x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Outsiders

This event occurred on
November 9, 2019
11:30am - 7:30pm GMT
(UTC +0hrs)
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
United Kingdom

Let’s go outside. Buck some trends.
Stray from our lanes. Skew our view.
Celebrate the shunned. Embrace the taboo.
Put the names of the written-off up in lights.
They didn’t conform.
They opted for the fringes.
They did it their way.


Who’s in?

The Atrium
Royal Leamington Spa College
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 5JE
United Kingdom
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Leamington­Spa events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Andrew Pain

Domestic Abuse Campaigner
Having lived and worked in El Salvador, Mexico and France, Andrew is now based in the UK where he is running his own leadership development business, which helps people to fulfil their unique potential. He serves people at all levels of society from ex-offenders to sixth form students in schools and colleges, to business leaders in corporate organisations and successful entrepreneurs. Andrew divides his time between his own business and a homelessness prevention charity based in Birmingham, where he is responsible for developing the skills of those furthest from the job market, including people struggling with mental health issues, substance abuse, poverty and social isolation. Andrew’s passion is to see people who are written off by society, to grow in confidence, develop their business skills and secure paid employment. In his spare time, Andrew runs a support group (MenSpace) for men experiencing domestic abuse and is a dad to 5 children.

Ash Palmisciano

Actor + Writer + Presenter
In 2018 Ash landed the ground-breaking role of Matty Barton, the first ever transgender character on ITV’s Emmerdale. This quickly saw him earn Inside Soap‘s 2018 ‘Best Newcomer’ award, he is now one of the Emmerdale’s established regular characters and is delighted to have become a positive role model to others.

Emma Gunn

Forager + Author
Emma is the author of three foraging books published under the title Never Mind the Burdocks. Born in Canada, she came to England when she was 3 then to Singapore from 7-11 years old. Her love of plants started at an early age and, when she was 11, she taught herself about hedgerow medicines, then from 14 she became fascinated by edible plants. Emma trained as a garden designer at Pershore College with Chris Beardshaw as her design lecturer and after graduating she headed to Cornwall to her paternal roots where she joined the Eden Project 21 years ago. Her jobs at Eden have ranged from propagation, draughtsman, guide, skilled horticulturist to seasonal displays supervisor. In her spare time Emma runs foraging walks, talks, masterclasses and forage and feast sessions as well as doing garden design and is a Mum to a bright 4-year old budding forager. Her mission is to educate people in a better understanding of nature, survival and how we can protect nature and ourselves for the future

Felicity Hayward

curve model, social media influencer and activist
Felicity Hayward is a British curve model, social media influencer and activist, who has quickly become one of the most recognised curve models in the fashion industry. As an early pioneer of the plus-size industry in the UK, she became a trailblazer in pushing for change within the fashion industry This experience inspired her digital campaign and body positive movement #selflovebringsbeauty, which promotes self-love, diversity, confidence and acceptance for all.

Foka Wolf

Subversive Street Artist
Subversive street artist Foka Wolf has been pasting their art on the streets for over a decade. Their subject matter ranges from cartoons to celebrities, gory heads to thumbs up, but their most recognisable works are their joke adverts. Foka’s advertising agency has covered subjects including forehead extension and rent-a-curse, tackling both comedy and serious social and political commentary. Their work has been featured in the Metro, Time Out and BBC News, amongst many others.

John Proudlock

Four years ago, John was drawn into a ‘weekend project’ that even today is a long way from anything that could be described as a conclusion. The project was simply to build a primitive drawing machine and write some software to bring it to life. Having done this, he found that the hard part was working out what it should draw. By accident, he found generative art. Today, John continues to explore what can be achieved by generative art, which leads to some impressive results (along with the occasional miss every now and again).

Karl Drage

Renewable Heat Expert
Karl has established a number of leading Renewables businesses in the UK, Europe and the US at the forefront of Smart, Cleantech, Digital, Renewable Heat, with a particular focus on the “Heat as a Service” business model. Over a decade and a half and more than £40m in equity and project finance, he has overseen teams that have installed more than 5,000 Renewable Heat Systems including some of the largest and most innovative renewable heat schemes in the World.

Lee Towersey

Droid Builder & Operator
A long-time member of the R2-D2 Builders Club, his journey from ‘fan’ to ‘film crew’ began at the Star Wars Celebration convention in Essen, Germany where, while showcasing their R2-D2 replicas to fellow fans and members of the public, the builders engaged in a conversation with Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, about their work. A few months later, Lee and fellow fan Oliver Steeples were contacted on Kennedy’s recommendation and they were subsequently hired to develop R2-D2 and other droid props for Star Wars: The Force Awakens as part of the film’s creature effects team. Lee returned for subsequent Star Wars film instalments and has worked as a droid operator on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story and is currently involved with Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. Lee actively exhibits and demonstrates his creations to help encourage the next generation of engineers.

Marianne Power

Journalist + Writer
Marianne is a writer and freelance journalist who lives in London. Her first book, Help Me!, is about her attempt to sort her life out by following the rules of a different self-help book every month for a year. The book has been translated into 25 languages and has been optioned for television.

Nicola Enoch

DS Campaigner
Nicola, recognised as the 2017 Citizen of the Year at Pride of Warwick Awards and Inspirational Person by the Coventry Telegraph, runs the well-respected and highly successful charity, The Ups of Downs. Her journey began on 17 August 2004, the day after her son, Tom, was born and the day on which a Paediatrician shared their ‘concern’ that Tom may have Down Syndrome (DS). Alongside all the brilliant moments she’s had as Tom’s Mum, she’s also been a powerful and relentless advocate in challenging the fear and ignorance that surrounds DS, the need for greater support for the families of young people with DS and ensuring that those young people have every possible opportunity to flourish. Her ultimate goal is for everyone to understand the reality of a life with DS so that a diagnosis need not generate the level of concern and negativity it did for that Paediatrician back in 2004.

Richard Fry

Artist, Writer and Performer
Richard is an artist, writer and performer. He has just performed his 8th solo show, O Starry Night, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to much critical acclaim. Previous shows Bully, Smiler and The Ballad of the Unbeatable Hearts have toured internationally and saw Fry shortlisted for the Amnesty International ‘Freedom of Expression’ Award and the prestigious ‘Peace Trust’ Award in Australia. A feature film of Bully goes into production in America next year. A previous show, Ex Child Genius, is re-emerging as a lo-fi B-movie with Fry in the lead role. It will be his first film role in 10 years after playing a cop hot on the trail of a psychopath schoolgirl alongside Spice Girl, Mel B. Away from performing, Fry runs a successful art publishing company and has built a following designing supercool enamel pin badges.

Rob Lawrie

Aid Worker
Rob made headlines around the world: it was the snap decision he made agreeing to break the law to help rescue a little girl from her squalid suffering and take her to relatives in Leeds. This saw Rob arrested at the British border and charged with human trafficking. Fortunately, when, in January 2016, he appeared in a French court, he was shown leniency by the judge. The media attention generated awareness of plight of child refugees and Rob used this to expose the lack of humanity shown by Governments across Europe to these innocent victims. Today, long after the dust has settled on his individual story, the problems still persist for thousands of child refugees and Rob still works tirelessly on their behalf. In addition to the time spent in camps, Rob fundraises to buy the basic human necessities for the children, lobbies to hold Governments to account, educates young people on the dangers faced by child refugees and highlights what we’re all able to do to help.

Organizing team


Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
  • alan heap
    Team member
  • Chris Baldwin
    Team member
  • Craig Spivey
  • Minnie von Mallinckrodt-Grant
  • Paula Palade