As we grow as an organisation, we are becoming increasingly keen to achieve two things alongside our core commercial goals:
- To make a valuable contribution to the local community in which we work and live
- To use our collective skillset to support other organisations that share our values and ideals
In addition to the financial support we were keen to offer, Thomas Prince (Founder/Director) also volunteered to become a committee member, and he is now primarily responsible for organising key partnerships for TEDx.
The first TEDx Kingston Upon Thames event ran towards the end of last year, welcoming around 100 delegates (the maximum number allowed for an inaugural event) as well as a full roster of fantastic speakers.
Following this success, plans have been made for a bigger and better event in 2017/18. Nick has already flown over to the States to see first-hand what makes the main TED event in New York so special, and the committee has set its sights on delivering one of the largest and most successful TEDx events in the country.
Come February, the Rose Theatre will host an estimated 800 delegates for TEDx Kingston Upon Thames 2018, with the preliminary speaker line-up promising some truly inspirational talks. Until then, the TEDx team are kept busy organising the preceding TEDx Salons: shorter, smaller-scale events that host between 30 and 50 people in a Q&A format. We held the first of four events last weekend at Raven’s Ait – a unique venue in the middle of the River Thames.
So what have we learned from this experience?
First and foremost, we are reminded of the power of a shared goal or common purpose. An enthusiastic group of people sharing a vision is a very compelling force indeed. From very humble beginnings, our local TEDx committee is rapidly gathering momentum as it progressed from successful event to successful event.
Secondly, we have gained a new way to engage with the local area and the main inspiring people that call it ‘home’. When we put out a call for speakers and contributors, we were absolutely flooded with recommendations of people who had fantastic stories to share. We discovered in these previously unheard stories an incredible diversity. Some of the stories were sobering, others optimistic and reaffirming, several were hilarious, but all of them came from local people within a few miles of our new office.
We’re excited to see our involvement with this fantastic organisation continue and can’t wait for February.
If you’re interested in attending one of the remaining TEDx Salon events, or the flagship event in February, you can find all the details here.