TEDx Brixton Blog


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Written by Stephanie Busari, Founder and Curator TEDxBrixton

October 5, 2015

With the third TEDx Brixton happening this Saturday, 10 October, at Brixton Recreational Center we spoke to founder and curator, Stephanie Busari, to get an idea of what is in-store at the sold out event!

Stephanine-TEDxTEDxBrixton has grown significantly in the last three years and we are attracting a lot of buzz and attention. For example, we were selected by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to lead the search for the UK’s best and brightest entrepreneurs as part of a new ‘Ideas from Europe’ initiative.

For the first time, the 28 Member States of the European Union will join forces to find the most inspiring ideas that have the potential to change the world for the better.

TEDxBrixton will lead the UK arm of the competition and from 1st October 2015, innovators from across the country can submit their ideas via a two minute video at TEDxBrixton.com. It would be amazing if a Lambeth business idea went all the way!

We are also excited about our new venue; the Brixton Recreation Centre in the heart of Brixton. For those who don’t know much about who we are, TEDxBrixton is a non-profit volunteer-run event linked to the prestigious TED conference in America, which attracts world leaders and visionaries who give an 18 minute talk on an idea worth spreading.

This year 16 speakers will take the stage to share their fantastic ideas worth spreading. Most of them are locals with powerful stories. They include Chair of the Brixton Pound, Binki Taylor, Rebecca Trevelyan of the Impact Hub, a neuroscientist from Oxford University, a spoken word educationist, Steadman Scott (Afewee Football Club) and many more.

Steadman told us; “The reason that I am doing TEDx  Brixton is to show how Afewee is a product of the riots of the 1980’s, as is the Recreation Center, and to show how the barriers that I experienced as a young man are still faced today by young people in society. However because of the equality laws that resulted from the riots young people now have the opportunities to be successful. I’m not saying it’s an easy thing, but the opportunity is there if you believe in yourself”

Tickets sold out after just four days, so we are providing a livestream of the day and hosting viewing parties in collaboration with Pop Brixton, Block 336, Brixton Jam and Ritzy Cinema. We are also encouraging people to host their own parties at home and send us the pictures. We want this to be an inclusive event where everyone can join in. Livestream details will be on our website from Friday.

Over two years, we have had around 40 speakers, more than half of them locals, including Hollywood director Amma Asante, (who grew up in Streatham) whose film Belle was a blockbuster hit worldwide in 2014. We’ve also had local innovator Virginia Gardiner who created Loowatt, an innovative toilet system and Brixton Soup kitchen founder Solomon Smith, among many others.

TEDxBrixton has grown immensely in the past three years. We are proud of the reach of our talks. For example, Solomon Smith of the Brixton Soup Kitchen landed donations from a global food company after they saw his TEDx video online.

Every year, we also ask our attendees to bring along donations for the Soup Kitchen on the day of our event and he has received huge donations and volunteers from this outreach. We are proud of this community impact. This year, even non-attendees can drop off a donation at our Innovation Alley at Pop Brixton.  We are also working on an education pack from all our talks that can be downloaded from our website and used as teaching aids in schools.

I’m often asked why I started TEDxBrixton and the simple reason is because I wanted to change the story and negative perceptions of Brixton. Having lived here for more than 20 years, I know that it has not always been cool to live here.

My motivation is to amplify and spread the great ideas coming out of Brixton and surrounding areas. I describe TEDxBrixton as a ‘hyper glocal event’ with a passion for community, collaboration and connections.

We find the people doing innovative and creative things in this area and give them a world stage. We are proud to be the first TEDx event held in Lambeth and so far our talks have been viewed over one million times worldwide. Last year our livestream was watched by thousands from places such as Taiwan, Nigeria, New York, Washington and India.

Please join us either virtually, or on the day to listen to some great talks from Brixton and beyond.

Watch previous TEDxBrixton talks here.