, will reflect on practical ways to support homeless people by tackling their need for temporary housing first.

The afternoon session, Rethink, will take a deeper look at the things we need to change, and proposes break-through thinking on what we could do better both individually and as a society. Speakers include:

  • Aisha Thomas, and educator and campaigner, who will be rethinking representation in education and beyond. Her talk challenges us all to consider how our decisions and journeys could inspire the next generation – not just as teachers or mentors, but representatives from diverse backgrounds in all types of professions. Her strap line is simple: #RepresentationMatters.
  • Neciah Dorh is a scientist rethinking bacterial resistance to antibiotics, starting with urinary tract infections! Already, 0.01% of the global population are killed each year by superbugs and it’s expected that by 2050, superbug infections will kill more people than cancer. Neciah’s talk will explore how the unlikely combination of sugar, light and urine could help tip the scales back in our favour.

The evening session, Reboot, is all about moving forward with positive, tangible action. These are stories about the things we can do – both big and small – to kick-start the changes we want to see. Speakers include:

  • Fi Radford is a septuagenarian and an active member of Extinction Rebellion, rebooting what retirement means in the face of climate catastrophe. Fi says. “Retirement is a time to rebel! If you were thinking of taking it easy – think again. Your children and grandchildren need you to join the movement to bring about urgent and far reaching action to combat the threat to their futures that is climate breakdown.”
  • Paul Wiseall is an entrepreneur and ‘digital death’ expert rebooting the way we deal with online immortality in an age of fake news and cyber fraud. Paul’s TEDxBristol talk argues that given the complexity of our online lives we need to plan as much for our digital death as we do our physical one.

The full 15-speaker line up will be announced throughout autumn for the day of live inspirational talks and activities focused on not just surviving, but thriving in uncertain times. Full day, single session, and combination session tickets are now on sale here.

As well as watching the TEDx talks being recorded live, attendees will have access to bespoke workshops, entertainment, spaces for quiet reflection, and ways to share their ideas. This is a ticket to a day of ‘Bristol’s best’: amazing stories, exciting speakers, and a chance to meet and connect with friendly and dynamic people.

For more details about each speaker, please visit https://tedxbristol.com/speakers.