On 11th June, Impact Hub Birmingham hosted the fourth TEDxBrum event at Birmingham Town Hall, with the theme for 2016 being “Power Of Us”. TEDx events are independently organised gatherings with local speakers and performers as well as screenings of TED talks, intended to bring communities together and present them with “ideas worth spreading” in the spirit of the original TED talks (with TED standing for Technology, Entertainment, Design).

The University of Birmingham were a major sponsor of this event, and several of our academic staff were invited to speak about their research. Professors Alberto Vecchio and Andreas Freise from the School of Physics and Astronomy took to the stage to explain the significance of the recent discovery of gravitational waves, followed by Dr Neeraj Lal from the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences who spoke about his pioneering research into the use of immunotherapy to fight bowel cancer.

Other high-profile speakers included Simon Willis, the European Managing Director of the website change.org, and Sacha Romanovitch, CEO of Grant Thornton UK LLP, while the performers included Midlands singer Mahalia, Kathak dancer Vidya Patel, and The People’s Orchestra.

The University’s gravitational waves research group were also well represented in the exhibition space, running a very successful stand to explain their research to people interested in finding out more following the main talk. They were even approached during the day by both an artist and a documentary maker interested in engaging with them on different outreach projects, making this an even more exciting time for the group.

The day was a tremendous success, with a buzzing atmosphere in the Town Hall and the hashtag #PowerOfUS trending nationally on Twitter. The University are proud to have played a part in this event and hope to strengthen our relationship with Impact Hub Birmingham and TedX in the future.

For more information please contact Andy Newnham, Business Engagement Partner, a.newnham@bham.ac.uk