All of Birmingham: TEDxBrum Outreach

TEDxBrum was created with the city of Birmingham at its heart and the people of Birmingham firmly in mind. That’s why we named it Brum (not just because Alabama had already claimed TEDxBirmingham..!)

Every year we share TEDxBrum with an incredible audience, and this year we’re excited to be able to invite more people than ever before to join us in experiencing the spark of excitement that comes from engaging with ideas we may never otherwise have encountered. Every year, we know there are so many people in Birmingham that we aren’t reaching. There are people from differing backgrounds and different areas who we don’t connect with via our usual channels. There are people who may love being at TEDxBrum, but simply never make it there, for so many reasons.

Our work so far has taught us that simply providing discounted scholarship tickets isn’t enough to create an audience that is reflective of our city. This year, we’re excited to build a programme to reach out to those we haven’t yet brought in on the journey. We’re investing time and energy into crafting a co-ordinated community programme that starts making connections from the beginning, and whose ideas and intentions shape and permeate the spirit of this year's TEDxBrum.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if an elderly Indian lady unlocked a treasure trove of talks in Hindi language that she had never known existed? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if a young QTIPOC found Suriya Aisha’s talk from last year’s TEDxBrum, and realised they weren’t alone? Wouldn’t it be remarkable if we could use this opportunity to bring TED to completely new audiences, and maybe spark that excitement and motivation we may have felt when we first found TED talks?

This year, TEDxBrum is about sharing perspectives. Yes, our speakers will help us explore and embrace their perspectives and different schools of thought, but to really start a conversation and truly relate to each other we need to gather the widest range of perspectives to hear what everyone has to say.

As Devita Davison taught us last year: nothing about us, without us, is for us. 

If we want to be a TEDx for Birmingham, it has to be with Birmingham. All of Birmingham.


So, what’s the plan? Over the next few months we will be building an Outreach Team who will work to engage with as many community groups and schools as possible. We will deliver a programme of workshops and presentations that explore the theme of perspectives and shine a light on ideas worth spreading. But we need your help to do this.

Could we work with you in your school or community?
Do you know an amazing group that haven't engaged with TEDxBrum before?

Nominate a community group or school here.

Would you like to deliver a presentation or facilitate a workshop?

We’d love to hear from you! You don’t need any prior experience: all you need is bags of enthusiasm, and the ability to share it. We also ask that you can commit to attending one training session on either Thursday 10th August or Thursday 17th August at 6.30pm - 8.30pm and facilitating at least two workshops or presentations in August and/or September. We’ll do our best to match you with your community groups at a time that works for you both. Training evenings will take place at Impact Hub Birmingham, 58 Oxford Street, Birmingham, B5 5NY.

Sign up to be a Community Champion here.

Want to be involved, but not sure if delivering presentations and workshops are for you? Don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities to get involved, just keep an eye on the website and TEDxBrum's social media channels at @TEDxBrum on twitter and

Anneka Deva & Natalie Howard
TEDxBrum Outreach Team

TEDxBrum 2017 Ticket Launch

TEDxBrum TICKETS 2 dots.jpg

We're very excited to announce that tickets for TEDxBrum 2017 will go on sale from our ticket page on Monday 17 July at 11am. So save the link, join us in oscillating gently with anticipation and get ready to flex those fingers!

Your ticket for TEDxBrum Perspectives will unlock a full day of world class talks and performances, workshops and an incredible body of passionate people to meet and connect with.

All tickets include lunch, tea & coffee and snacks throughout the day to fuel your ideas and those all important conversations. Please get in touch with us at to tell us about any special dietary requirements so we can tailor your experience.

Here’s everything you need to know about this year's ticket types for TEDxBrum - Perspectives:


Get on your marks, as the super earlybird gets the £25 ticket worm! Start warming up those digits now as these tickets are strictly limited, and will get you all the benefits of our standard tickets, just with a cheeky discount for being ahead of the curve.


Once the super earlybird tickets are gone, there’s still chance to be part of the TEDxBrum 2017 story with a £5 discount off full price. We look forward to having your forward-thinking perspective with us on the day.


There’s nothing standard about TEDxBrum, but once the earlybird passes have been snapped up these tickets are your sure fire pass to all that the TEDxBrum has to offer.


This year we will also be doing a whole bunch of activities in an effort to make TEDxBrum more accessible to people in our community who would not ordinarily get the chance to be a part of this experience. This will include a number of discounted tickets. More info about this can be found in our special outreach blog soon.

We can’t wait to welcome you to the day itself on Sunday 15th October, but in the meantime keep your keen eyes out for announcements. Follow us twitter and facebook to stay up to date with the latest news!

Impossible Perspectives - A TEDxBrum Brand Story

Current Perspective: 1am, approx 1 month after TEDxBrum 2017 brand launch.

It was a pleasure to work alongside designer Helen Page for last year's TEDxBrum brand interpreting the #PowerOfUs theme, with myself illustrating colourful pencil portraits of the speakers and performers as part of a big, bright and bold design scheme by Helen that mirrored the event's ambition and message.

Taking the TEDxBrum story forward into its next chapter this year has felt like a response to and build upon last year's hope and verve, with perhaps a more complex and nuanced feeling this time; a definite sensation of paradox, of new dreams vs. old habits; of a simultaneous softness and strength. For me this not only reflects the shifts we see in the world, as Immy outlines in this year's Note from the Curator, but also the evolution of my role in the team, and more personally as a creative; perhaps taking a bold leap, gently.


The process began with exploring what perspectives meant to the TEDxBrum team, sharing thoughts, keywords, doodles and quotes to inform and begin to steer the theme content and visual identity. Here are some of the key influencing points and statements from this session that fed into the final brand concept:

Multiple perspectives
Fact / fiction

"Instead of saying no viewpoint is valid or all viewpoints are valid,

we learn more about reality by sharing perspectives." 

Individual, collective

Nuanced, subtlety
Not polarised

"We are unable to change if we cannot find ourselves in a new version of the world."

TEDxBrum Perspectives Concepts-1.jpg

After digesting and exploring all the ideas, I presented two concepts to the team, one of which centred around the idea of impossibility. The letterforms showed multiple perspectives of each letter incorporated together, and would be impossible to build as solid forms, in the same way as M. C. Esher's staircases.

Esher's work features mathematical objects and operations including explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry, perspective, truncated and stellated polyhedra, hyperbolic geometry, tessellations, and impossible objects, and I was interested in the fact that such objects are of interest to psychologists, mathematicians, and artists like Esher, without falling entirely into any one discipline or context.

This notion encapsulated a lot of the team's thinking around bringing disparate ideas and discourses together, and for me this typography very deliberately represents a strong message: that when different perspectives come together they can make what was previously thought to be impossible into a new reality. 

With nods to the isometric blocks of the #PowerOfUs type, I knew it was important to evolve the colour scheme away from such bold primary colours and into a more subtle palette, this also mirroring the group's points around nuance / rejection of polarisation. I'd long been interested in the colour pink, which has a rich history, particularly representative of the importance of perspective in its arbitrary transition from a colour associated with boys to now, largely with girls. "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl." - Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department, 1918.

A light 'blush' shade like this is also commonly associated with skin, but naturally that draws from the dominant narrative around whiteness, something I explored in the multi-toned branding for PMT Festival. The type variants represent our ability to see the same things very differently to one another, an important reminder of how who we are and the experiences we have held shape our view of the world we live in.

All of this thinking feeds into the resulting brand identity for this year's event, and now that the theme and brand are out in the world, it's our job to push, pull and apply it to lots of different contexts, and keep exploring visually and philosophically what the concept means to you, us, and the city we call home.

Louise Byng, TEDxBrum Brand Lead


We'd love to know what you think, so feel free to drop ideas or feedback into the comment box below, or give us a tweet at @TEDxBrum! To find out more about this year's theme, just head over to our main page here.

A Note from the Curator: Immy Kaur

Plot Twist.

In 2016 we launched the #PowerofUs TEDxBrum theme inspired by the idea that we believed there was no ‘us' and 'them’ anymore, sharing ideas of our interconnectedness and how might connect across public, private and civic sectors in order to truly build a city we can be proud of. It was an incredible day that led to an amazing year of activity and more than 750 people attended City Camp events that built on the ideas shared at TEDxBrum.

Despite all of this, it has also been a year where we saw Brexit divide not only the country, but also Birmingham right down the middle with 50.4% voting to Leave (22 of Birmingham’s 40 wards voted to Leave, and 18 to Remain). In the months following the vote, the UK saw a 41% rise in reported hate crimes. Then in November we witnessed the completely unexpected (to many of us), election of Donald Trump, and in just the last few weeks we have seen global terror attacks fill the headlines and our hearts with despair, fear, anger and uncertainty. For many of us - me included - it’s been a difficult and confusing year.

So, what’s next? For a while it felt hard to plan this year’s theme, with all of the hope and excitement that surrounds our TEDxBrum planning every year. It all felt a little overly optimistic and naive, and even disrespectful to the context many of us found ourselves in or heard about from those around us.

One afternoon I was sat listening to Indy Johar talk about ‘FEAR’,  and how it has become a strategic means to divide us all, fear as the heroin of power - addictive, cheap and deeply corrosive of democracy. Fear cannot be crawled away from, it must be audaciously fought - igniting our dreams and hearts to fuel that audacity as an antidote to fear. The dark cloud cleared, and it became more obvious that again TEDxBrum would need to host the space for us to have the difficult conversations we need, as well as the space to dream and a community to build the future with.

Birmingham Hippodrome shared our vision to create the biggest TEDxBrum to date and became the first partner for 2017. A thank you to Fiona Allan and her team who supported us to take the next giant leap for the fifth TEDxBrum. And whilst this venue will be a big jump for us, the theme for 2017 is more of an evolution, incorporating rather than ignoring the difficulties we have faced together along this road.

Last year at TEDxBrum we talked about harnessing the Power of Us to overcome the embedded polarisation of ‘us’ and ‘them’. What the previously mentioned events of the last year have taught us is just how quickly rich, diverse and complex perspectives can be reduced to binary choices. Leave or Remain. Tory or Labour. Pro Trident or anti nuclear war. Viewpoints clashing constantly, whilst neither ‘side’ learns any more about the ‘other’ in our limited debates.

Instead of saying one viewpoint is valid and another is invalid, we learn more about reality by sharing perspectives. Our perspectives affect all of our life experiences. They are the lens through which we see and interpret the world. Perspectives are interchangeable; individual; multiple.

Perspectives and beliefs have been used to divide the human race; to rule us and embolden the leaders for whom power is the most important point of perspective. The false dichotomy created by wars in all guises, whether it’s between religions, countries, or economic models teaches us that we need to stand firm in our views, reject outside influence and be wary of people who hold different viewpoints. 

We think the crucial challenge for society in the 21st Century is how we understand each other, relate to each other, and talk to each other, embracing many perspectives whilst challenging our own to expose new collective spaces where we can build a city to be proud of, together.

It is with great honour and excitement I invite you to join us for TEDxBrum 2017 Perspectives at Birmingham Hippodrome on Sunday 15th October 2017, at a time where these conversation between us all are more important than ever.

Immy Kaur, TEDxBrum Curator

Designing for TEDxBrum 2016

Our colourful 2016 branding was designed by Helen Page, this year's creative head and designer. By day, Helen can be found bringing brands to life over at Birmingham-based brand agency Orb, and it was her job to sculpt the TEDxBrum brand and interpret this year's theme - the #PowerOfUs.

Taking inspiration from bold and brash identities, Helen created a 3D isometric ‘US’ which could be displayed both vertically and horizontally to make it as adaptable as possible. Mustard, satsuma and lime were key background colours, with TED red on yellow being the key combination that quickly became synonymous with the event and helped convey bags of personality; a nod to classic TED with a creative and contemporary twist. Dots, lines, and scratch patterns were also incorporated, creating fun and versatile fillers to the wire frame letters and other graphic elements.

Helen tells us: "Shapes were also a key theme in the moodboards and are a great way to frame written content and showcase images. Three shapes have been introduced; a triangle, a hexagon and a square to create these clusters each using colours and patterns across the whole palette to tie the identity together. This year, the idea of playful illustrations of the line-up was also brought in to keep the TEDxBrum style very unique to the event and to help bring a crafted element to the visual style, breaking up the dramatic sharp edges and patterns." 

Each speaker and performer from this year's line-up was hand drawn by local illustrator Louise Byng using pencil, and the resulting images were used on the TEDxBrum website, across social media and in our printed programme, as well as signed prints of the artwork being presented as part of 'thank you' gift bags to our speakers and performers."It felt really special to be able to create that level of detail, with a lot of recipients sharing how much this and other little touches curated by the team had added to their wider experience of being part of the event", says Byng.

Social media was key to building up the energy around the event, with the line-up being revealed gradually in the weeks leading up to the day itself via twitter and facebook. The written content in these announcements graphics was minimal allowing for the accompanying social media text to flesh out the details, keeping the social media posts simple, shareable and more memorable.

Byng adds: Working with Helen's vibrant colour scheme and incorporating textures into the drawings digitally was a new challenge for me, and I think the combination of hand-rendered marks and digital vectors is what sets these illustrations apart, bringing an entirely new dimension to my work. The announcements were fast-paced and required consistent teamwork between myself and Helen to bring the different elements together and keep things super high quality despite the quick turnaround. The outcome is absolutely a testament to the #PowerOfUs itself, as neither of us could have produced these outcomes by working in silo.

Connect with Helen & Byng on twitter:
@HelenCPage | @ByngSquirrel