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?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Lancaster­U events


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
In 2016, after seeing an old man searching food from a garbage bin, Claire found FUUDY, a non-profit redistributing surplus food via SmartSharing fridge and social networks to reduce hunger and food waste. Now leading 150 people across universities, industries, and organizations, FUUDY creates a network uniting different perspectives among enterprises, the hungry, and the givers.

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
Emily Spiers is Lecturer in Creative Futures at Lancaster University. She is based at the Institute for Social Futures and the Department of Languages and Cultures. Based on what we know about the challenges and innovations in the literary sector in the UK today, how do we imagine its probable future if we extrapolate from the present post-digital, globalised, yet unevenly distributed creative context? What will the book look like in 2050? Will there still be books? Will it all just be ‘fifty-thousand shades of grey’? And what might a preferable future look like…?

Emmanuel Tsekleves

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 through the use of playfulness and interactive playful objects. After briefly exploring what is play and playfulness, the talk will present the value and opportunities of playfulness for health and wellbeing. This will be followed by several case studies and short videos showcasing playful interventions that encourage healthy behaviours from across the world.

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. Erica has worked with hundreds of people to help them find their ideal career using the Your Life Plan method. Her talk on how to find a career you love, will share the three key tools she knows make the most difference in finding and starting your ideal job.

Harriet Davis

Studied medicine at Lancaster University
I study medicine and I could be described as having a typical Type A personality. Always wanting to achieve, never satisfied with the outcome and therefore striving for more. Being mildly impatient, mostly with myself, and wanting to see perfect results instantly. All these traits have served me well in my chosen career, but they would also be my downfall. If you thought eating disorders were all about vanity and size or shape, you need to hear this. *Spoiler alert*, they’re not. This talk aims to take you into the dark world of eating disorders and the daily battles they present. This is a journey through one woman’s health and decline into Anorexia Nervosa; communicating what she wishes people knew about these invisible illnesses using exerts from personal diaries and pertinent metaphors.

Isabella Ford

Student at Lancaster University studying English Literature, started She Works
I started She Works, a careers website for women, in the summer of 2015 after looking for a resource with advice about internships from different career paths and not finding what I wanted. I figured there would be other women who would benefit from this kind of online resource, so decided to start it myself. My main aim now is to motivate and inspire young women who are unsure of their career path or are anxious about breaking into a male-dominated industry.

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. In this talk he will describe what the world might be like if we could program our physical environments in the same way that we program our computers, and share how research is moving towards the ultimate computer.

Kian Akhavan

Sixth form student at St. Edward’s School
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.

Maja Groff

International lawyer in The Hague, Netherlands
Her main focus is 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. Our lives, families, businesses and other activities are often linked to multiple countries throughout the world, defying even regional boundaries. However, despite this, international law is considered as something remote or unknown to most citizens. This talk will explore what international law has to say about being human in the 21stCentury.

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. Marc will share lessons gleaned from the example of the life of his grandfather who passed from this earthly plane recently after a 92 and a half year journey filled with hard work, sacrifice, pain, joy, mistakes, tears, laughter, victories, precious learnings and, ultimately, simple and complete gratitude.

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. Have you ever dared to look back at what you have done in the past? Do you feel scared to do so? Don’t be! Because your past is your best friend only if you believe you can learn from it and do better in the future. It’s the one thing that plays a major role in reaching your true potential. The experiences that you have had in your past motivate you to keep moving forward and determine your success. Looking back at your experiences can help give you a clear vision for your future. Nadeem R Khan shares his experience of how reflective practice can help you unlock your potential and become the best at what you do.

Prof. Christopher May

Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics Philosophy & Religion
His 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. The Rule of Law has become the common-sense of global politics invoked by most if not all shades of political position and ideology. However while much trumpeted, trying to decide what shared meaning there might be for this popular term is much more difficult. In this talk I discuss this problem but conclude for all its faults, we should accept EP Thompson’s assertion that the Rule of Law is an unalloyed social good.

Samira Kitman

Founder of Muftah-e Honar
Samira set up her own business in 2012, Muftah-e Honar, where she employed 15 of my fellow female artisans. In 2014, against all odds, she won the largest commission of its kind in Afghanistan for the five-star Anjum Hotel in Mecca, worth £175,000. She was voted Afghan businesswoman of the year, has received recognition from Prince Charles and John Kerry. She has since moved to England where she has sought refuge as her high-profile success as an Afghan woman has put her at risk in her home country. She has big plans for Lancaster and passionately believes in the unifying power of art. This will be the focus of her TEDx talk.

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. For several years, he was a governor in a primary school and was disheartened at the way mathematics was taught. Now semi-retired he is able to pursue his love of mathematics. ‘Mathematical computation’: In this talk Simon Allen reviews the recent history in computation that has happened in last fifty years and looks at how it may develop in the future.

Organizing team


Lancaster, United Kingdom


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