‘ByDesign’ theme an ‘epic win’ for TEDxBedford

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TEDxBedford has been an ‘epic win’ for it’s second year, with thought-provoking lectures on the theme of ‘byDesign’ from local, national and global speakers.

The event was held on 15th November at the South Bank Arts Centre, Bedford College, and as a proud sponsor for the second year running we were really pleased to see a fully attended event with many new faces in the room.

There was an impressive line-up and mix of speakers including: Jonathan Sands OBE, Chairman of Elmwood; Andy Middleton, Director of The TYF Group; Jeremy Lindley, Global Head of Design at Diageo; and Jean-Baptiste Danet, CEO of the Dragon Rouge Group. Their talks looked collectively at how ‘design’ could not only help rejuvenate Britain’s economy and explore more sustainable business models, but also questioned the meaning of beauty and the part it can play in creating businesses that work in harmony with the environment rather than against it.

Others, such as Liz Wright showed us how to use design in our own lives, and that by getting rid of 1000 things, we can both increase happiness and reduce stress levels. Whereas Nixiwaka Yawanawá, from the Yawanawa tribe in the Amazon Rainforest, in full tribal headdress spoke of how the Western design for life is impacting on their way of life and natural environment, and how there are ways that both cultures can learn from each other for mutual benefit.

Other speakers and topics included:

  • Craftivist Sarah Corbett, who uses craft to campaign in a small & beautiful way to raise awareness and engage us in conversation for change.
  • Designer Sarah Hyndman, explained how ‘fonts turn words into stories’ and that how we, as designers, have a responsibility to weald these powerful tools for good.
  • Dr Ayan Panja (GP) explained the unquestionable value of generalist knowledge and the broader view, when the world is running down the rabbit hole of ‘specialisms’.
  • Textile artist Jo Atherton, who asked: “How do we make sense of this plastic obsessed world of ours?”
  • Jewelry designer Arabel Lebrusan, who revealed that to create one gold ring you must create 20 tonnes of toxic waste, and asked if the final outcome was worth it?
  • Jamie Bridge, of the International Drug Policy Consortium, described that how with a small change in the design of distributing naloxone, 1000s of opiate-related deaths could be saved every year around the world.
  • Dr Wesley Randle, CEO of Tacit Fusion, urged us all to ‘mutate’ our thinking with bottom-up approach for those ‘epic wins’.
  • Mr ‘X’ Stitch, AKA Jamie Chalmers, talked about how cross-stitch can be an important craft that enables self-discipline and well-being.
  • Dr Maria Kukhavera, talked about the link between resilience and vulnerability, and suggested we could fuel and manage our resilience by making sure we balance any ‘bad’ experiences with ‘good’ ones.

The inspiration will live on in how we evolve and utilise these learnings for better effect in both our personal and professional lives.

Stephen Judge, our Strategic Development Director and TEDxBedford co-organiser, says: 

“All in all an enormous day was had and the event will live on in continued conversation and debate with, and between, all those who attended. We were delighted to support the event and join the rest of the TEDxBedford team in saying a big “thank you” to all the speakers, volunteers and attendees who made such a memorable and inspirational day. Our caps are fully doffed.”

If for whatever reason you missed the day, don’t worry as all the talks were filmed and will be available soon on the TEDx wesite. Details to follow.

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