Julia Surry – Marketing and Communications Director


Who are you and what do you do for TEDxEastEnd?

My name is Julia Surry and I am responsible for the marketing and communications for TEDxEastEand.  I joined the team in June 2016, having been a big TED and TEDx fan for some time!  My role within the team is to determine the story we intend to tell in the run up to our flagship event in Feb, and work on developing interesting articles and visuals that will inspire and captivate our audience.  My team will look after the social media channels, PR, email comms as well as any promotional activities leading up to the event. I am also really looking forward to getting involved in some of the innovative community projects TEDxEastEnd support.

What drew you to TEDxEastEnd?  What is your favourite thing about TEDxEastEnd?  What has been your experience highlight of working with TEDxEastEnd?

I was on a marketing business secondment in Beijing in 2012 and given I knew no-one when I touched down in China, I went to the British Chamber of Commerce and found an advertised event at the Great Wall of China. I would get collected at a hotel in downtown Beijing, take a coach to the Great Wall and spend the day at the event before being brought home.  I had no idea what to expect but I signed up and this is how I discovered my first TEDx event.  The event was phenomenal, not only was the setting out of this world, I met the most amazing group of people, many of whom ended up being my friends throughout my time in China. The day of talks left me feeling inspired and as if a could achieve anything during my trip far away from home.  We ended the day with a bbq and bonfire and I had never felt so content. From that moment, I was hooked and have been waiting to find an opportunity to contribute to the great work TED and TEDx do around the world.

What is your favourite TED talk and why?

I love Charisma versus Stage Fright by Deborah Frances-White.  As someone who has to present a lot in my job, she paints a vivid picture of what it feels like to stand up in front of a crowd, and in an amusing way gives you advice on how to be more confident, or at least appear more confident when public speaking. I have since seen her live in action too and think she is amazing.

If you had to speak at TEDxEastEnd 2017, what would be your story?

If I had to speak at a TEDx it might be of one of 3 things:

  • The importance of teamwork, and how individuals and teams change when put to the test in extreme circumstances. I will draw from my experience leading a team 100km across the South Downs in under 24 hours which brought out both the best and worst of my teammates.
  • The impact stress can have on your body given my experience when my brother was under excessive stress and slept walked out of a third story window
  • My belief that as a society we should be moving towards a standard 4 day working week. With the technological and digital era, so much more can be accomplished in relatively little time. Rather than this being a reason to do more and more in less and less time, haven’t we earned the opportunity to reward the population, leaving technology to do some of the hard work so we spend more time enjoy life and being with friends and family?

Blog overview

Blog overview