Tag Archives: tedxmanchester

TedxSalford biggest in the UK, don’t you know?

TEDxSalford

A few Sundays ago (10th November 2013), I had the somewhat pleasure of going to TedxSalford.

I say somewhat because although I enjoyed most of the talks, I felt strange about it. Specially after doing the first TedXManchester at the old BBC in Oxford Road. And then speaking at the second one in the cornerhouse.

The whole event is slick and a well polished affair. And thats my problem with it.

TedxSalford as someone said on stage, is bigger than most Ted Conferences! According to wikipedia the Lowry theatre holds 1730.  There were a lot of people maybe at a push 1400  as the lowry theatre wasn’t quite full but the ground floor and circle were packed solid. I got a seat in the private boxes which was lovely. Cheers iMartyn, Simon and Shane.

How did it get so big? I assume its the support from the University of Salford which helps make it possible. Thats not to take anything away from the staff and people involved in the whole operation. But I’m use to Tedx’s showcasing new and local talent rather than collectively getting people flown in from across the world. And with a line up including astronauts again its easy to see why its so popular.

TEDxSalford

Ok hands up I’m bias because having run the first TedxManchester1 with Herb Kim in the BBC Oxford Road, I do feel like we tried to do a number of things including highlight local talent and local concerns. TedxManchester2 was the same, but of course I would say that having the chance to tell my story on stage. I can’t imagine TedxSalford would let me anywhere near the stage. Yes they had a Manchester Utd player but to be fair he was pretty good for being nervous. You can’t help but feel they over stepped the local by having an international foodball player.

Please don’t get me wrong, its nice both TedxManchester and TedxSalford have each found there niche and they don’t overlap. I just think I prefer TedxManchester personally. There is something about genuine and authenticity which seems to be missing. I felt like we went from here’s a massive speaker to here’s another big speaker to yes you guessed it another massive speaker. Thinking Digital has big speakers but Herb balances them with themes to make proceedings a lot less choppy. I’d also look at what Imran does with TedxLeeds and TedxBradford. Well thought out lineup, with a narrative running from one to the other.

Saying all that… The whole event was very well produced except the sheer amount of people made getting lunch and the break out sessions a total nightmare. There were some fantastic speakers…the one which got me was once again Graham Hughes who talked about being the only man to travel to travel into every county by land only.

Other noticeable talks came from Lucy Siegle who talked about the fashion and the incredible waste it generates (one for my sister). Google Glass technical lead Thad Sturner for a great break out session i was able to squeeze into. Poet Lemn Sissay for some great slam poetry on stage. George Smooh for making my brain overload a little. Hetain Patel for his amazing art work and art direction.

Something I mentioned a lot in previous blog posts. Recorded from TedxSanjoseca, Steve Mazan’s look at life and death. Not to be missed…

So as a whole TedxSalford is well worth going to if you want the TED experience (I assume it might be like that, although I’ve never actually been). Just don’t expect anything local like the other regional tedx’s. That can be a good and bad thing depending on what you want or expect. This is a case of bigger isn’t always better…

Inspiring media with Touch

connecting people

If you’ve not seen Touch your missing out. According to Rachel Clarke its already on Sky and not far behind its American showing either.

“Touch” is a preternatural drama where science and spirituality meet in which we are all interconnected. The show follows a group of unrelated characters. One of these is Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland), a widower and a single father who is haunted by an inability to connect to his mute and severely autistic 10-year-old son, Jake. Martin has tried everything he could do in order to reach his son, but at no success. To spend his time, Jake has cast-off cell phones, disassembling them and manipulating the parts. This allows him to see the world in a different way entirely. Martin is visited by social worker Clea Hopkins. She insists on doing an evaluation of the living situation. Clea sees Martin as a man whose life has become dominated by a child he can no longer control.

Touch is seriously great and really seems to fit with inspiring media which is really coming into focus right now.

Last year the film The Tree of Life was released and caused a little stir. Its one of those films you either love or really hate…

Likewise, Touch will be one of those things you either love or hate. A few people have already said they loved the pilot episode but now its going nowhere fast. I can see what they are saying but I’m usually so wrapped up in the episodes it doesn’t bother me. Tim Kring is also the kind of person who tends to come good with well thought out layered narratives.

Or at least I hope…

Touch does (ironically) touch the current zeitgeist of our hyper connected times.

It all fits with my own thoughts… Slide 48 onwards in the TEDx Manchester talk the story of me and a great tune I’ve been loving for a while, the string which binds us by Arnej

Story of Me, the TedxManchester video

Sometimes my slides can seem very odd, theres little information and it tend to be quite difficult if you’ve not heard me talk before. I also don’t tend to write notes but instead use slides as a prompt my memory. I can stand up and talk freestyle without a slides but to be honest if you want me to stay on topic, its best to let me use slides…

Anyway I’m really happy to say, my video of me talking at TedxManchester2 went up today.

Thanks to Nathan Rae for removing the Herb Kim spoiler at the very start (bless his cotton socks or something like that). As I said previously Herb Kim, talked about the experience before I even got a chance to leave my chair and although it was slightly embarrassing having my presentation spoiled beforehand (in a nice way) I almost couldn’t get up because it was incredibly powerful and ever so humbling…

I’m pretty much through-out holding it together but only just. At the end, when Herb comes on, that was it – The whole experience of going through it and coming out well enough to tell the tale got to me… It was amazing to think just under 2 years ago I was dying and there was nothing I could do about it.

There was so much I wanted to fit into the slides including the visit from Josh, Julian Tait, Sheila Thomson, Dave Crossland, Sarah Blow etc. The amazing support I got from my sister, Ross + Carly, Parents and Family. The fact without Billie my mortgage advisor I would have lost my flat for good. I wanted to include stuff about my dreams and the idea of mydreamscape. I wanted to extend the part about my troubles with Ebay and go into serious details about the way I was treated in hospital and the official written apology I later received. I swear there was about another 20mins of things I could have talked about…!

I’ll refer to my thanks you’s after I came out of hospital, because I can never say enough thank you to everyone who was involved and hopefully I’ve inspired people to take a deeper look at their lives and live it to the best of there abilities. As I’ve always said, stop living someone else life, live your own because you are unique and ever so complex on ways which we can not understand.

As Cobb on inception says

I can’t imagine you with all your complexity, all you perfection, all your imperfection.

Later in the presentation it may seem like I went all zen but honestly, it sums up the way I see the world now. I can’t imagine it with all its complexity, all its perfection, all its imperfection.

Once again, hopefully it helped/inspired/reached someone… Don’t forget to share it with friends and family, I certainly will be…

The Story of Me featured on Slideshare

Slideshare feature

I was featured on Slideshare.net today and Dianavcarrico left me a tweet

Hi Ian, just saw your featured slideshare presentation and I hope you’re doing fine right now! Inspiring for sure! *

Great to know its still inspiring people… Can’t wait for the TedXManchester Video, because I’ll certainly be sharing it with my family and friends. I’ve also been asked to maybe do it again at another event, so look out for the same but less tears…

TedXManchester2: The Story of Me

I’m just back from TedXManchester where I gave one of the most fascinating talk of my life.
The story of me came about in a conversation between myself and Herb Kim a while ago. Herb was wondering if I  might want to get involved in TedXManchester2. And somewhere along the line we talked about the possibility of someone from the BBC talking at the upcoming event. Anyway, in a roundabout way, we got around to talking about the possibility of talking about mybrushwithdeath.
I think Herb was very surprised when I said I’d love to do it and we got talking to Isabella from the Cornerhouse about the possibility. I remember that night because it was in Tai Wu and Herb ordered a bottle of Sake, which we never did quite finish :)
The presentation I’ve kept under wraps for a long while because I didn’t want to spoil it in advance and I’m only really known for giving presentations about technology or dating. I did show a couple of people who wasn’t going to be at Tedx, but generally it was a need to know bases.
So it went extremely well. All the comments I’ve seen on Twitter and Tedx chatroom have been pretty positive. Lots of people came up and said lovely things to me afterwards.
I know there was some criticism about being left in the room for 7 days but… remember I have no memory of anything, so it might have been I was actually wondering about but not right in the head, as the bleed was most likely happening from just after the election.
I’m glad I pretty much held it together, although when Herb did the introduction, I almost started to cry as he explained what happened from his point of view. As I took the steps, I thought there is no way I’m going to hold it together long enough, but I did – just… By my eyes, I hit the 18min mark almost dead on, which is great because that’s how long its taken when I did my test runs both times.
It was fantastic to tell my story on the scale of TedxManchester, and I really thank everyone for listening to my story, there is so much I cut out of the slides to make it fit including the problems I had in Hope Hospital (which I got a official written sorry for), the story of how my sister and mortgage adviser (Billie) saved my flat, the reaction to being told who won the general election and the whole mydreamscape idea.

I don’t think I will need to ever tell the story again… I’m coming up to my 2nd year since the brush with death, and I’m feeling great (although very tired right now). I was going to add to the end of my presentation, the story continues…

I just know someone/some people out there was inspired by such a personal story and if that helps, my job was done.

Updated…

Of course I didn’t say anything about the other speakers at TedXManchester…

TedXManchester 2012

Mary Anne Hobbs gave a fantastic talk with no slides and no real prompt, amazing stuff. Its actually funny because I felt like her talk fitted really well with my own although we were hours apart. Passion is infectious…

Tara Shears really made particle physics sound quite simple and Tom Bloxham was quite likeable in what he was saying. I had a little chat with him about the New Islington area before the event started and he wasn’t as defensive about it as I thought it would be. Maybe he hears it all the time. Martins 12min talk asking why there isn’t a startup hub in Manchester was interesting and got me thinking about my plans for Smlworld.

Dan O’Hara

Dan O’Hara and Brendan Dawes were great as you’d expect… But a massive shout must go to Herb & Isabella for putting the whole thing together and picking such great speakers to talk…

Isabella

Don’t waste your life, living someone else’s life

Its rare, very rare that Tim Dobson will tweet something at me which is actually worthy of blogging about. Love the guy, he saved my life… :) But he doesn’t half send some crap my way…

Anyway this time he send a very touching video which is about a engineer who goes speed dating. Unlike the usual crap you get about speed dating, this one is much more measured and the overall moral is something which directly ties to my story of me talk at TedXManchester yesterday.

On slide 56, I quote Steve Jobs from his Stanford university speech

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…

And with this deep in the way I do things since mybrushwithdeath, I will be going on this dating show and not acting any differently than my usual self (yes I’ll even be wearing a black shirt)

It may not make great TV but it will be honestly me. No playing up for the camera, no bull, just me. Actually I keep thinking with the current crop of suggestions that online dating is a bit poo, maybe is the perfect time for my lifestreaming dating idea. Bring a bit of honesty and trust to online dating, rather than projecting an ideal image of yourself…?

Now if I could only get Tim to send less crap and more signal…

Talking at TEDxManchester

Geekdinners with Dave Shea

I’m humbled to announce I’ve been asked to talk at TedXManchester

The first TEDxManchester took place in 2009 at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road. We took over the historic Studio 7 and converted the BBC Philharmonic’s rehearsal space into a conference venue and created what was then Europe’s largest ever TEDx event.

This year we’re collaborating with our friends at Cornerhouse to bring you the long overdue second edition of TEDxManchester. We hope you find it a stimulating day of full of inspiring ideas, new connections and a lot of enjoyment. We look forward to hosting the growing community of Manchester TEDsters soon.

Its been 3 years since TEDxManchester at BBC Oxford Road which I masterminded. I did wonder why there hasn’t been another TEDxManchester since? Maybe because we really hit a high on the last one? Who knows?

Well the Cornerhouse has picked up the baton and seem to have a great line up of diverse speakers. Unfortunately its already sold out, so either you got a ticket or not. If you have then good on you and look forward to a very different kind of talk than I usually give.

I posted a slide above which might give you an idea (or not) of what I’m going to talk about. I’m pretty proud of my talk and hopefully it will really connect with people.

Chrissy Hammond said this on twitter which really humbled me…

Well last time I heard you speak it was riveting and your enthusiasm was infectious. I can’t believe this would be otherwise.

A collection of good talks from the BBC

I got to point to a few good presentations I seen recently from my managers.

The quality of the presentations have certainly got much better in recent times. Its also worth pointing out that Matthew Postgate will be giving a talk at Thinking Digital this year. And of course Matthew is well known to many from his presentation at TedXManchester.