First published Tuesday 4 November 2014 in The Argus

Delegates were urged to think outside of the box in one of the most sought-after ticketed events of the year.

More than 1,000 people, including staff from the public and private sectors, attended the biggest ever TEDxBrighton, held in The Dome due to unprecedented demand.


The volunteer-organised ideas event had a diverse programme of 19 speakers under the theme ‘many hands’.

Among speakers were best-selling crime author Peter James, broadcaster and journalist Jacques Peretti and radical activist and erotic emporium founder Sam Roddick.

Inspirational and wide-ranging themes covered environmental surfboards, professional truffle hunting and transgender activism.

Some of the most impressive speakers told humble stories with grand ambitions, such as Megan Leckie, who argued how technology can engage children in the world around them.

Megan and fellow Blockbuilders co-founder Joe Palmer are using videogame Minecraft to get young people from Brighton Youth Centre to consider how to balance the council’s £100 million budget deficit.

Earlier this year they got Lewes schoolchildren to redesign Phoenix Industrial Estate, with the resulting 3D printed and exhibited at Lewes Societies Faire.

Former banker and founder of crowdsourcing platform slowXchange Karl Mattingly told how internet platforms such as TripAdvisor and airbnb were harnessing the wisdom of crowds.

He argued how better information, transparency and greater accuracy can lead to better decision making and new and innovative ways of sharing power and wealth.

In another ‘reaching out’ talk former Googler Stefania Druga shared her experience setting up makers’ workshops to empower the younger generation.

She told how she has created invention labs across the world, which have consistently shown the agility of young minds when enabled by teaching and technology.

Meanwhile Ruth Anslow, founder of ethical supermarket and social enterprise success story hiSbe, explained how she was inspired to give up her supermarket buyer job, after being confronted with the grim reality of cheap chicken.

To round the day off star speaker Sam Roddick tore up her script and gave an impromptu speech on modern business.

She urged consumers to wrestle back power by choosing where to spend their money.

Tickets are already available for 2015. To buy tickets or for more information about the event see www.tedxbrighton.com/earlybird.