What's In The Bag?


It's the day after TEDx and all through the hub, things are still stirring, like coffee in a mug. A huge thank you everyone who joined us yesterday - from sponsors to the speakers, press to performers, the live streamers to the auditorium screamers. A huge part of the day for us is doing our humble best to make you all feel amazing, down to little details, and showing the best of what Birmingham is made of or could create. How we look after our line-up is no exception, and this year our goodie bags for them were bursting with treats from some of the best independent makers we know, as a huge thank you for sharing their ideas with us. Here's a little bit about what was in the bag, as a big up to the generosity of these partners and friends.

A huge thank you to the following people and organisations for our gifted speaker swag:

Area Culture Guide A/W 2017.
Au Contraire Ma Mere print.
A stress ball brain from Aston University.
Bag of Quarter Horse Coffee.
Foiled Beautiful Birmingham print by Deborah Panesar.
Print of customised #Perspectives speaker graphic.
Kombucha Tea and wooden keyring from The Happy Gut Hut.
Welcome To The Pride postcards from Winter & Rain.
383 booklet.
STIR magazine.
Brum Squared flyer.
Pleasure is a Weapon flyer from Grand Union.
TEDxSkoll Truth zine.
Brum Kong Gift Box by Frilly Industries.
Presentation Now by Andrew Lightheart.

Mad love for the following brands and folks who made our performer bags super special:

Pleasure is a Weapon flyer from Grand Union.
Lumi HD vinyl record.
Brum Squared flyer.
Bag of Quarter Horse Coffee.
Print of customised #Perspectives performer graphic.
TEDxSkoll Truth zine.
Flatpack Film Festival tote bag.
Area Culture Guide A/W 2017.
Overhear project flyers.
Welcome To The Pride postcards from Winter & Rain.
Fused Magazine.
Birmingham Hippodrome pen.

Photography by Thom Bartley.

Discover on the Day: Perspectives Parlour

A3P Perspectives Parlour.jpg

The day is here, and we couldn't be more excited to welcome you to Birmingham Hippodrome this morning! So, you may think you've got your head around the programme for the day, but little do you know we're packing a lot more to shake a #perspectives stick at than all the magic we have been crafting for the stage itself. In this blog, visual curator Alison Baskerville takes you under the hood of our #Perspectives Parlour, which we invite you to explore in the breaks and breathers throughout the day. It's a full blown creative takeover of Hippodrome's restaurant on Level 2, and you can even still have your lunch in there. Winning.

Last year I watched with awe as a team of motivated people whipped up an enormous level of energy and organised TEDxBrum 2016 - Power of Us. As a newcomer to the city I was intrigued by this event and decided to get a ticket. What followed was a series of talks and moments that left me inspired and blew my mind. As a creative I wanted to channel this into something that had an impact and was part of the framework of supporting creativity in the city. After a few swivels round on the wheelie chair and a gentle nudge from friends, I volunteered to take part on this year's team. As the visual curator I began to gather ideas on how we can bring art into this year’s venue - the huge Birmingham Hippodrome.

During the first venue walk around, my head ran away with ideas of giant installation pieces, exhibitions and all kinds of crazy art ideas. After reminding myself that there were already 32 amazing ideas onstage doing plenty to inspire the crowd we set about looking at interventions that would be fun and easy to access. Here's what we came up with:

TEDxBrum²  |  All Day
One of the early ideas has been based on an idea set up in 2016 called Brum Squared which also featured as as part of City Camp. Tired of photography being exclusive to those with expensive cameras, Brum Squared was created as a democratic citizen-led platform based on creative exploration using the A-Z map of Birmingham. Folk choose a square on the map and captured photographs within it. Simple its creation and wonderful to see in action, TEDxBrum² (TEDxBrum Squared) was born as this felt like a perfect format to apply to this year's theme of #perspectives.

In the lead up to this year's event we’ve hosted a few gatherings to create images as part of TEDxBrum². The first event was made up of a group of international visitors who were in town for a gathering around the Global Jams. With camera phones in hand our jammers set off across Digbeth and captured some great images. Since then we’ve worked with Northfield Arts Forum, BCU and more to bring a wide collection of images which you can see on the day on the screens outside the #Perspectives Parlour up on Level 2.

Connect with Brum Squared at @BrumSquared on instagram, twitter and

Perspectives Zine Library  |  All Day
I’ve been very fortunate in this journey to be surrounded by some brilliant creatives. One of these being Louise Byng and Illustrated Brum, who will bring TEDxBrum's first ever zine library to this year's event. Based on an open call we’ve gathered and catalogued a healthy pile of tiny to large, photocopied to perfect bound, awesome, creative, mind-opening zines. New to this way of independent publishing, I’ve become totally hooked on the zine format and love how we can put literally anything we want into these. It’s been a real joy to watch Byng unwrap and document each piece of art as it appears in the post. I’ve been so impressed with the inspiring poetry, illustration, photography and more found within the pages. We’ve made a special space within the Hippodrome for this, and I really encourage you to take browse of the zines that have been sent in to uncover new perspectives, alternative ideas, personal anecdotes and creative talent.

Say hi to @IllustratedBrum on twitter and follow along with the zine collection at #PZLibrary on instagram.

Awkward Artists Cafe|  2pm - 3pm
Beyond this, I also still wanted artists to be present in the spaces. Over the past 3 years I’ve had the pleasure to meet quite a few and often become engrossed in the work of artists when they are on hand to explain the idea behind their work. Interpretations of a piece vary from person to person, but the idea behind the work from those who create it adds an insightful layer of understanding to the piece and will often lead to new meaning(s). So, we have five wonderful artists in our Awkward Artists Cafe: Kenny Cowle, Laurie Ramsell, Lily Wales, Shaheen Kasmani and Zed Lightheart, and I’m so looking forward to these talented artists sharing ideas with you. What a great way to share lunch and art all in one space?

Makers Alley  |  All Day
Independence and creativity are two very strong themes within my own values and whilst sat in the Bullring one evening with my pals, immersed in ice cream and gal chat we came up with our #Perspectives Makers Alley (thanks Chris from the Hippodrome for the name). It’s great to be able to offer a space for those who have such high quality products. Please bring an extra bag, as you may just want to cram it full of goodies.
Find out more details about our fabulous makers on page 19 of your programme.

All of this creative goodness takes place in our #Perspectives Parlour, and we can't wait to welcome you!

As these ideas began to grow, the time with the team became more energised and the fortnightly meetings turned to weekly and as we entered those final few days we’ve been full steam ahead to bring you a day like no other. These past few weeks have taught me that connections and friendships are key to building ideas. There’s been coffees, cakes, chats at market stalls in Autumn downpours and walks along the canal to bring this all together. I hope you enjoy meeting our artists and exploring the zines as part of a fantastic day.

It’s been a blast putting this together and, speaking as an ex soldier, it’s nice to use the word ‘blast’ in a much more friendly and exciting context. Thanks for reading, and see you there, explorers.

Ali Baskerville
Visual Curator

West Midlands Mayor Opens TEDxBrum


Ever since we were a few people in a coffee shop talking about bringing TEDxBrum to the city, we have regularly talked about what defines an entrepreneurial, innovative city that is democratic, fair, just and where citizens drive it forward. Over the years we have debated this often, building, testing and growing many different versions of TEDxBrum and now Impact Hub Birmingham.

Another example of a platform that serves a similar purpose – and one of biggest inspirations for me is Bristol’s ‘Festival of Ideas’. It's certainly leading the way in the UK in how to create ideas platforms that bring many people together. Every year the Bristol Festival of Ideas opens with the annual 'state of the city' by Bristol’s mayor. This has always been interesting to me. What it says to me, is, we the politicians take this platform seriously, we take these ideas seriously, our citizens seriously and ultimately you can hold us to account, because we are here, in front of you. 

So, it's exciting progress for us, from a few citizens in a coffee shop six years ago, to announce that the first ever Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street will welcome everyone to the biggest ever TEDxBrum at Birmingham Hippodrome this year. It is no exaggeration that without the help of our sponsors TEDxBrum literally couldn’t happen. They don’t make it a little better, they help fund the whole thing. So thank you to the West Midlands Combined Authority for being key partners and sponsors. This is certainly a nod of appreciation to the platform that the citizens of Birmingham have grown, as volunteers for more than six years. 

Let's keep building the spaces where citizens, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, makers, businesses, politicians and many more come together to build the future, with a deep respect for each other's roles in a no doubt extremely complex but exciting future for this amazing city. 



TEDxBrum Important Information

The final pieces of the puzzle are now slotting into place with only a few days to go, speakers are arriving, the excitement is building, and we’re making the final preparations to welcome you, so we thought this might be a good time to fill you in with all the information you need to make the most of TEDxBrum 2017. There will be loads of TEDxBrum Champions throughout the Hippodrome to help you find your way through people, programmes and perspectives, and to keep you fed, hydrated and more. But to get the most out of your day, it might be useful to have a think about what you may need to help you soak up all the energy, ideas and imagination.

Take a deep breath, and get ready to delve into the details. Here goes:


The day will be packed with inspiring talks and performances, broken down into four sessions (with refreshment breaks and lunch in between) to give your brain the time and space to digest everything. We’ll give you a programme on arrival, with a reminder of the timings, so you can see what’s ahead and get to know our amazing line-up.

Please note: sessions will start promptly at the times stated. If you arrive late, you may be asked to wait until the next speaker before entering the auditorium. The running order is subject to change and TEDxBrum cannot be held liable for visitors missing talks or performances. We would strongly advise attending all four sessions in full to make the most of the day.

Dive straight into our programme as soon as you arrive at the Hippodrome, get inspired, and you won’t be late for fear of missing out.



We’re delighted and honoured to welcome this year’s incredible line-up to the TEDxBrum stage. More information about all of our speakers can be found here, and performers here.

final line-up graphic.jpg



TEDxBrum 2017 is at the Birmingham Hippodrome, our biggest venue yet, located at:
Hurst St,
B5 4TB.



Get to the Hippodrome by train, bus or car

There are currently roadworks surrounding Birmingham Hippodrome, and the Birmingham Marathon and Half Marathon will also be taking place on Sunday. If you plan to drive, we suggest that you give yourself a little more journey time than normal and plan your route carefully. Check this link to the Birmingham Marathon road closures to see if it will affect your journey. 

We’d highly recommend travelling by public transport to give you the best chance of arriving on time. Birmingham Hippodrome is a few minutes’ walk from Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Moor Street stations, and is well served by buses.

Keep an eye out for our TEDxBrum guides all over Birmingham City Centre, who will be waiting to help you find your way to Birmingham Hippodrome.



Upon arrival, our fabulous team of TEDxBrum Champions will welcome and register you, and give you all the goodies we have prepared for you, including your programme. All tickets have unreserved seating, but please remember to bring your ticket with you. Registration for TEDxBrum community ticket holders will be the same as it is for standard ticket holders. Whatever ticket you have, our Champions will be on hand to point you in the right direction.

It is Birmingham Hippodrome’s policy to check attendees’ bags once they have registered, and you will need to go through a bag check before entering the foyer, so it’s a good idea to travel light where possible.



As you arrive, we will have tea, coffee and pastries ready to get you fuelled up for the day ahead. Lunch and snacks are provided, and so is plenty of tea and coffee throughout the day. There will be plenty of meat, vegetarian and vegan options available. If you have any other dietary requirements, and haven’t already let us know, we can no longer guarantee that we will be able to accommodate your needs on the day, but we will do our very best. You can get in touch at Lunches for special dietary requirements can be picked up from The Deli Bar on the entrance level.

After a day full of listening to incredible talks, connecting with people, and sharing ideas, we’ll be carrying on the conversation while we unwind in the Bar on the Middle Circle (Floor Three) of the Birmingham Hippodrome. You’re all invited to join us - it’s not far to go!

If you have not provided your special dietary requirements, please contact Birmingham Hippodrome Ticket office immediately.



We aim to make sure you can enjoy the day to the full and get the most out of your TEDxBrum experience. If you have any accessibility requirements, please let us know in advance of the event and we will do our best to support you. Please email us at




Curious about this year’s theme? Check out how we came up with it here. This year’s theme has led to some really incredible extra creative content, as well as the speakers and performers, and we’re really excited to see how this is shaping up. This includes exhibitions and libraries filled with creations from home-grown Brummie talent, as well as contributions from further afield. You still have time to get involved and submit a creative piece; find out how here.

We also encourage you to use the #Perspectives hashtag on social media, and join the conversation leading up to the event, on the day and beyond.



If you’re thinking of spending a night or two in our beautiful city to truly soak up the TEDxBrum vibes, we’re delighted to be partnering with the Hampton By Hilton Broad Street. With free wifi, free breakfast and city centre parking available you’ll be able to relax and reflect on a day full of ideas worth sharing, just a short walk away from the venue. You can book here, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a speaker or two hanging out there in evening!


Got friends or family who can't make it on the day? The whole event will be livestreamed online on the day. The Live stream link is here 


We have a final few tickets available if you have friends or colleagues who haven’t managed to get theirs yet. Spread the word by sharing the link. It will be a day not to be missed!

If you have any questions before the event, please drop us an email at and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Keep an eye on our Twitter @TEDxBrum for the latest updates, as they happen.

We can’t wait to welcome you on Sunday 15th October!

Best wishes,

The TEDxBrum Team

TEDxBrum Community Update

Back in July, we launched our first Community Outreach Programme, and set about making this year’s TEDxBrum for all of Birmingham. Since then, alongside our awesome team of Community Champions, we’ve been out in the city, making connections with the farthest and widest corners of Brum and beyond.

With the first ever TEDxYouth event happening in Birmingham this year, bringing young people along on the journey of TEDxBrum has been a big focus of our work. We’ve been welcomed into schools in Walsall, Bloxwich, Halesowen, Selly Oak, and Birmingham city centre, running assemblies and presentations exploring the theme of perspectives, and getting to know the next generation of Birmingham citizens. So far, we’ve engaged with nearly 1,000 young people, and over the next few weeks we’ll be speaking to even more.

We’ve spoken to young people who believe that Kim Kardashian is a good role model, that school uniform should be banned, and that young people shouldn’t have more of a say in their communities. With a few simple statements, we’ve unearthed an endless spectrum of perspectives; a much truer reflection of reality, and a really exciting beginning to this year’s TEDxBrum.

We’ve loved getting to share our love of 'ideas worth sharing’ with new groups of people.
One Head of Sixth Form we worked with shared with us:

"Until recently many [of our students] had never even left Walsall to go to Birmingham, so it’s been fantastic to see them excited about attending something like TEDxBrum, which they wouldn’t have even known about. There was a real buzz amongst them afterwards - I popped into their form rooms and they were all logged onto the website and watching other TED talks on YouTube.”

But young people are only one side of the story. Last week, we ran a workshop for a community group at Nechells POD at their weekly Place of Welcome gathering. The group included people from all walks of life from the age of 9 months to 70 years. We explored a wide range of stories that have shaped our own lives and perspectives, and shared these with each other. As a result of hearing about TEDxBrum, the group are now looking at holding regular screenings of TED talks in their community centre. We can't wait to send them our favourite TED talks to continue delving into over coming months.

As well as connecting with words we’ve worked alongside our Visual Curator, Ali Baskerville to head up TEDxBrumSquared - a democratic people-led photography platform which uses smartphone photography to create a visual map of the city. There's still chance to submit, so find out more information here.

We’re also excited to be working with Colab Dudley, Northfield Arts Forum, The Springfield Project (based in Sparkhill), UNMUTED, and the Canals and Rivers Trust, and hope to be welcoming many of these groups and more to TEDxBrum on Sunday 15th October.

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us and engaged so far, including our Community Champions. For more information or to express further interest, get in touch with our team directly here.

Anneka Deva & Natalie Howard
TEDxBrum Outreach Team