The Choir with No Name illustrates beautifully the power of music to unite people and make the world brighter. Members of its four groups across the UK have all experienced homelessness and found community and opportunities through singing together. The original North London group delivers rousing performances from the stage of the prestigious Hackney Empire of Adamski’s ‘Killer’ and Bowie’s ‘Absolute Beginners’, and gets the audience on their feet with Primal Scream’s ‘Movin on Up’.
The Choir with No Name runs choirs for homeless people and others from the very edge of society; with a presence in London, Birmingham and Liverpool and touching all genres of music, the premise is that singing makes you feel good, silences the ‘noise’ and builds your confidence – music to our ears!
Would you go up to a stranger in a coffee shop and ask them for the latest news? Dr Matthew Green takes us back to the 17th and 18th century when London’s original fleet of coffeehouses were very different from the current crop of branded cafes. Matthew calls for a coffeehouse revolution to bring us out of digital isolation and back into physical community.
Historian and public speaker Dr Matthew Green is the author of the acclaimed book London: A Travel Guide Through Time (Penguin) and the founder of Unreal City Audio, which produces immersive, critically acclaimed tours of London as live events and downloads. He writes for some of our biggest newspapers, appears in documentaries across the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, and has a PhD from Oxford University in the history of the media.
Imagine not being a citizen of any country in the world. Photographer Greg Constantine shares photographs and personal stories from his ten-year project Nowhere People documenting the world’s ten million stateless people. In this compelling talk he highlights the impact this radical and devastating global human rights issue has on the lives of people all over the world and the role photography has made in exposing this dark element of the human condition.
An internationally acclaimed and celebrated independent documentary photographer, Greg’s most recent project is ‘Nowhere People’ which documents the struggles of stateless ethnic communities across the world, building upon his extensive contribution to highlighting human rights and social issues through the power of photography and ultimately sparking debate and change amongst the public and policy makers.
What if your smartphone could help you to save energy, reduce food waste, diagnose life-threatening diseases earlier and generally make better decisions for people and the planet? This is the future imagined by Abi Ramanan, a social entrepreneur interested in applying exponential technologies to the global food system to make it more resilient and sustainable. Her company ImpactVision (one word) enables people to interpret the world in a new light using hyperspectral imaging, to see beyond the borders of human vision.
A respected campaigner and socially-driven entrepreneur, Abi has already founded two food based social enterprises in London which tackle unemployment, gender equality and child hunger. Her new venture ImpactVision takes the concept ‘beyond borders’ even further with the power of hyperspectral imaging.
Global migration has become the issue of our century. Why can’t we feel empathy for the people dying at sea at the doorstep of Europe? Regina Catrambone and her husband pulled down the borders of their hearts and minds and founded MOAS, an NGO that has rescued over 12,000 people from the sea. Regina urges us all to embrace empathy and open the window to the human experience.
Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) is a search and rescue charity dedicated to saving lives at sea and was founded by Christopher and Regina Catrambone in 2014.
Jermain Jackman has performed on countless stages but today he’s back home on the stage at Hackney Empire, which he first set foot on at the tender age of four! He stresses how vital it is to raise aspirations of the youth who have been neglected due to lack of opportunities and loss of the community spaces that encourage creativity and belonging.
Born and raised in Hackney, having grown up in one of London’s toughest boroughs and crowned the winner of BBC’s The Voice UK in 2014, Jermain is much more than an incredible singer blessed with a beautiful baritone; he is a political activist who balances this with his musical aspirations to use his talents as a tool for social change.
Dr Christine Shaw-Checinska sees fashion as a way of pushing back against stereotypes and resisting limitations based on negative readings of racial, cultural and gendered difference – her gold dance shoes are her act of disobedience and in this talk she encourages us all to find our own.
Looking at the relationship between cloth, culture and race, Christine examines the fascinating cultural exchanges that occur beyond borders as a result of movement and migration expressed through the clothes we wear, the objects we collect and the art that we make.
Some stories of migration are told as fairy stories and Sue Lukes’ family story is on of those. But fairy stories involve horrors and darkness too, and through her family’s experience of surviving and not surviving the Holocaust Sue looks at the idea of “good” and “bad” migrants then and today. She encourages us to create places that are safe and welcoming, of music, colour and refuge for those who need it – and to write our own happy endings.
An expert on migration and housing policy Sue has spent the last twenty years providing consultancy, advice and training to projects around Europe. Sue is Chair of Music in Detention a charity that uses participative music to give detainees in immigration detention centres a voice.
Everyone has an opinion about sex work, but what does sex worker Toni Mac think? Toni takes us through four different legal models addressing the sex industry and explains why she – and sex workers around the world- believes decriminalisation and self determination are the only way to keep sex workers safe.
An activist with the Sex Worker Open University, Toni campaigns for better working conditions by fighting criminalisation and is involved with public education projects around issues relating to sex worker rights.
Amanda Leon-Joyce is a dancer and psychotherapist who has spent the last 5 years working to help people to re-connect with their bodies. She uses dance and movement as tools to help us (re)consider the social narratives we pick up about our physical selves, and about bodies different to our own. She discusses how spoken word is the second language we use to understand the world, how drastically many of us underestimate what we express or understand through our bodies, and what her own dance history taught her about creating inclusive embodied spaces – firstly for herself and then for other communities.
Amanda Leon-Joyce is a professionally trained dancer, dance-teacher and movement psychotherapist passionate about the impact of inclusive in-the-flesh community spaces. She is a regular contributor to broadcast and print media with specialisations in gender and sexual minorities and embodiment / movement. She is happiest talking about the places these intersect. She has co-created several award winning physical spaces ‘for social good’; currently these include Irreverent Dance – Europe’s first accessible, explicitly LGBTQ and body-positive custom dance studio.
Magnus Lindkvist tells the story of a celebrated medical discovery in the early 1980’s and uses his budding filmmaking ambitions to remake it as a Hollywood blockbuster in the 2010’s. The hurdles he encounters in this transition reveal something profound about the 2010’s approach to risk-taking and innovation.
Already an active contributor to TED and a world renowned speaker, Magnus is a trendspotter and futurologist with a diverse and engaging background including his education and writing, through to his company and compelling presentations. He is provocative, challenges our thinking and helps us re-imagine what the future may look like.
Imagine being faced with a life-threatening situation – where would you turn first? Hera Hussain emphasises the power of the internet for women to find the resources they need and support each other and argues that it should be in the hands of the community, not the experts.
Named as one of the 17 Local Globalists by GOOD magazine and founder of Chayn, Hera has long been recognised as a community leader on the start-up scene for her ability to connect volunteers with technology and tools to tackle key social issues with Chayn being an obvious example; it exists to empower women against violence by using crowdsourcing, working with survivors of abuse across the globe and plays to Hera’s early passion to enable women in today’s world.
Let Caroline Parker treat you to her unique blend of music, cabaret and song signing as she performs the achingly beautiful ‘First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ and the hilariously inventive rendition of ‘Wuthering Heights’.
Caroline Parker has built a reputation over her career as the UK’s best signing singer. In 2013 she received an MBE for services to Deaf Drama and Theatre. She has spent the last 30 years acting, performing sign songs, devising, signing, dancing, miming and launching a stand up comedy act. She has performed in 2012 at the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics.
Want to live for longer? Jules Howard journeys through life and death in the animal kingdom uncovering fascinating insights into how animals like jellyfish, naked mole rats and hydra appear to cheat death. Could humans steal such secrets? And do we really want to live forever?
Full of curiosity, Jules Howard has an intriguing perspective on humankind’s role in nature; with insight and expertise in wildlife and zoology, his work can be found on the BBC and regularly in The Guardian.
A man can be pregnant, that thought is not absurd. According to aspiring astronaut Hussain Manawer we are living in a society were both men and women can and are pregnant with unwanted and hidden thoughts and feelings. Delving deeply into the issues surrounding mental health along with the stigma attached to it, Hussain transforms the TEDx stage into society’s courtroom where the audience play an important role in deciding the verdict of the victim’s case.
Hussain Manawer is a 24 year old Quantity Surveying Graduate who has over time built an exceptionally successful YouTube channel with over 1 million viewers. The poet from East London won Kruger Cowne’s Rising Star competition which saw him beat thousands of entrants across 90 countries to win a trip of a lifetime into Space. Hussain will become the UK’s Youngest Astronaut in 2018, as well as the first person of Pakistani descent to venture beyond the stars and into the galaxy. Hussain uses the various platforms across social media and in real life to disruptively campaign for various humanitarian causes such as mental health and the refugee crisis.