TEDxLeeds

TEDxLeeds

TEDxLeeds happened this week at the Rosebowl in Leeds city centre. Like TEDxLiverpool, the whole event was on a day with plenty of sunshine, Imran Ali had planned a event starting from 5pm – 9pm, as maybe not to interfer with those leaving work or wanting to enjoy the last throws of summer. Anyway, about 120-150 people turned up to enjoy the evening. And enjoy the evening we did.

After the begals and coffee, we entered the lecture theatre with short legroom and the event was under way. A slightly nervous and softly spoken Imran Ali kicked off the event with the talk from Chris Anderson welcoming everyone to TEDx. I wasn't sure if he was actually nervous or conserving his energy for later. The now famous Herb Kim joined the introduction and before you knew it we were into the excellent TEDtalk from Kevin Kelly on next 5000 days of the web.. Although a long talk, it was funny and entertaining enough to keep everyone on track.

TEDxLeeds

The first live talk was the fantastic Dr Norman Lewis, who made the point that all research and development labs are deeply lacking in ambition and innovation. Very hard and cutting stuff but actually he was right. We went to moon 40 years ago but where have we been since? Where's our ambition to truly solve the worlds problems?

TEDxLeeds

After break and a short emoticon TEDtalk video, Charles Cecil talked about rebuilding the relationship with the games buying market. The take away was that a lot of the lessons we'd learned in the web world can and should be applied the world of games and play. After another break and a another good TEDtalk video choice about how design can up the circulation of newspapers.

TEDxLeeds

On came Clive Grinyer on the Democratisation Of Design. A very thought provoking talk and to be honest did get me going at points. There was a section about superstar designers which had me almost spitting blood. Can't stand the idea of superstar designers. This is why I found objectified so ummmm frustrating in parts. But then he talked about design as function and process, and showed a example of a redesigned prison to encourage people not to reoffend. In the end, the point of Clive's talk was all about design being too important for it to be left with designers. Or as he puts it nothing is too small to be designed.

After the event we all headed over to Ha Ha bar for social drinks (thanks Herb and Marrisa). TEDxLeeds had some great speakers and it all went pretty smoothly, good work imran, ntileeds and codeworks. I'm going to miss out on the next two TEDxNorth's (sheffield and Newcastle) due to work on TEDxManchester which is looking to be a big event to end the TEDxNorth 2009 season.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.