#JoinTheCountdown to a zero-carbon world with TEDxExeter

On the evening October 13th we were joined by our special guest Karime Hassan, Chief Executive and Growth Director at Exeter City Council, to launch TEDxExeter Countdown, our series of events focussing on the climate crisis and the race to net zero.

Countdown is a global, year-long initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. The goal: To build a better future by cutting emissions in half by 2030 in the race to a zero-carbon world – a world that is safer, cleaner and fairer for everyone.

We know that to make progress on climate action we need to collaborate on a global scale, and to act wherever we can. And our community has an important role to play. Exeter City Council has set an ambitious goal for our city – to become carbon neutral by 2030. To succeed, it will take all of us.

In the coming months we’ll announce our 2021 Countdown events when we’ll explore some of the biggest challenges we and the city face to make the transition to net-zero. We’ll share stirring examples from global TED speakers and from here in Exeter which shine a light on what a healthy, abundant, zero-emission future can look like.

TEDxExeter has always been about sharing powerful ideas, fostering meaningful connections and inspiring positive action, and we need all of that more than ever now.

Our world is divided like never before in our living memory by this thing called “race”. As a human rights lawyer I’ve represented families who have been torn apart by it. But what if I told you race is a myth? I gave this TED Talk because I wanted to decode and debunk one of the most powerful and pernicious forces on earth – and suggest what we can do to change it.”  Dexter Dias QC

We are beyond proud to announce that TEDxExeter’s talk with human rights lawyer Dexter Dias QC –  Racism thrives on silence – speak up! – is now live on TED.com

This is a huge moment for the TEDxExeter team. In the midst of a global pandemic and UK lockdown, we were compelled to respond to the death of George Floyd, and to join the vital conversation around the Black Lives Matter movement. We wrote, curated and filmed this talk remotely from our homes in five days. 500 people joined us via a Zoom webinar to watch it. 

By watching this talk, you are keeping Black Lives Matter current and crucial; ensuring that nobody will forget the unlawful killings, not just of George Floyd, but as Dexter explains, of so many other black people in police custody each year.

Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health Awareness Day

This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given past experience of emergencies, it is expected that the need for mental health and psychosocial support will substantially increase in the coming months and years. Investment in mental health programmes at the national and international levels, which have already suffered from years of chronic underfunding, is now more important than it has ever been.

This is why the goal of this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign is increased investment in mental health. 

At TEDxExeter our speakers address some of the most pressing challenges facing us all, and some of them have spoken bravely about their own experience of poor mental health, suicide and what we can all do to take care of ourselves and support those around who might be suffering.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations, to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research.

How would you live if you knew you might die soon? Kat McHale has been forced to confront her own mortality since being diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 34. In her deeply personal talk at TEDxExeter 2019 , she reflects on what’s most important in her life – and invites you to do the same.

Facing life and death, with cancer

“Facing our own mortality can remind us of the vulnerability and uncertainty of life, but also allow us to truly embrace and make the most of the lives we have.”

Kat McHale – TEDxExeter 2019

Other news

PPE for local health and social care workers

Some of the TEDxExeter team are supporting local health and care teams through this difficult time by co-designing, making and distributing vital PPE. You can find out more about volunteering and supporting the project here.

COVID-19 tracking app

Dr Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, was due to speak at TEDxExeter 2020. He and a team of research scientists have developed a COVID-19 tracking app to study the symptoms of the virus and track how it spreads. You can find out more about the app and how take part in this research here.

Sharing accurate information

Exeter City Council runs the Exeter Coronavirus Updates Facebook group where you can find and share details of community initiatives.

Journalist Matt D’Ancona was due to be speaking at TEDxExeter 2020. Matt is part of Tortoise Media whose mission is to bring us the news behind the headlines. You can sign up to their free daily mailing, The Sensemaker, here.

TEDxExeter 2020 is postponed until 2021

If you’ve bought tickets for this year’s event, we would love to see you next year. Your tickets will be valid for our 2021 event (at 2020 prices!), so you don’t need to do anything.

On April 17th almost a thousand of us were due to gather on the University campus for TEDxExeter 2020, exploring the futures we want to create. Many more of you were planning to watch the day live in the city, in workplaces, schools, hospitals and more. We are sorry to miss you! Since deciding to postpone the event the pandemic has spread across the globe with swift, devastating, ongoing consequences. If this virus reminds us of anything, it’s that we are all so deeply interconnected – in both beautiful ways and terrifying ones.

For details about refunds on tickets see FAQs below.

TEDxExeter 2020 FAQs


If you do not wish to carry your ticket over for use at our 2021 event, you will be refunded. Please go to your Eventbrite account, select your purchased ticket and request a refund.  This will be automatically directed to Rosie at TEDxExeter, who will approve the request and a refund will be issued directly from Eventbrite, to the card account it was originally purchased from.

When will the rearranged event take place?

Date will be confirmed for 2021

When will I know more?

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Ideas worth spreading

TEDxExeter is Exeter’s Festival of Ideas, a local festival with global reach. Our talks are filmed, released freely on the TEDxYouTube channel and translated into up to 34 languages. They have been viewed over 24 million times by a truly global audience. TEDxExeter has been ranked the 4th TEDx in the world for talks with 1m+ views on TED.com.

TEDxExeter is organised by volunteers from the community, for the community. People who believe ideas can change the world. We organise one main, annual conference and additional, smaller events throughout the year.

We provide a unique platform in Exeter which brings together influential thinkers, policy makers and a diverse audience from across the city and beyond. We work hard to create stimulating and thought-provoking events – but our ultimate aim and greatest hope is that through them we can galvanise positive action

Find out more about TEDxExeter

“TEDxExeter offers us the chance to lift our gaze above the day to day, to step back, to reflect, to be challenged, and to go out at the end of the day inspired to make a positive difference” Claire Kennedy, licensee and curator of TEDxExeter

“One of Exeter’s best exports” Karime Hassan, Chief Executive and Growth Director of Exeter City Council

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.)

“TEDxExeter provides a launchpad for new ideas, supporting speakers from all walks of life to share their worlds, experiences and dreams. ” Steve Simpson – TEDxExeter 2019 Speaker

“TEDx is stimulation and inspiration, different ways of looking at the world, it shows the world through other peoples’ eyes.” Chris Turner -TEDxExeter 2019 Speaker