Showing Up with TEDxLondonWomen

Jaz Cummins

By Jaz Cummins

In Blog

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Inspiration overload at the end of 2019 for the empower team who were privileged to work with TEDxLondon on their TEDxLondon Women event.

We were in awe of the powerful culture created in this volunteer-led team – professional, impactful, supportive, fun and so hard-working. A joy to work with.

Jaz and Leni at TEDxLondon Women

The TEDxLondon team delivered an amazing event, complete with commitments to accessibility on every level – including the new Relaxed Room, sustainability with a Refill station cutting out the plastic bottles, as well as care taken at each interaction point to ensure attendees have a fantastic time.

But of course, the real inspiration lay in the talks. As part of empower’s role supporting the communications team on social media, we got to dive into the biographies and talks of the speakers, and get glimpses of their preparations. Seeing the huge amount of effort and passion that goes into the talks from both the speakers and the TEDxLondon team, made the final results even more powerful.

There were 15 brilliant speakers at the December event, and you can watch them now at TEDxLondon. We’d really recommend you watch them all, but below are some of the ones that stuck in our minds

Angela Francis

“The fairness of the transition to the green economy is not a nice to have, it is the thing that will make this transition happen or not. We will get stuck in protests if we don’t make this work for people.”

A passionate environmentalist, Angela, Chief Advisor, Economics and Economic Development at WWF-UK, sees that the key to overcoming the climate challenges we face is proving to the public that transitioning to a green economy can change their lives for the better right now.

Vidhya Ramalingam 

“It is human relationships that so often get people into hate movements. And it is human relationships that I know can get people out.”

Vidhya co-founded Moonshot CVE, using technology to identify people at risk of violent extremism and repurposing advertising technology to intervene and to send out messages of help. By leveraging technology to scale deeply personalised and localised human interactions, Vidhya now has the evidence to prove that real change is possible.

Jamie Windust

“We need you to stand up and show up. We need you now more than ever, because now we’re in a time where the fight against us is so strategic and planned, that we need you to stand with us as we organise ourselves to counter transphobia.”

Writer, editor and model Jamie lays bare the terrifying reality trans and non-binary people face today, and calls for genuine, consistent empathy and urgent action from the cis-gender community.

Poppy Wells

“When we judge young mothers, we are feeding a patriarchal narrative that not only has a direct impact on the lives of those young mothers and their children, but also adds to the oppression of other mothers and ultimately every single woman.”

Award-winning teacher, and young mum, Poppy Wells dismantles common misconceptions about young mothers, highlights the unfair judgement all mothers face and proposes we all stop equating age as a key factor in determining good parenting.

Payzee Mahmod

“The onus should never be on the child to have to speak out in order to get protection from child marriage. Child marriage must become a crime.”

Payzee, a survivor of and campaigner against child marriage, who also lost her beloved sister Banaz to a child-marriage linked honour killing, tells her powerful story, and calls on us all to end child marriage in the UK – sign here.

Sarah Mardini

“The same way we are able to go out in millions for climate change, we can go in millions for refugee rights and the criminalisation of humanitarians. It’s not fair to fight for one thing and leave others behind because these are human souls.”

Syrian refugee and humanitarian Sarah, speaks in depth about the experiences of returning to Lesbos to volunteer and what happened when she was then arrested after completing humanitarian work.

Watch all the talks now.

Photos: Jason Wen / TEDxLondon

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