TEDx Oxford speakers

TEDx Oxford speakers

Looking forward to the TEDx event in Oxford. Thought I would do a bit of research on the speakers. My son is coming along with me and is really looking forward to the chance to interact with some big ideas. Here is some info on all of the speakers that I know abou. I have also included a tongue in cheek attempt to guess the talk titles they will speak to.

Laura Bates

Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a collection of over 10,000 women’s daily experiences of gender inequality. If you have spent any time on Twitter in the last year you could not have missed this really helpful campaign that has exposed the subtle (and not so subtle) ways gender inequality is experienced in normal life.

You may want to visit Everday Sexism’s website to get a taste of this important work.

Paul Collier

Pau is a world renowned developmental economist with a particular interest in poverty. He is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, and Director for the Centre for the Study of African Economies at The University of Oxford and Fellow of St Antony’s College

I really enjoyed reading The Bottom Billion which explored the reasons why the poorest countries in the world are remaining poor. His latest book “Exodus” and I am guessing the topic of his lecture, is pretty controversial as the reviewer Kenan Malik  in the Independent argued.

But despite its wealth of statistical evidence, there is often a chasm between that evidence and Collier’s more contentious arguments. Many of its solutions are morally questionable.

Best bet for a talk title:

“How UKIP can appeal to the leftist elites”

Susan Greenfield

Susan Adele Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield, CBE, HonFRCP is a British scientist, writer, broadcaster, and member of the House of Lords.
John Tate. One of her areas of interest and the one I am hoping she is speaking on is the impact of technology on the brain. Susan’s work has sparked controversy in the past but she should be a very engaging speaker. On her website she asks:

What impact are technologies such as computer games, the Internet and social media having on the brain? Is Mind Change the new Climate Change?

She has authored numerous books including “Tomorrows People” :how 21st century Technology is changing the way we think and feel. 

My bet for a talk title:

“Is Candy Crush making us stupid? Is Facebook losing us friends?”

Anders Sandberg

Anders Sandberg’s research at the Future of Humanity Institute centres on societal and ethical issues surrounding human enhancement and new technology, as well as estimating the capabilities and underlying science of future technologies.

This topic seems to be in the sweet spot of the Wired and TED audience – can’t find anything he has written on it though…

Best Bet for talk title:

“The Future’s So Bright I had to wear Google Shades”

Peter Millican

Peter seems to be a real polymath – not only is he  Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford University. He has also written numerous computer packages including the Turtle graphics programming System. My guess is that Peter’s research into “The Philosophical Significance of the Turing Machine and the Turing Test” might be TED friendly topic that he could speak on. It would tie in well with Sandberg and Greenfield’s specialities.

My bet for a Talk Title:

“Are you smarter than your smart phone?”

Augusta Thompson

Really excited to discover that Augusta is  Director of Corporate Outreach and Distribution for the Girl Rising film project. Check out the  amazing trailer here:

My bet for talk title:

“Changing the world one girl at a time: with help from Selena Gomez and Salma Hayek”

Richard Layard

Peter Richard Grenville Layard, Baron Layard FBA is a British labour economist, currently working as programme director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. I have had his book on my shelf for a while “Happiness: lessons from a new science” and have been meaning to read it – will hopefully manage a quick skim before Ted Ex.

My best bet for a talk title:

“Shiny Happy People: poverty, development and economics”  



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