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Our 2023 Event

Here are just a selection of the photos from our 2023 event.  Our theme for 2023 was ‘Connections’.  We had an amazing day and were overwhelmed by the support from our audience, sponsors and partners.

You can see more images from the day in Flickr. Thanks to the wonderful Stephanie Belton for the photography. 

Scroll down to for the videos of our amazing speakers

We believe that everyone has a story to tell and that ideas can come from anyone and anywhere.

Ged Byrne

Ged is a father, husband, toastmaster, and tech enthusiast living in Hemel Hempstead. He first learnt to code on his ZX81 in the early 80s and has decades of experience in software development.

Ged has been eagerly following the progress of Artificial Intelligence since childhood and is excited by the recent breakthroughs. He looks forward to a time when the transformative power of software is democratised and accessible to everyone, not just those with specialised knowledge. He will explain why we can all be optimistic about an AI driven tomorrow and show how we can prepare for it today.

Shanara Hibbert

Shanara is a two-time British Championship Triple Jump medallist, a wellbeing Coach, and a Performance Lifestyle Practitioner for UK Athletics. She particularly looks to support those from global ethnic majority backgrounds.

Shanara is passionate about helping others achieve more than they believe they can, while looking after their wellbeing. During her athletics career she has had to overcome major injury, surgery, and mental health challenges herself. Her talk seeks to explore why many people don’t focus enough on their wellbeing.

Sarah Manzie

Sarah has always been passionate about supporting others, and whilst studying Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, became involved in her first homelessness charity, ASSIST. After graduating she wished to continue that work, and joined local charity, Herts Young Homeless.

Sarah began working as an educator, attending local schools and youth groups to deliver workshops on the realities of homelessness, independent living and conflict resolution. Her talk aims to raise awareness of youth homelessness, and the value of building empathy through education and understanding.

Jay Simmons

Jay is a 6th form student studying media, drama and computer science. A few years ago, she realised she was transgender and, with that, realised that there’s a lot of ways that transgender people are misunderstood and her talk aims to address those misunderstandings.

She said “If you love transgender people, come to my talk. If you hate transgender people, also come to my talk.” Her motivation to do the talk comes from a desire to help people to understand and to give other transgender people a way to explain it to their families.

Alexandra Russell

Alexandra is a local 6th form student. She has been an avid volunteer in various capacities ranging from being President of St Albans Rotary Interact Club to helping start a youth group within a local food hub (who she volunteered with during the Covid-19 pandemic).

She feels that the concept of helping others is an integral part of our society, however there are many volunteers whose important work is left uncelebrated, and many young people who have misconceptions about volunteering that put them off getting involved. Her talk seeks to encourage more people to recognise how significant local-level volunteering is by reframing our definition of the phrase ‘Community service’.

Bharti Lim

Bharti is a cyber security strategy manager; she has worked in the cyber security industry for over 18 years. Often being the only female in the team, Bharti has realised the importance of being visible, not only in the workplace but for the next generation to see that there is no such thing as a ‘man’s job’.

Bharti is passionate about initiatives around diversity and inclusion, gender and ethnicity and is an active advocate of change. Bharti was a finalist for the CRN Women in Channel Awards 2021 and a SHE awards winner in 2020.Her talk will explore how we can positively redefine the “old boys’ network.”

Judith Leary-Joyce

Judith is passionate about the environment. Since the early 70’s she’s been on a mission to reduce the damage we do to the planet. It’s been a journey of twists and turns and constant learning. Today that mission is focused on energy efficiency in the home.

Judith earned her new title – Queen of Insulation – by retrofitting her Victorian home, learning first-hand how to save money and be more comfortable by improving the fabric of the house. To help those embarking on the same journey, she has written a book to guide you through this fascinating process.

Ruth Dearnley

Ruth is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of an anti-human trafficking organisation called STOP THE TRAFFIK. She is passionate about creating a world where people are not bought and sold through the prevention and disruption of modern slavery and human trafficking.

She focusses on prevention rather than cure of the symptoms of human trafficking and believes that by taking a data led and tech-enabled approach, people can connect and grow powerful networks who turn insight into action, creating communities that are high risk and low profit to traffickers. Her talk will share her passion to educate, equip & inspire to bring social justice through systemic change.

Archana Mohan

Archana is a Chief Operations and Technology Officer, within the finance sector, her background includes a BA in French Literature from Brown University, an MA in Education from Columbia University, and an MBA in Finance from Yale University. She has a passion for unlocking human potential. Growing up in a multicultural environment, Archana witnessed first-hand how stories could build relationships, connect across cultural divides, and foster collaboration.

In her talk she will bring her unique perspective, drawing on her experiences as both a teacher and a leader to explore how organisations can drive innovation and optimise team contributions in the post COVID working world.

Jon Thorne

Jon’s background is in project management in the engineering industry. There he discovered the ability to help some of the best engineers in the world – do some of the most complex projects to better coordinate their work, while also maintaining their diversity of thought.

Jon however gave up work to home educate his autistic children and also coach various sports including netball and basketball. In doing this Jon has discovered that the ability to move beyond rigid, formulaic learning structures can help everyone deliver their best performance in sport or life. His talk will explore a skill which, when added to technique, makes for all round excellence!

Richard Pile

Richard is an NHS GP specialising in Lifestyle Medicine and Cardiology. Outside of the surgery, his other jobs include promoting lifestyle medicine amongst the public and health professionals, training & appraisal, and being a mentor and coach.
He has written for the national press and the British Medical Journal and is the author of a book on wellbeing. Richard also enjoys running, mountain biking, spending time with his tribe, and allowing his dog to take him to the pub.

His talk looks at a condition that is just as bad for you as cancer and yet we can all help cure via connecting with others

Claire Thrift

Claire has been described as ‘a woman of incredible potential’ since the age of 18. Unfortunately, that potential was never realised and an unfinished degree and 17 short-lived jobs later, she hit a wall age 40, and remained dazed and confused until a chance TED talk about ADHD in girls popped up and something clicked. Claire now heads a podcast and consulting agency, working with Schools, Universities and workplaces, running workshops to promote ADHD strategies to promote inclusion and productivity.

Her talk will focus on her personal and professional mission to educate others on the challenges and benefits of having neurodiverse friends and employees.

Mike Palin

Mike has been involved in youth and kids work for over 30 years. His current role is Director of the267project, which is an organisation that seeks to ‘resource-grow and celebrate’ youth and children’s work, and its leaders.

It may seem to be an oxymoron but in his talk, Mike will explore what communities of centenarians can teach us about the keys to finding ways to connect, and reconnect, with young people and build hopeful and hope-filled communities.

Sarah Aspinall

Sarah has a rich and eclectic background as a former lawyer, a trained dancer, a registered ballet teacher and a mum of two children. She founded Breaking Ballet, and helps busy women prioritise their health and fitness using short ballet-inspired workouts. She knows the value of movement to both bodies and minds.

Her talk will look at how coordinated group movement or “collective effervescence” can connect and inspire people.

The application process .

The application process will be in 2 stages:

Application form

All applications must be received by 7 April 2023

Audition in-person (or online)

Auditions on 23 May 2023

Criteria .

Our selection criteria throughout will be:


How well developed is the topic?

Speaking skills

Can this speaker engage and entertain the audience?


What are the ideas? What's new and different?


How much does the person want this?


Does this person have sufficient expertise for this topic.

TEDx Fit

Is this talk right for TEDx?

The following are NOT allowed on the TEDx stage:

  • Commercial agendas
  • Political agendas or inflammatory rhetoric
  • Religious agendas
  • Bad science

Our current lineup will be announced soon, so stay tuned for updates! .

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