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TEDxOpenUniversity: the countdown begins!

TEDxOpenUniversity: the countdown begins!

It’s October, the month of ghouls and ghosts, carved pumpkins, dark mornings, knitwear, woollen coats and icy windows. Most importantly, however, we are just two weeks away from the hotly-anticipated TEDxOpenUniversity, an event that promises to deliver inspiring talks on the world of today, and the future of tomorrow – and we could not be more excited! 

For the last few weeks, our wonderful guest speakers have been flooding the Berrill Lecture Theatre and taking to the stage to rehearse their talks. One by one, they stood on the iconic red dot and delivered a range of emotional, informative and hard-hitting talks – we were completely blown away. 

We’ll be sharing our programme with the running order soon, but until then, here are some soundbites from our speakers ahead of the big day. 

Why do you think The Open University is an ideal host for TEDx?

The Open University is innovative and accessible as an institution, and uses its platform to encourage everyone to look at the world with curiosity and open mindedness.” – Anita Cassidy 

“I’ve used TED talks in my teaching for years. They’re just as good for teachers as they are for learners. They’re short, easily containable and accessible for everybody.” – Kate Lister

“It was through The Open University, that I discovered that with flexibility [in the workplace], my mental health need not get in the way.” – Finlay Games

“I cannot wait to stand on that stage. What a fitting environment for what my talk will be about, and also an opportunity to say thank you to The Open University – its existence saved my future.” – David Breakspear


What can we expect from your talk?

“I’m talking about the ways in which we an help people with mental health find work, to have healthier work environments, by using flexible approaches to working.” – Finlay Games

“I’m hoping my talk will encourage people with endometriosis to share their stories of working with the condition, and to know that their stories are important and legitimise endometriosis in the workplace.” – Victoria Williams

“The importance of education in rehabilitation. We all make mistakes. We should allow real second chances to returning citizens.” – David Breakspear

“My key messages are to challenge the stories we are told – and those we tell ourselves – about how our relationships should look.” – Anita Cassidy

“Assistive technologies can be enablers for so many. By 2050, 2 billion of us in the world will need assistive technologies, so we need to address this gap now, and that’s what my talk will do.” – Dr Julie McElroy


How does it feel to be part of a TEDx event that falls on The OU's 50th anniversary?

“It’s also my 50th year, having been born in 1969. So it’s incredible to be involved in this talk.” – David Breakspear

“It’s a real privilege. I know so many people who have benefitted from The Open University, and so to support that and be involved with celebrating its achievements, feels awesome.” – Anita Cassidy

Any challenges you anticipate on the day?

“I’m really, really, really, really nervous. Standing on the stage in front of people is going to be a big challenge for me.” – Finlay Games

Which of the talks from other guest speakers are you excited to attend?

“I’m looking forward to hearing Finlay Games and Dr Adrian Mallory speak, as well as the talk by the founder of Raspberry Pi, Philip Colligan – my kids use switch to code!” – Anita Cassidy


Don’t miss out: We’ll be running competitions on Twitter throughout the day, so if you didn’t manage to get tickets to attend in person, you might still get the chance to get your hands on some awesome goods.


Watch at home: If you missed out on bagging a ticket, fear not! We'll be live-streaming the event throughout the day on our website and via our Facebook page, and all of the individual talks will be available on the TEDx YouTube channel afterwards.


Save the date: Join us at TEDxOpenUniversity on Friday 8th November to Imagine What’s Next.



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