How To Be OK In The Future

The TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh Conference 2015 was a great success. On 19th February the TEDxUoE speakers spread their innovative and original ideas about 'How To Be OK In The Future' with an audience of over 500 people.
It was an amazing day of inspiring talks, exciting interactive spaces and a chance for everybody to share their thoughts about the future! 
The event could not have happened without our passionate speakers, enthusiastic interactive space helpers, incredible team of volunteers and, of course, our lovely audience. The committee would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved and we hope to see you at TEDxUoE event next year!

Pictures from the event can be found on our Facebook page.
The radio-coverage podcast featuring interviews with our committee, speakers, and attendees can be heard here.
Thank you to William Thomson from Gallus Events for this kind review!

Speakers Profiles

Lily Asch

Lily is a 2nd year undergraduate student, and the General Manager for FreshSight Ltd, a student run consultancy service in Edinburgh. At the Student Speaker Choice Awards (SSCA) she gave an extremely engaging and mature speech about the need for transparency in talking about mental health, something she realised from her own struggles with depression.

Photo Credit: India Sutton


Sophie Dow

Sophie started her career as a journalist in London for Swedish press and media, interviewing many of the stars that grace the silver screen. However since the birth of her daughter, Annie, who has a severe chromosome deficiency, she has dedicated her efforts to clearing the fog of ignorance around learning disabilities. Sophie has become a champion of the cause and her difficult journey and realisations are a true inspiration.

Photo Credit: India Sutton


Gareth Williams

Gareth is a composer who has written for Scottish Opera and many more, but has been heavily involved in a project with the respiratory ward at Glasgow's Gartnavel Hospital where they created songs and an opera for people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. CF patients cannot physically spend time together so it was done over the Internet and skype.

Photo Credit: India Sutton


Raymond MacDonald

Professor MacDonald is the head of the School of Music at Edinburgh University. Improvisation and the psychology of music in particular music, health & wellbeing are his main interests within the field. He is a jazz saxophonist & improviser and likes to investigate the boundaries and ambiguities of conventional "classical playing".

Photo Credit: India Sutton

Faith Liddell

Faith is an experienced director, producer and project manager who has worked in key strategic and creative roles across theatre, literature, music, film and visual arts for the last 25 years specialising in festivals. Since 2007 Faith has held the role of Director of Festivals Edinburgh, the organisation designed to take the lead on the joint strategic direction of all 12 of Edinburgh’s major festivals and to sustain Edinburgh’s pre-eminence as the world’s leading Festival City.

Photo Credit: India Sutton

Jonny Ross-Tatam

Jonny is in his 3rd year and studies History. He is the founder and president of the Buchanan Institute, Scotland’s first student-led think-tank. Jonny gave a talk at the SSCA about the need to provide everyone with a basic level of income so that we can decide what we want to do to live, not what we should do to survive.

Photo Credit: India Sutton


Sethu Vijayakumar

Sethu is Professor of Robotics at the university’s world renowned School of Informatics. His work is in the field of robotics and in particular bionics and how they can be utilised in the future. 

Photo Credit: India Sutton


Holly Maltby  

Holly is in her 4th year and is studying Philosophy and Theology. At the Student Speaker Choice Awards Holly delivered a very memorable talk on our perceptions of age and the elderly.

Photo Credit: India Sutton



Johanna Holtan

For the past five years, Johanna has worked with students on global citizenship and social innovation projects at Edinburgh University - including launching TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh in 2012. She is also co-founder of CycleHack and Penny in Yo' Pants, and believes in the power of giving people the opportunities to create and prototype their own solutions.

Photo Credit: India Sutton

Jolyon Mitchell

Jolyon is Professor of Communication, Arts and Religion at Edinburgh University. His work has focused on peace building, violence and arts in warfare. Before his post in the university he was a journalist for the BBC world service.

Photo Credit: India Sutton


Assaad Razzouk

Assaad is the Chief Executive of a global sustainable resource developer and operator, Sindicatum Sustainable Resources and a leading international voice on climate change policy. Believing the current climate change movement to have failed, he has become a leading campaigner for decarbonisation and international responsibility for the environment, proposing new ways to tackle the critical issues we face.


Craig MacFarlane

The world is facing a food crisis the scale of which truly begs the question “How to be OK in the future.” Craig’s answer may be unpalatable to many of us – insects. Craig helped found Bugs For Life and has become a pioneer of entomophagy (bug eating) as a solution to growing pressure on food production. In addition to an elucidating talk from Craig, the Bugs For Life team will be hosting an Interactive Space at the event, with unusual canapés on offer.


Steve Earl

Steve’s passion is to engage in a collaborative society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and participate. Past projects have focused on the importance of communicating science in an educational and entertaining manner, helping to create an ethos of learning and creativity. Steve's talk will focus on his Non-Fiction Science project as he discusses our relationship with creativity & learning in society and how we can use it to change the stories we tell ourselves and create new stories.