TEDxWandsworth 2017 – looking back on an incredible day

00Truth & Dare

After a year of hard work – interviewing, organising and attending other TEDx events around the world – the big day was finally here.

On Saturday 25th November 2017, TEDxWandsworth kicked off at South Thames College on Wandsworth High Street for the third year running.

This year’s theme was ‘Truth and dare’, challenging the 16 speakers to talk honestly for 10 minutes about important issues or how daring they’d been in their own life decisions. We heard fascinating stories, emotional documentation and life struggles, along with fearful encounters and funny, happy memories.

These inspirational speeches left the TEDx delegates in various states from shock and disbelief to a sense of being overwhelmed, as well as the urge to laugh and cry tears of joy. You can find the full line up of speakers for TEDxWandsworth 2017 here.

Malav Sanghavi gives his talk at TEDxWandsworth 2017

Malav Sanghavi gives his talk at TEDxWandsworth 2017

Each session included a set from a musical act. Enchanting sounds flooded the auditorium with a powerful, upbeat performance from Melodic Gold, a band that met and continue to study at South Thames College.

In session two, Tom Morley’s vibrant and energetic performance included audience participation; Tom had everyone up on their feet, dancing and singing along to his African drums and chants.

Tom Morley

Tom Morley

After lunch, we were treated to an incredible performance from Rodney Branigan, a singer-songwriter from Amarillo, Texas. He’s been touring his ‘One Man, Two Guitar’ show – and we were over-the-moon to have him perform at TEDxWandsworth 2017.

Khiyo, a London-influenced Bengali band, gave us goose bumps with a haunting performance to open the last session of the day. Another two powerful speeches followed before the event came to a comedic end thanks to Emma Stroud and her mantra: laugh more, lose your inhibitions, #BeMoreBanana.

Emma Stroud

Emma Stroud

TEDxWandsworth finished with a bang. There was wine, beer, soft drinks and a vast amount of snacks, kindly provided by one of this year’s sponsors. As the wine flowed, the speakers – and all those involved with TEDxWandsworth 2017 – were finally able to reflect on an amazing achievement.

Amman and Kay would like to thank all the speakers, sponsors, delegates and, of course, the volunteers who made the event possible.

The TEDxWandsworth team enjoy a well-earned drink

The TEDxWandsworth team enjoy a well-earned drink

Until next year, Wandsworth.

Sign that says your journey starts here

TEDxWandsworth 2017 – How to get here

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Please note: The event has sold out. No tickets will be available to purchase on the day.

Event Information

For those with tickets, please print them out and bring them with you.

Date: Saturday 25th November 2017
Location: South Thames College, London SW18 2PP

Doors open at 8.45am for Registration
Event starts at 10am
Event ends at 6:30pm
Post-event drinks and networking 6:30pm – 8.30pm
There is no cloakroom facility at the college and we strongly recommend not bringing large cases or over-sized bags.

How to get here

We recommend coming by public transport.

By train
Wandsworth Town – 7mins walk
East Putney – 22mins walk
Clapham Junction – 22mins walk, or for bus use the St John’s Hill exit and cross the road to bus stop M

By bus
The college is served by bus routes: 37, 39, 87, 156, 170 and 337.

By car
The nearest car parks are: Southside Shopping Centre, London SW18 4TF and NCP Car Park, Garratt Ln, London SW18 4AU
Both are NCP Car Parks which can be booked in advance:

Audience Pix-min

Here’s what to expect from TEDxWandsworth 2017

00Truth & Dare

TEDxWandsworth 2017 now just days away and excitement is starting to build. Our speakers are putting the finishing touches to their talks and the team is working hard to make the third TEDxWandsworth event one of the best yet. If you are one of the 150 delegates set to join us on Saturday 25th November, here is a sneak peak into what you can expect from the day.

1. Some daring truths

There’s a sense that having a difference of opinion is a bad thing. We’ve lost objectivity of what having a discussion is about. And, in some cases, truth has been suppressed – a minority voice in a maelstrom.

This year’s theme ‘Truth & Dare’ is about getting under the hood of those discussions, which is why we spent considerable effort seeking speakers who have something of true value to say. Our speakers have gone through a marathon process of mining their experiences and framing them against the essence of Truth & Dare, which is why we’re tackling subjects that you hear least about in mainstream media.

But it’s not all tough subjects.

Truth & Dare also looks outwards. We are examining why we travel to the stars; how do we clean the mess around our planet and why design must have a social conscience if we are to make our planet a better place for everyone. We’re looking at how the jobs of tomorrow start with changes we must all make today; why financial education is crucial for children if we are to create a stable society of tomorrow and why food community projects are not just about feeding people, but creating safe spaces where individuals who have been forgotten by society can meet, and break social isolation.

We are bringing new thinking. New Ideas. New Concepts. And presenting a new reality of a future that puts the emphasis on us – Humankind.

2. Four, phenomenal live performances

We are honoured to welcome four, exceptional performers join the line up for the day, each providing their own unique interpretations of ‘Truth & Dare’ through movement, music and lyrics.

We won’t ruin the surprise but expect to watch music played like you’ve never seen it before and to follow your imagination to different cultures, countries and sounds.

3. A dramatic stage

A TEDx stage is an art form. It must present the speakers in the best light, without detracting from their message and remain a thing of beauty in its own right.

For the second year running, stage designer Roberta Volpe has more than met this brief. Our stage for 2017 is skilful and subtle, with a quirky take on this year’s theme. Whether you are a staging aficionado or simply appreciate good design, we can’t wait for you to see it.

4. A chance to join in

We believe that the TEDx audience is as every much a part of the day as the speakers. That means you – and we want to hear your ideas. Between talks, delegates will have the chance to take part in audience engagement activities designed to spark discussion, foster relationships and push you to try something new. The emphasis is very much on fun, and whether it’s giving in to your inner child, road-testing some innovative technology or embracing your own creativity, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

5. A meeting of minds – and new friends

TEDxWandsworth not only brings people together but provides the opportunity to meet people that are every bit as curious as you. Expect to strike up conversations in the lunch queue. Expect to have your opinions affirmed, or gently countered. Expect to walk into a room full of strangers and leave with new friends. Participate as much as you can – don’t be shy. You’ll love your courage for being in a place full of interaction.  Sprinkle a bit of your own truth and dare.

6. A free lunch (turns out there is such a thing…)

Opening one’s mind to ideas can be hungry work. For this reason, all TEDxWandsworth delegates can enjoy a complimentary lunch, as well as snacks and refreshments throughout the day.

7. A tipple or two to round off the day

At the end of the day, all delegates are invited to a relaxed drinks reception where you can meet and mingle with the speakers and celebrate with the TEDxWandsworth team. We will no doubt be reminiscing over a hugley successful and inspiring day, and maybe even raising a glass to TEDxWandsworth 2018.


Article by Rosy Edwards

My mushroom burial suit-min

Wild, Wacky, Wonderful

00Truth & Dare

With TEDxWandsworth 2017 just over two weeks away, we’re getting into the true TED spirit with some of the most unusual, outrageous TED and TEDx talks of all time. From mushroom suits to hand towels and a kitchen sink symphony, get ready to be amazed.

1. The Call to Learn

What’s this talk about? Well it’s hard to say…there’s a chance speaker Clifford Stoll doesn’t know himself. He jumps around the stage a lot, decides on one-sided objects and Mobius loops (no, we’re not sure either) before moving on to his mother’s photo collection, then teaching 13-year olds how to measure the speed of light…

Hard to follow yet extremely entertaining, Stoll is intensely smart and no student of his is likely to forget him; watch this talk and you won’t either.

Watch here


2. Mark Applebaum: The mad scientist of music

This quirky talk is for anyone stuck in a creative rut. Applebaum is a composer who begins his talk by announcing that he is ‘bored with music’ before deconstructing Beethoven, playing a self-constructed instrument (made from doorstops and combs) and showing how he turned his music into visual art.

Funny, engaging and progressive, Applebaum proves that anyone can push beyond the boundaries of creative labels as he seeks to answer the question, ‘But is it music?’

Watch here


3. My mushroom burial suit

The concept of ecological burial may be familiar to TED viewers in 2017 but it was considered very strange when artist Jae Rhim Lee gave her TEDGlobal talk in 2011, and her mushroom suit – referred to by Lee as her ‘ninja pyjamas’ – were even stranger.

In just seven minutes, she describes how ‘in trying to preserve our dead bodies, we deny death, poison the living and further harm the environment’. Lee’s ‘mushroom suit’ might just be the ecological answer the world needs.

Watch here


4. How to use a paper towel

Think you know how to dry your hands? Think again. In this brief but brilliant talk, speaker Joe Smith demonstrates an innovative way of utilising a paper towel that will not only dry your hands but potentially save 571, 230,000 lbs of paper every year.

Watch here


5. Tom Thum: The orchestra in my mouth

Not all TED speakers, well…speak. Tom Thum is a beat boxer who uses the TEDxSydney stage to perform his extraordinary talent.

From a rendition of Michael Jackson’s Billie King to an impersonation of a sitar to a revolutionary ‘TEDx’ remix, this ‘talk’ will make you laugh and leave you in awe.

Watch here


Article by Rosy Edwards