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We love a good Ted Talk here at Future Foundations. We use them on our programmes, we watch them in our spare time and we’ve even run Ted Talk Friday’s at our office.
You can imagine our excitement then at getting tickets to the Ted X Clerkenwell event this week, we invited some FF Alumni to join us and we sat down in the SCIN Gallery on Old Street for the first of 7 live Ted Talks. The variety of content and broad range of personalities and styles provided a hugely inspiring and memorable evening. Below is just an overview of each of the talks and how to find out more about the different topics covered.


James Smart spoke passionately about the large amount of waste being produced in shops and kitchens and decided to do something about it. In November 2014 he co founded Save the Date Café in Dalston leading a team of volunteers building a café out of recycled materials and using food which was destined for landfill, cooked in a completely recycled kitchen. He explained why food wastage occurs and what we can do, as consumers, to support the farming community. James’ team of volunteers served us incredible canapes made from food destined for waste during the breaks, and we can confirm it was DELICIOUS! @savethedate


Professor Rosalind Cornforth is an expert in inter-disciplinary research to support climate resilience and development. She explained how she links science, policy and practice to drive user-orientated research and solutions in Africa. She left us in no doubt that the key to empowering African nations is to ensure science is entrenched in their society and that we continue to walk at the same pace as the people on the ground. This was visually demonstrated by Rosalind altering her appearance during her talk from ‘typical formal scientist’ to a more relaxed, personable and relateable look. Sometimes you just need to change your shoes. Read more about Professor Rosalind here:

David Bond is a documentary maker and campaigner. He spoke with great humour and enthusiasm about his  determination to get his children outside and into the ultimate, free wonder- product: Nature. It was a timely reminder that it’s all too easy to use ‘screen time’ as the easy option for ourselves, and the children in our lives. We all know the benefits of being outside so why don’t we make the most of the best free resource on the planet?! We would strongly urge you to watch The Project Wild Thing video and check out the fantastic resources available from The Wild Network. @wearewildthing


Daniel Ptacek is the CEO of Kinnickinnic Ltd, and expert in Green Technologies. He introduced us to his background of both building and launching green technologies. Daniel was able to give us some serious food for thought on the way we are using up fossil fuels and how alternatives need to sit alongside the current infrastructures.

Richie Manu has a background in design, branding and communications. He also has the best job title –  Senior Lecturer and Course Tutor on MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries at Central St. Martins in London! Richie explained how he uses his own creativity and how we might discover our own. He gave a great real life example of helping an organisation find their own brand identity from within and from understanding their own culture better. We won’t look at water coolers or wasabi in the same way again! @richiemanu

Chagall blew us away with her incredible performance and showcase of gloves – these gloves are wearable tech that let you make music through movement.  Chagall explained how the dedicated gesture detection and mapping software offer a new and flexible approach to the control of music and visuals with intuitive human movement. To have our perception of music performance and composition totally transformed was a memorable experience! @chagallmusic

The last speaker of the night was Cultural Anthropologist, Geoff DeVito. He demonstrated how to drain every drop out of the metaphor ‘we are all in the same boat‘ to great effect! Geoff has seen the best and worst of travel and travellers. It may seem like we are all on the same boat, but we are not. Our boats differ vastly depending on the advantages and disadvantages around us. His mission is to change our perception of the balance of power that underpins travel and think about how these examples might be applied to change our behaviours at home. Ultimately, be the captain of your own boat. @geoffdevito

David Blaine – How I held my breath for 17 minutes.

Mark Ronson – How sampling transformed music.

The organisers of the Ted X event chose to also screen the two Ted Talks above, they are both absolutely fantastic and well worth a watch!
We will look to attend a Ted X event again in the future, so watch this space for more information on how you could join us next time.