TEDx returns for a fourth year of inspiration

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Photo: TEDx St Andrews

After selling out in barely ten minutes last year, TEDx tickets have continued to be in high demand. Sold out once again, the St Andrews-organised offshoot of the popular TED brand has arranged an impressive line-up of speakers from varying backgrounds. The ultimate goal of the conference is inspiration. Based on TED’s slogan, “Ideas Worth Spreading,” the event emphasises education, and to that end it seeks to provide guests with a wide variety of industry specialists who are able to speak knowledgeably on their areas of expertise. Even for students who simply wish to learn more about the post-university world and foster ideas of their own, TEDx is a worth- while event to attend.

The conference will be hosted by Annie Othen, a journalist and a broadcaster. In her 33 year career, she has worked in commercial radio and for the BBC, presenting the mid- morning show on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. Twice-nominated for the Frank Gillard Award, Ms Othen continues to work as a freelance journalist and lectures at universities across the country.

The line-up of speakers is as follows: Ekaterina Matveeva, a linguist and businesswoman, is a master of eight languages and has been developing the concept of the secondary linguistic personality since 2009. The Russian-born Matveeva founded Amolingua, an online language teaching organisation, and was the first Russian female to explore how mnemonics can assist in language learning. Grad Factor’s 2015 UK Business Woman of the Year, Ms Matveeva is also an accomplished poet.

Familiar to local computer science students, Dr Michael Weir is a university lecturer whose independent research lies primarily in artificial intelligence. Currently working with the Intelligent Computation Group at the University, he seeks to identify the core difference between human and computer minds and determine the causes for the human brain’s apparent superiority. Dr Weir offers insights into the “human” aspect of technology and the science behind it.

A high court judge since 2014, Sir William Davis has held multiple positions in the judicial realm. Until recently, he was a member of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, where he tried criminal, civil and public law cases throughout England. Currently, Sir Davis is both the judicial lead for youth justice in England and Wales and the director of criminal training for the Judicial College of England and Wales. The justice has also been head of St Philips Chambers and a senior circuit judge and recorder of Birmingham.

Kevin Raub is an active writer for Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world. In addition to co-authoring travel guides, Mr Raub has written for publications such as The New York Times and BBC History in between his travels of the world. Based in Portugal and familiar with Brazil, Mr Raub was able to provide eyewitness coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup for Lonely Planet.

Called “one of the UK’s brightest classical stars,” Charlie Siem is both a violinist and model. He has performed alongside Miley Cyrus and been the face of both Dunhill London and Hugo Boss. A graduate of Eton and Cambridge, Mr Siem has been an active violinist for the majority of his life. The recipient of praise from The Guardian and Gramophone, among other publications, his past work includes collaborations with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Oliver Morton has worked as a writer and editor for a myriad of respected newspapers, magazines and journals, including The Independent, Wired, The New Yorker, Nature, Prospect, National Geographic and The Economist. His current place of full-time work is The Economist, where he holds the position of energy and environment editor. A graduate of Cambridge, Mr Morton was honoured in 2005 by having an asteroid named after him.

Tony Orsten is a BAFTA-winning director. A 40 year veteran of the international media industry, he now holds the position of CEO of Imaginarium, Europe’s leading performance capture studio and production company. Mr Orsten worked on visual effects for 2014’s Godzilla, and he is an investor or board member for multiple media companies and organisations.

The chairman of Public Health England and a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor David Heymann has been the World Health Organisation’s assistant director-general for Health Security and Environment and a representative of the director-general for polio eradication. Previously, he spent over a decade in sub-Saharan Africa, directly participating in the management of the first and second Ebola outbreaks as a medical epidemiologist.

Now in its fourth year, TEDx St Andrews will be held on 30 April at the Byre Theatre. For £25 (auditorium tickets) or £10 (livestream tickets), attendees will be given access to a collection of firsthand experiences from a host of accomplished individuals. The conference will also be released on YouTube over the summer.

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