Cut Through The Noise

Saturday 11th January 2020

Rose Theatre Kingston

12 talks plus performances

Speakers and talks to be confirmed

Avant-garde composer John Cage’s renowned 1952 work 4’33”, formed entirely of silence, challenges our assumptions on the differences between sound and noise.

In a distracted, relentless and cluttered world TEDxKingstonUponThames explores how we determine what is noise and what is truth, what is real and meaningful versus the illusory and negative. Without authenticity, can we truthfully participate, empathise and engage with others?

Talks include, a record breaking transatlantic adventure, a commercial pilot discussing human error, a dinner with Vladimir Putin, a student in the room with Google demanding change and a University Challenge star talking about the 'magic of numbers'.

We also have some questions. What does online dating look like when you're blind? Can an Instagram account change lives? Do we need to talk more openly about death?

Great storytelling enables us to ‘Cut Through The Noise’, connect with others and bridge differences. TEDx is a global programme of independently organised events based on the world-famous TED Talks model.

Through a day-long event of live talks and performances, TEDxKingstonUponThames – entirely not-for-profit and organised by volunteers – strives to bring our community together with unique stories, opinions and experiences to spark meaningful discussion.

Speakers and talks are subject to change. Timings are also subject to change however this is a full day event.

Talk details are in alphabetical order, not the running order of the day.

Debbie Deegan

‘Mrs Deegan, president putin will be seated to your right’

Debbie Deegan refused to accept no for an answer and it took her from her kitchen table to dinner with President Putin in the Kremlin. Over the past 20 years, her search for one child lead to changing her own life and the lives of thousands of children. Debbie tells the story of how an ordinary person can effect great social change through passion, determination, resilience and empathy.




Speaker Square Photo - Debbie.png

Belinda Bradley

#stayloud: how I changed Google maps?

In 2018, Belinda started a petition called 'Make Wheelchair Friendly Routes on Google Maps' on Change.org. It got 300,000 signatures and she is working directly with Google to continue changing their system, helping the lives of millions. A modern day David and Goliath story. Belinda will be telling the tale of why she decided to take on a giant like Google, how she got them to take notice and the personal victory to this particular change.


Natasha Donovan

The patient voice - A good way to deliver bad news

Natasha Donovan has gone from multiple life support machine experiences when battling cancer to becoming a leading voice of NHS patient empowerment. An effervescent optimist fired by determination, she has channelled her negative experiences of poor doctor-patient communication into a force for good to help others. Now Natasha teaches consultants, nurses and students how to clearly and sensitively communicate with patients at one of the world’s leading university hospitals.


Speaker Square Photo.png

Clemmie Stewart + Rebecca Glover


In a modern culture of overprotective parenting, how do we equip our children to have the grit to flourish in an ever changing world. Or are we just setting them up for failure? Education experts Rebecca Glover and Clemmie Stewart believe “trampoline parenting” is the solution. Their view is that children can only learn resilience and ‘character’ through experiencing failure. It is what we learn from our mistakes that helps us bounce back from adversity and understand our fit within the wider world.

Twitter + Twitter

Speaker Square Photo - Rebecca and Clemmie.png

Matt Lindley

Are We Designed To Fail? A View From The Flight Deck

Former RAF pilot Matt Lindley has spent most of his life with the best view on any airplane, the flight deck. Aviation history is full of stories where human and technological intelligence coexist and sometimes clash. From this unique vantage point he has pondered the question ‘Are we designed to fail?’.


Speaker Square Photo - Matt.png

Fern Lulham

What Online Dating Looks Like When You're Blind

Two things taught Fern about insecurity - being blind and online dating. From denying her disability entirely to learning that she didn't have to fully accept being blind to reveal it to others. Fern challenges the idea that total acceptance of oneself is necessary for others to accept us and explains that self-acceptance is not a moment of enlightenment, but a lifelong rollercoaster ride.




Fern and Nancy1.jpg

Bobby Seagull

THE MAGIC OF NUMBERS - Why Everyone Should Love Maths

University Challenge TV star Bobby Seagull has an infectiously enthusiastic passion for numbers. He is on a mission to encourage a love for maths and overcome the common assumption that you have to have a ‘maths brain’ to be any good at it. Bobby’s irresistible fascination with order and pattern in numbers reveals the incredible ways maths can help make sense of everyday life.




Lisa Selby + Elliot Murawski


When Elliot went to prison for three years addicted to class A drugs, his life and the life of his partner Lisa changed forever. During his sentence, Lisa started the Instagram account ‘Bluebaglife’ as a safe space to share their ongoing experiences. It quickly amassed a strong following of people fascinated by their stories or with a shared experience.

Since Elliot’s release in April 2019, ‘Bluebaglife’ has taken on a life of its own and the couple are using their network of supporters to aid their collective recovery and undo the shame associated with addiction and prison. Lisa and Elliot will be delivering their talk together, giving both sides of the story.


Speaker Square Photo - Lisa and Elliot.png

Sharon Young

Let's Talk About Dying And Start Living

Despite advances in medical science, 100% of people still die. A cultural reluctance to discuss death and dying means that many people die unprepared and leave things unsaid. Death as a taboo topic has been contested on a number of levels and Kingston Borough Councillor Sharon Young will talk about the rise in popularity of Death Cafes and the role they play in shaping perceptions of death and dying. 

Sharon set up the first Death Cafe in Kingston Upon Thames, using real life examples taken from two years working as a facilitator to highlight the importance of discussion on end of life.


Speaker Square Photo - Sharon.png