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