x = independently organized TED event

Theme: (In)Visible Changes

This event occurred on
May 13, 2017
5:00pm - 9:00pm BST
(UTC +1hr)
Lancaster, Lancashire
United Kingdom

During our lifetimes, we often underestimate what we are truly capable of. We think that one person cannot make a big enough difference so we question why one should even try. However, at TEDxLancasterU we want to question this apathetic notion. We want to see how change makers overcome obstacles and how people tap into others' limitless potentialities. We want to show that examples of positive change are possible, and are happening today, even if not usually seen. We want to look into the (in)visible processes influencing our society and pay attention to the peculiar intricacies of our everyday daily lives. We want to find opportunities where others don’t even look at. By asking questions such as ‘who or what has power over us?’ and ‘what powers do we have?’ we hope to embark on a journey to explore what influences us and how can we influence society.

Lancaster University
Bailrigg Campus
Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 4YW
United Kingdom
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

The Sunlight Machine

The Sunlight Machine is an alt-rock/indie/emo/math duo with pretty big drums, low-fi guitars, and vocals that sound like they’ve been dragged through gravel. Cameron Yazdi and Darrell Mayo started ‘The Sunlight Machine’ after melting through band lineups that barely stuck together past 3 covers.

Claire Liang

Founder of FUUDY
Moving to Canada from China alone at the age of 17, Claire Liang is an undergraduate student at York University. Enthusiastic in solving high-impact problems, she worked as a consultant with companies across China and North America. In 2016, after seeing an old man searching food from a garbage bin, Claire found FUUDY, a nonprofit organization aims to combine technology and sharing fridge to redistribute food to people in need. Besides her organization, Claire is working with Dr. Lingxuan Liu at Lancaster University to develop a food sharing model to improve food security and sustainability.

Dr. Emily Cooper

Lecturer in Human Geography and a researcher for UCLan Policing
Emily studied for a BSc (Hons) in Geography at Lancaster University, and remained there to complete her PhD in Human Geography (awarded 2014). The PhD focused on the impacts of living in close proximity to brothels on residential communities in Blackpool. Emily’s research centres on how sex, space and society interact, with a particular focus on sex work in recent studies. She is also engaged in projects relating to female ex-offenders and young people at risk of involvement with serious and organised crime.

Emily Spiers

Lecturer in Creative Futures at Lancaster University
Dr Emily Spiers is Lecturer in Creative Futures at the Institute for Social Futures and the Department of Languages and Cultures, Lancaster University, UK.

Emmanuel Tsekleves

He leads research at the intersection of design, health, wellbeing and technology at the Imagination@Lancaster research lab
Emmanuel, a languages graduate with a PhD in computer engineering has always been fascinated by the transformative power of designing with people rather than for people. He leads research at the intersection of design, health, wellbeing and technology at the Imagination@Lancaster research lab. He conducts research in the design of technology-inspired health interventions and services, which are created by end-users and are aimed at improving the quality of life and wellbeing of people into old age. Emmanuel also researches preventative tools that encourage healthier behaviours using playfulness and interactive playful objects.

Erica Sosna

Professional in the area of leadership and career coaching, accomplished storyteller and performance poet
Erica is a highly experienced professional in the area of leadership and career coaching. An accomplished storyteller and performance poet, she uses her creative communication style to deliver inspirational messages that pack a punch. Erica’s mission in life is to support people to remember, action and celebrate who they really are.

Harriet Davis

Studied medicine at Lancaster University
Harriet Davis grew up in Northern Ireland and moved to Lancaster in 2011 to study medicine. She enjoys playing the piano and knitting. She describes herself as having a typical Type A personality, always wanting to achieve, never satisfied with the outcome and therefore striving for more. These traits, along with slight impatience and the desire to see perfect results instantly have served her well in her carrier. At the same time, however, they would also be her downfall.

Isabella Ford

Student at Lancaster University studying English Literature, started She Works
Originally from Winchester, Hampshire, and currently in her third year at Lancaster University, studying English Literature, Isabella Ford started She Works, a careers website for women. After looking for a resource with advice about internships from different career paths and not finding what she wanted, she realized that other women in the same position would benefit from such an online resource and started it herself. The main aim of the website is to encourage and inspire young women who are unsure of their career path or are anxious about breaking into a male-dominated industry. For more information:

John Hardy

Inventor and computer scientist, runs a start up in Manchester called Hardy & Ellis Inventions LTD
John Hardy is an inventor and computer scientist with a love for building tools that help people explore new and emerging technologies. John graduated in 2014 with a PhD in Digital Innovation from Lancaster University and now runs a start up in Manchester called Hardy & Ellis Inventions LTD where they put the research into practice.

Kian Akhavan

Sixth form student at St. Edward’s School
Kian Akhavan is a sixth form student at St. Edward’s School, Oxford. At age 14, he volunteered to help build a school in rural Kenya, where he noticed far fewer girls than boys attending school. When he told his mother about this, she challenged him to do something about it. At age 16, he established Girls Write the Future, a charity that promotes the importance of equal access to education for girls and boys. Since then, he has raised funds for scholarships and organized a high-profile conference with a Nobel Prize laureate to inspire youth to fight for gender equality in education. Learn more about Kian’s charity at

Maja Groff

International lawyer in The Hague, Netherlands
Maja Groff focuses on international treaty law in the private law area, regularly addressing issues of international human rights law. She conducts liaison work with professional bodies and international organisations and has played a key role in the convening of international legal expert groups and conferences.

Marc Rivers

Divisional head of finance for a multinational company
A dual US-Swiss citizen, Marc Rivers has over 20 years of experience in various finance roles in the pharmaceutical industry in the US, Japan, China and Europe.

Michael Kinder

After periods of drifting in and out of guitar, I’ve been totally fascinated with acoustic expression and song lyrics since my mid-teens. If I were to do a TED talk myself I’ve always said it would be on my captivation with song lyrics, and how there is so much more to them than most people are aware.

Nadeem Khan

Scholar of the MA Human Resources & Consulting program at the Lancaster University Management School, and Founder and CEO of The Intrapreneur – a Management Development Consultancy
Nadeem R Khan has been providing unmatched services to the Learning and Development sector for the past 9 years. Being awarded with a scholarship from the Department of Leadership & Management, his research interests include leadership, performance management and people analytics.

Prof. Christopher May

Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics Philosophy & Religion
Christopher May is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics Philosophy & Religion whose research has spanned intellectual property rights, the information society, technological employment as well as global corporations, global governance and the rule of law. He is currently editing a research handbook on the rule of law and teaches Economics for the Real World a new course for students who are interested in understanding how economics impacts contemporary society. He is author of "The Rule of Law-The common sense of global politics".

Samira Kitman

Founder of Muftah-e Honar
Samira is an artist and entrepreneur who currently lives in Lancaster. She set up an arts foundation, training young and deprived women to become artists back in her home country-Afghanistan. She was voted Afghan businesswoman of the year and has received recognition from Prince Charles and John Kerry due to her achievements. Because of her high-profile success as an Afghan woman which has put her at risk in her home country, she had to seek refuge in England.

Simon Allen

Solicitor specialised in criminal law
Simon Allen LLb studied law at Bristol Polytechnic before qualifying as a solicitor in 1981. He specialised in criminal law. However, as a hobby he pursued recreational mathematics, from his teenage years, following a chance encounter with a long running column in Scientific American by Martin Gardner, which led him on a voyage of discovery of the many areas of mathematics.

Organizing team


Lancaster, United Kingdom


Lancaster, United Kingdom
  • Junaid Iqbal
    Team member
  • Justin Allen
    Team member
  • Nevena Stoyanova
    Post production