General ramblings, My Make Do and Mend Year

Everyday Radicals and Ideas Worth Spreading

Just this weekend, I was hugely honoured to be asked to talk at the first ever TEDx Bedford.


For those of you who have not come across TED talks before, TED is a not-for-profit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. This is a paragraph from their website:
“It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference on the West Coast each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.”
“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.”
It’s a pretty awesome thing. The likes of Bill Gates, Bono, and Steve Jobs have all done TED talks. Like I said, pretty awesome.

TEDx events are “designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level” and two amazing people, Kayte Judge and Andrew (Chip) Nadin decided they wanted to hold one in Bedford.
The theme they chose for the event was “Everyday Radicals” and here is what the official programme had to say:
“Our theme is ‘Everday Radicals’ and you can expect to hear stories of adhocracy and everyday heroes; About revolutionary ideas both big and small; Of simple actions that provoked big change; Stories of empowerment and agency; Smart ideas from unlikely protagonists and everyday people; Ideas that have the power to transform; Stories with the power to turn our worlds upside down and ideas that call us to action and challenge us.”

There were 16 speakers in total, all from different walks of life, and with different things to say, and each one of them hugely inspirational. Topics ranged from the cutting edge, £30 computer-the Raspberry Pi; through facilitating children in Playing Out in our streets, making ethical Pants, foraging for salad in your back garden, crowd-funding, place-shaking, why schools are failing our children, community ownership, film-making on a budget, anti-architecture, music therapy, and illustrating, hiding money in art galleries, all the way to World Peace. Oh, and there was a little bit of Make Do and Mend thrown in there from a slightly over-awed me!

I still can’t quite believe that I was there, amongst it all, in SUCH esteemed company, and that I was actually up on stage, and people were listening to what I had to say, but I was 🙂 And I managed to do it without falling over, or going bright red, or completely freezing up. It was my first taste of public speaking, and a great place to start. The audience and the other speakers were very kind and hugely positive and they even laughed in the right places. I may regret saying this, but I might even like to do it again!

One of the most brilliant things about the whole day, the whole TEDxBedford experience for me, was that it only happened due to the generosity and wonderfulness of a very dedicated band of volunteers. People willingly gave up their time, equipment and expertise, to help make something truly amazing happen. And happen it did. Incredibly professionally, and without a hitch.

So not only were the speakers inspirational, but each and every person who was involved: Kayte and Andrew for having the vision and the guts and dedication to pull it all off; all the brilliant volunteers; and all the audience members for listening so openly and so warmly, and then engaging so positively.


Kayte and Andrew (Chip) who organised the whole day so efficiently 🙂

To me, what I do feels very Everyday and not at all Radical. And I was very much in awe of the other speakers, and the things that they were doing, the ideas that they were spreading. Just being in a room with that many people who were getting on and making things happen (speakers, volunteers, organisers and audience!) was a huge buzz, and made me want to do more, and do better, and be better.

I am truly honoured to have been asked, and to be given the opportunity to share my vision of a world where we all take individual responsibility for our collective future, and we all think just a bit more about the implications of the choices we make on the health of the planet. Where Making Do and Mending really is Everyday, and not at all Radical.

Thankyou TEDxBedford 🙂

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  • Reply The Year that Was | My Make Do and Mend Year December 31, 2013 at 3:20 pm

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    […] on Twitter, @HeardinLondon. I know she is awesome, and I know she is a lady, because I met her at TEDx Bedford, where she was also talking. About world peace. And little did I know it at the time, but meeting […]

  • Reply Everyday Radicals | My Make Do and Mend Year July 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm

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  • Reply AngelJem July 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Very impressed! Will your talk be available on the Ted channel? I’d love to see what you look like!

    • Reply Jen July 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      You can see my pic on my avatar!
      Not sure if it will make it on to the TED channel, but will post a link as soon as I have one!

  • Reply Zoe @ecothrifty June 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Just saw this – that is so great that you got to be part of a TED talk, really impressive! Those talks are brilliant – well done!

    • Reply Jen June 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Thankyou! Not sure mine was quite up to TED standards-was shaking like a leaf, but thank you!

  • Reply Off track… | My Make Do and Mend Year June 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    […] with 2 trips up to London for the Observer Ethical Awards, and the BritMums BiBs, and speaking at TEDx. To be honest, it’s all been a bit much. Along with everything else that is going on, all the […]

  • Reply Hazel June 21, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Wow! Well done! I’m not at all keen on formal public speaking; talking to that many people is impressive.

    And well done for even being asked- will you remember that next time you’re wondering if you have made any difference?!

    • Reply Jen June 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      I will, thankyou Hazel.

  • Reply msroopaprika June 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Congratulations, public speaking is a great achievement. Will the TEDxBedford talks be online? I love watching TED talks

    • Reply Jen June 20, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      I think they will-will let you know. I agree with you, they are great!

  • Reply kneehighmum June 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Well done! I am so impressed – it’s quite a challenge to get up and speak in front of people (not sure I could do it) but you believe so much in what you’re doing and I’m sure your enthusiasm came across.

    • Reply Jen June 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Thankyou so much. Have never done any public speaking before, so I was pretty scared!

  • Reply nicola baird June 20, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Utter triumph – well done. Nicola

  • Reply nicola baird June 20, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Utter tirumph – well done. Nicola

  • Reply suth2 June 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Congratulations. You are obviously having an impact.

    • Reply Jen June 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Thankyou. I hope so.

  • Reply a field somewhere June 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Congratulations. Sounds like a fantastic thing to be part of. Keep it up, some amazing ideas and people here, really love the Playing Out on especially,

    • Reply Jen June 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Alice from Playing Out was fab. Have added it to my list of things to do..!!

  • Reply Rae Hodgetts June 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    How fantastic! I’ve been truly inspired by movements such as TED and Action for Happiness and individual blogs such as yours and A Girl Called Jack. Since taking time out of work due to poor health I’ve discovered that there is so much positivity out there. And I want to be a part of that somehow.

    • Reply Jen June 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      There is a huge amount of positivity as you say. Tap away!

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