TED Talks are a global phenomenon. You’ve probably seen at least one, and if you haven’t then I guarantee there will be a wealth of them that interest you. TED conferences are massive events featuring talks on a huge variety of subjects, and they have their own category on Netflix – something that goes a lot of the way to explaining how accessible and interesting they tend to be. The thing is, TED (Technology. Entertainment. Design) conferences, although worldwide events, are open to only “the world’s leading thinkers and doers” – what happens if you want to truly connect with a speaker who genuinely has something to say to you and your local area?

Welcome to TEDx. TEDx events are smaller-scale independent events put together under license from TED, all sharing the slogan of “ideas worth spreading”. TEDx events often include screenings of talks from the larger TED conferences, but the real draw is hearing from the guest speakers who are carefully curated to ensure that the talks are varied, relevant to the local audience, and interesting. TEDx events are also ticketed, meaning that you don’t have to be part of an elite to attend – just have a desire to listen, learn and discuss what you’ve heard.

TEDxLeicester’s first event was held in 2015, where the speakers included academics, musicians, entrepreneurs and the cast of Adrian Mole the Musical, and this year it comes once again to the Curve theatre on Wednesday October 26th with an equally diverse array of guests. The eight-hour event will feature a variety of talks all centred on a single jumping-off point, which the speakers are free to interpret as they wish. It promises to be a much larger event that last year, with over 500 “TEDsters” expected to attend, and aims to unite the community and enable the sharing of ideas in an entertaining and interesting way.

All of the talks on the day will be based on the phrase “Every Journey Matters”, and each speaker will present a talk with this phrase in mind. The real beauty of TEDx, however, is that it’s local – all of the talks will have relevance to Leicester and the people who live, have lived and will live here. There will be discussion of successes in business, science and technology and, of course, sporting achievements. This is as well as discussion of Leicester as a community offering a wide and varied cultural dynamic despite the trials and tribulations of the political summer, and why Leicester can be seen as a role model.

There are a range of ticket price options available, from a concessionary price of £25, but the most interesting is the £75 “Friends of TEDxLeicester” ticket – this not only gives you access to the event, a second secret event and the next TEDxLeicester Salon event, but also provides a young person between the ages of 16-18 with a sponsored place at the main event with the aim of inspiring ideas among the next generation.

If you’re the sort of person that enjoys learning, challenging yourself and looking for the next thing to inspire you, TEDxLeicester is the event for you. And you never know – get inspired by one of these talks, and maybe you’ll be speaking in 2017.

TEDx Leicester takes place at Curve on October 26th.

Dan Wallbank has been floating around the Leicester comedy scene for five years and the music scene for ten. He's the founder of Comedy and Cocktails at Manhattan34, host of the Firebug Pop Quiz and creator of Instant Nostalgia, the podcast that reviews itself.

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