x = independently organized TED event

Theme: UnmuTED:

This event occurred on
September 19, 2023
Leeds, Leeds
United Kingdom

Our Theme
After years of virtual meetings and social distancing, the phrase "Hi can you hear me, am I still on mute?" has become all too familiar. That is why this year's TEDxUniversityofLeeds event is centered around the theme “UnmuTED:”. We want to explore how to re-discover and find those lost connections.

As a society, from wars to pandemics - we have been tested time and time again. In a world that is constantly changing, it is easy to lose touch with our surroundings and ourselves. It's time to take control; through this event, we'll be exploring how we can rebuild our communities, create meaningful connections, and appreciate the simple pleasures the world has to offer.

From the power of human touch to the importance of listening, our speakers will share their insight and experiences on what it means to be human and have human connections. Our goal is to inspire and empower our audience to take action, connect with each other in meaningful ways, and make a positive impact on the(ir) world. Let's amplify what Leeds has to offer and to show the world that we are here, and we are ready to be heard.

Let's get ready to regain control and get unmuted.

University of Leeds
Woodhouse Ln
Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Anu Shah

Entrepreneur, Investor, Philanthropist and Product Lead
In a quest to find respect and equality, at age of 20, Anu Shah left home with just $30 in her pocket to start her professional journey with a call centre in Mumbai. Through her sheer perseverance and hard work, Anu scaled up the ladder from being a call centre employee to work in M&A, strategy consulting, and private equity across Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and London. Later she went to prestigious Harvard University and dropped out to become a serial entrepreneur with successful exits. She is a fierce advocate for gender equality,a leading philanthropist who donated all proceeds from the sale of her startups to a charity advancing the cause of women empowerment. She is also a UN advisor, patron of American India Foundation, venture capitalist, and an angel investor. She uses her time, capital and expertise to drive impactful change across the world.

Behnaz Elhaminia

Research Fellow at the University of Warwick
Behnaz Elhaminia is a researcher at the forefront of technological innovation and medical research. In the final stages of her PhD journey at the University of Leeds, she displayed a remarkable commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge. With a focus on applying deep learning to medical imaging for cancer treatments, Behnaz's work embodies the intersection of cutting-edge artificial intelligence and life-saving medical advancements. Her passion for AI and emerging technologies is evident in her decision to immerse herself as an AI developer. Throughout her PhD journey, Behnaz has navigated the inevitable highs and lows, culminating in a transformative shift in her perspective on the potential applications of AI technology. As she prepares to embark on a postdoctoral position, her story serves as an inspiring testament to the power of perseverance, curiosity, and adaptation in the face of complex challenges.

Jamie Crummie

Co-Founder and Director of Too Good To Go, Forbes 30 Under 30 (2019)
Jamie Crummie is the Co-Founder and Director of Too Good To Go, he combines his legal background with a passion for change. Meeting like-minded individuals in Copenhagen, he channelled his drive to combat food waste into innovative solutions. This resulted in the creation of Too Good To Go, a transformative app tackling waste and empowering communities. The app has now saved 250 million meals from going to waste, Jamie is a true inspiration and sustainability champion.

Jasdeep Singh Degun

UK-born Sitarist, Composer, and Producer Signed to realworldrec Artist-in-Residence.operanorth
Breaking down cultural boundaries with his extraordinary artistry and new approach to composition, virtuoso sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun brings a new energy and vision to both Indian classical and contemporary music. He's redefining genres and is passionate about exposing music from his heritage to audiences across the globe. He's composed and produced music for various projects involving leading orchestras and contemporary ensembles. Signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World Records, his debut album 'Anomaly,' guided by Nitin Sawhney, features cinematic compositions and has been toured extensively including to prestigious venues like Southbank Centre and De Doelen. Currently Artist-in-Residence at Opera North, Jasdeep's reimagining of Monteverdi’s Orpheus in 2022 garnered immense acclaim and numerous awards.

Joe Ryle

Director of the 4 Day Week Campaign
Joe Ryle is Director of the 4 Day Week Campaign, Media and Comms Lead at the think tank Autonomy, and a former adviser to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and former Labour Party Press Officer.

Kadeena Cox OBE

4 x Paralympic Champion and TV personality
Kadeena Cox, a remarkable athlete and inspiration, has redefined boundaries in the world of sports. Overcoming adversity, she's excelled in both para-cycling and athletics, securing medals on the world stage. Kadeena's resilience and determination make her a beacon of strength, motivating countless individuals to push past challenges. Her journey continues to inspire as she paves the way for inclusivity and achievement in sports

Margaret Korosec

Dean of Online and Digital Education at the University of Leeds
Margaret Korosec is an innovative and strategic leader who brings creativity, intentionality, and a systems perspective to her role as Dean of Online and Digital Education at the University of Leeds, UK. In this position, she is responsible for scaling online and digital education, establishing a design ecosystem to support its growth, and enhancing the digitally-enabled student experience.

Minhaz Abedin

Global Philanthropy Advisor, Arts Patron & Trustee, former United Nations & Agency Founder
Inspiring youth advocate turned global leader. Beginning his journey lobbying Parliament and serving as a Youth MP, Minhaz went on to speak at the United Nations and serve the Royal Family, creating a lasting legacy at an early age. Leading a multi-faceted career of amplifying brands across the globe to leading charities worldwide, Minhaz has reached and impacted millions through his work. With prestigious appointments and a decade of experience, most recently as a patron and trustee of the arts, Minhaz is an influential speaker and a true force for positive change.

Pablo Mendez

Postdoctoral Research Fellow & Les Mills Instructor
Pablo Mendez, a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, embarked on his research career in 2019, specializing in Chemistry. His current focus is Medicinal Chemistry, bridging the disciplines of Medicine, Biology, and Chemistry within the university. Despite his expertise in science, Pablo prefers to share one of his passions: dancing. During his PhD, he discovered that dancing facilitated connections with others, leading him to become a Les Mills Instructor Coach. Today, he is enthusiastic about sharing the vibrant energy of dance with the world.

Rachael O’Connor

Associate Professor, University Academic Lead for Personal Tutoring and LITE Fellow
Rachael O’Connor (she/her) is an Associate Professor in Legal Education, University Academic Lead for Personal Tutoring and a LITE Fellow at the University of Leeds. The focus of Rachael’s scholarship is developing authentic relationships through reverse mentoring. She has won prizes internally and externally for this scholarship and has published many papers related to reverse mentoring. Rachael is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Michael Beverley Innovation Fellow. Rachael is currently undertaking exploring the intersections between co-designed staff/student reverse mentoring and academic personal tutoring. Rachael is also a trustee of legal mental health charity LawCare and is currently undertaking a project in partnership with LawCare, piloting an inclusion and wellbeing focused reverse mentoring scheme in the legal profession. Quote: on a University wide mission to support the creation of lightbulb moments of change

Radhika Borde

Lecturer in Sustainability Transitions and Social Justice
Dr. Radhika Borde is a Lecturer in Sustainability Transitions and Social Justice at the School of Geography, University of Leeds. She is also a steering committee member of an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) specialist group on the Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas and has helped develop a set of IUCN guidelines. She has a PhD from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Radhika has worked as an activist and social entrepreneur in India. Her research is concerned with Indigenous ecological movements, religion and nature conservation, traditional ecological knowledge, public health and waste management. Quote: “The next time a tree drops a raindrop on you, savour the moment for its ordinary enchantment.”

Sam Hillier

Musician and the lead guitarist
A talented musician and the lead guitarist and vocalist of the Leeds based rock band Stone Sister, Sam has embarked on a solo venture. Through this project, he explores new ways to express himself musically, using live loops, guitar solos and heartfelt melodies.

Songsmiths A Cappella

Award-winning A Cappella group from the University of Leeds
We are the Songsmiths, the University of Leeds competitive A Cappella group. We sing a range of songs using only our voices, competing in regular competitions across the UK and frequently performing around Leeds. If you enjoy this performance, make sure to follow us on our socials,@thesongsmiths

Theo Youds

Aerospace Engineering MEng Student and Founder and Director of Leeds University Rocketry Association.
Theo Youds is an Aerospace Engineering graduate from the University of Leeds. Since a young age, Theo has been obsessed with space and when he arrived at the university, he was disappointed to find a lack of hands-on opportunities for aerospace students. Bored from the pandemic and sick of complaining about the problem, Theo founded LURA, the Leeds University Rocketry Association, aged 21. Under Theo’s lead, LURA has gone from an unfunded start-up to an internationally-recognised, award winning organisation developing innovative technologies in the pursuit of the UK altitude record. Over the past two years, the team have built and launched rockets, engines and control systems in multiple countries, and have quickly risen to the top as one of the leading UK student rocketry teams.

Victor Okpala

Spotify Artist & Label Partnerships Manager, West Africa
Today, Victor Okpala functions as Spotify’s artist and label partnerships manager for West Africa. This is a position through which he initiates and executes groundbreaking collaborative opportunities between West Africa’s music key players, and the world’s largest audio streaming service, Spotify. Also a music tech advocate and self-starter, Okpala was recognized by Billboard in 2020 through his work with NABSolute Media, a music-focused comms agency that he founded in 2019, which has now morphed into a self-marketing tool called SpinHeard. In years prior, Victor Okpala was a journalist and music editor at TheNETng, documenting and highlighting the once-surfacing movement of modern African music, that has now grown to become a global mainstay.

Organizing team


Leeds, United Kingdom


Leeds, United Kingdom
  • Alexander Hogan
    Team member
  • Alice Chen
  • Kate Hillier
  • Nivedya Vipin Raj
  • Teng Wang Lee
  • Tushita Sivaroshan