Announcing the speakers for TEDxStaffordshireUniversity

A sensational line-up of speakers have been revealed to take part in the second TEDxStaffordshireUniversity in May.

Peoplle lined up on stage in front of TEDxStaffordshireUniversity branding

Speakers from the inaugural TEDxStaffordshireUniversity event in 2023

“This promises to be a sensational second event. Although attendance at the event is limited, the talks from our inaugural event have been viewed thousands on times on the TEDx platform, helping to put us on the world map for creativity and innovation.

Professor Martin Jones, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

Among them are British middleweight champion boxer Nathan Heaney, award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew and North Staffordshire based sculptor Andy Edwards who will all be giving talks aligned to this year’s theme “Back to the Future”.

Also taking their place in the spotlight will be co-founder of Affordable Food Stoke Nikki Barrett and foodie entrepreneur Cris Cohen of FEASTED, both passionate about effecting positive change in the area.

The speakers were all selected by a panel, chaired by Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Martin Jones, and involving other key community figures including last year’s TEDx speakers Clare Wood, CEO of the British Ceramics Biennial and Josie Morris MBE DL, director of sustainable packaging company Woolcool.

Josie said: ”Being a TEDx speaker at the last event was a really fantastic experience. It really pushed the boundaries for me. I do quite like speaking but this was on another level. I took so much away from it, I really enjoyed it and the team at Staffordshire University made it so much fun.”

Two Staffordshire University Professors and two graduates will also be sharing their big ideas at the prestigious event on Thursday 16th May which aims to shine a light on the most innovative minds in the region.

Catherine Flick is a Professor of Games Technology at Staffordshire University, and she will be talking about responses to new technologies including AI while Professor Claire Gwinnett will be considering how we can use ingenuity to tackle the global challenge of plastic pollution.

Journalist and communications specialist Genelle Aldred will speak about how, in a year of elections, using better communications can fight against a culture of disinformation, and recent graduate Sharanya Raganatha Urs will tackle the often-taboo subject of sex education.

Completing the line-up is an Advanced Specialist Pharmacist from University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM). Patryk Majewski’s talk centres around how pharmaceutical companies are looking back at what we know to produce new antibiotics that will help us now and in the future.

Professor Martin Jones said: “This promises to be a sensational second event. Although attendance at the event is limited, the talks from our inaugural event have been viewed thousands on times on the TEDx platform, helping to put us on the world map for creativity and innovation. We can’t wait to see what results from our next main event.”

Limited to 100 guests, TEDxStaffordshireUniversity will take place on Thursday 16th May at the Catalyst on Staffordshire University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus. Free tickets for the event will be released in April.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is on a mission to discover and spread ideas that spark imagination, embrace possibility and catalyze impact. Our organization is devoted to curiosity, reason, wonder and the pursuit of knowledge — without an agenda. We welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world and connection with others, and we invite everyone to engage with ideas and activate them in your community.

TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, but today it spans a multitude of worldwide communities and initiatives exploring everything from science and business to education, arts and global issues. In addition to the hundreds of TED Talks curated from our annual conferences and published on, we produce original podcasts, short video series, animated educational lessons (TED-Ed) and TV programs that are translated into more than 100 languages and distributed via partnerships around the world. Each year, more than 3,000 independently run TEDx events bring people together to share ideas and bridge divides in communities on every continent. Through the Audacious Project, TED has helped catalyze more than $3 billion in funding for projects that seek to make the world more beautiful, sustainable and just. In 2020, TED launched Countdown, an initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis and mobilize a movement for a net-zero future. View a full list of TED’s many programs and initiatives.

TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. Our aim is to help create a future worth pursuing for all.

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