TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWellsWomen 2016

Stepping Out from the Fickle Finger of Fate by Natasha Courtenay-Smith

Stepping Out from the Fickle Finger of Fate | Natasha Courtenay-Smith 

So many of us have so many talents, and can do and be so much. But we live in a world in which so many of us wait for opportunities to be gifted to us and keep our talents to ourselves. We pin our future on the next round of promotions, and when it doesn’t happen, we buckle down for another year. Natasha Courtenay-Smith will be talking about how to stop waiting to be chosen and how to empower yourself to reach your own goals.

Here's why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: Natasha is an entrepreneur, digital strategist and author of the Million Dollar Blog. She works with clients including celebrities, business owners, private health care clinics and charities to help them improve their visibility and reach new audiences both online and through mainstream media. Natasha is a former national newspaper journalist who founded one of the UK’s first online press agencies, which was acquired by the SWNS media group in 2014. She brings to bear both her experience in mainstream and online media for her clients.

We all have a favourite TED talk. Here's Natasha's: Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Natasha wants you to walk away from her talk thinking: That we all have it within ourselves to achieve our goals. That we can all empower ourselves to get to where we want to go.

Learn more about Natasha by checking her out on: Her websiteTwitter and Instagram.

Get Back to Nature for Good Mental Health by Caroline Arnold

Get Back to Nature for Good Mental Health | Caroline Arnold 

Caroline Arnold is a Tunbridge Wells local who runs a charity on a 500 acre Organic Dairy Farm at Bore Place, near Chiddingstone. She’s passionate about the environment, the countryside and the great outdoors and actively works with young people to educate them about the environment, sustainability, and how getting out in nature can help manage mental health issues. While most of us are tapping on our phones, she's tapping into the productivity of the land and teaching others to live a more sustainable and natural life. Now doesn't that sound like a breath of fresh air? 

Here's why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: Caroline will share her thoughts and experiences on why it is time to get back to some good old fashioned basics and how this can deliver great educational, vocational, self-esteem and confidence outcomes in the young people we work with. By the end of her talk, we’ll all be itching to get out of One Warwick Park and into the countryside!

Here's what Caroline wants you to take away from her talk: That working with others is important. Whether it's with people in different fields, or people or individuals in areas with common interests, working together will allow you to create important connections, build your networks and spark ideas for future collaborations.

Learn more about Caroline by visiting her on: Her websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

Make Failure Your Friend if You Want to Succeed by Elise Pacquette

Make Failure Your Friend if You Want to Succeed | Elise Pacquette

Elise Pacquette has done a great deal in her life. After growing up in Tunbridge Wells, she moved to London and has been living there for the past 19 years. In those years, she has been an artist/illustrator, stage manager, prop maker, art teacher, degree lecturer, communication support worker, and a qualified sign language interpreter. But her true work doesn't feature on her CV– she's a social entrepreneur who is passionate about making sure pre-teens safely and confidently become independent in adulthood. And part of making healthy and happy adults involves thinking about how we grow and fail in a whole new way. 

A little bit about her and why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: Elise is the founder of Funpactand the creator of The Bridging The Gap course which offers a unique opportunity for parents/carers and their pre-teens to explore the journey towards independence together. An idea Elise had in the middle of the night three years ago has now developed into an award winning social enterprise hosted by schools and youth and health centres in West London. In her talk at TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWellsWomen, she will challenge us teach our children to become fearless in the face of failure so they can live more successful lives. 

Elise's favourite TED talks: Ric Elias: 3 Things I Learned While My Plane CrashedBrène Brown: The Power of Vulnerability, and Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight.

Here's what Elise wants you to take away from her talk: To go away feeling differently about not achieving something you set your heart on because you have gained an insight regarding the power of time to change something in your past which was labelled as a ‘failure’ into something more successful than the original aim would have achieved. By re-mapping and re-labelling that previous failure, you can help re-evaluate current circumstances and indeed the future. This can lead you to being braver with your risks, letting go of past regret, and being more positive about your future knowing that whatever happens is part of your journey.

You can learn more about Elise over on: Twitter and her website.

Why I Want Men to Stand Up For the F Word by Jordan Jones

Why I Want Men To Stand Up For The F Word | Jordan Jones

There are three things that TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWellsWomen speaker Jordan Jones wants you to know about him:
1. He was born at a time when there was still a green Power Ranger. (#80’sBaby!)
2. He has an unhealthy relationship to chocolate. (Which he's working on...)
3. 353 days a year, he is a Black Feminist. (He takes 12 days a year to recover)

But this isn't all you should know about Jordan...

Here's why he'll give a terrific TEDx talk: In some ways, Jordan feels like he behaves like a stereotypical man and has learned to accept his love of contact sports and crude Will Ferrell films without self-flagellation. But on his journey to obliterating the social disease that is patriarchy, he's constantly acknowledging his privilege as a man whilst navigating through the impact of how his race is perceived by others.

Growing up in a predominately female household, Jordan never knew where his place as a man was in the fight to end patriarchy, or if by being a man he was, by definition, part of the problem. With many (needed) women-only spaces, he craved a place where he could have his voice be heard as an ally. This search led him to become a volunteer facilitator with @GreatMenUK, which delivers workshops to young boys in secondary schools across England to discuss gender, equality, violence, masculinity and identity. Jordan feels truly fortunate to be able to positively contribute to the next generation of young men in such a profound way.

Jordan says, "A woman once told me, ‘I am my politics and I can't switch it off, once I do that, I die’. This has always stayed with me, I do the day-to-day, ordinary things I love, but I never stop challenging the inequalities that have become part of society's fabric." He goes on to say, "Whilst I try not to stand on my soap box too often, I truly believe it is every single human being's responsibility to make this world a better place, not just for ourselves, but to honour those who came before us and to support those who will come after us. In the words of Dylan Kwabena Mills, 'Fix Up Look Sharp'."

We all have a favourite TED talk. Here are some of Jordan's: Will Stephen: How To Sound Smart in Your TEDx TalkDan Slepian: Voices From Within, and Sam Berns: My Philosophy for a Happy Life

Here's what Jordan wants you to take away from his talk: Words are only as good as the impact it has on the recipient. With this in mind, he wants the audience to feel invigorated. He wants them to feel challenged & motivated to take an action in the world, an action which makes a difference with someone or something in the fight for equality.

There is an integral need to hold all men and boys to account for the role they play in equality. Jordan doesn't want people to listen to his talk, clap, smile and then forget about it. He wants people to feel what he feels, he wants them to make a stand for what it is they believe in. The past has shown that change can only occur when the status quo is challenged. What will you challenge? 

You can learn more about Jordan on: Twitter

The Art of Gentle Protest by Sarah Corbett

The Art Of Gentle Protest | Sarah Corbett

We're so pleased to introduce Sarah Corbett of Craftivist Collective!

A little bit about her and why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: Sarah Corbett grew up in an activist family and has worked as a professional campaigner for 6 years, most recently with Oxfam. She started doing craftivism (craft + activism) in 2008 as a reaction to traditional aggressive or quick forms of activism. She set up the global Craftivist Collective in 2009 which now has thousands of supporters across the world taking part in craftivism projects. Sarah is one of the leading spokespeople in the craftivism movement and shares her message all over the world. Her solo exhibition ‘Gentle Protest’ has been shown in Stockholm and Helsinki and she sells products and delivers workshops and training all around the world. She's also the author of A Little Book of Craftivism and her second book, How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest will be out next autumn.

Sarah's favourite TED talk: Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts because it helped her stop being a burnt-out activist/craftivist and learn more about the strengths of being an introvert in activism, rather than focus on the struggles of being an introverted activist.

Here's what Sarah wants you to take away from her talk: That gently protesting can be more effective and fits our values more than aggressive activism.

You can also find Sarah getting her craft on over on: TwitterInstagramFacebook, and Pinterest.


The Power of Storytelling by Anna Wharton

The Power Of Storytelling | Anna Wharton

In a world that can often feel dominated by male voices, it can be difficult for a woman to find her voice - and most importantly, be heard. Tunbridge Wells local, Anna Wharton, will be focussing on the power of storytelling at TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWellsWomen. By sharing her own story, she'll show how all our stories are important and help make us laugh, cry, smile, empathise, and most importantly, learn. When women embrace the uniqueness of their own voice, they can to save lives, change hearts, and even change the world.

Here's why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: Anna has spent the last 20 years working as a journalist, editor and ghostwriter. Her career has taken her from local evening newspapers, through women’s magazines to national newspapers - her last staff position being one of the executive editors on the Daily Mail. Since the birth of her daughter in 2012, she has been freelancing, writing columns for The Times, The Guardian, Grazia and Red among others, and she has been a regular pundit on shows such as This Morning and Good Morning Britain.

In the last few years, she has been working as a ghostwriter, and has written three memoirs; Breaking The Silence by Jo Milne, CUT: One Woman's Fight Against FGM in Britain Today by Hibo Wardere, and Brave by Adele Bellis. She is an expert storyteller and now she wants to share some of her story with you.

We all have a favourite TED talk. Here's Anna's: Jonny G: What Makes a Bestseller?

Here's what Anna wants you to take away from her talk: We are surrounded by stories, every single day. We switch on the TV, we pick up a newspaper, we meet with our friends. Each day we are taking in information, we are learning, we are developing, and this is all thanks to the power of storytelling. Everybody has a story inside them, but it is recognising that story, and bringing it to the fore. It is finding your voice, and therefore your confidence. It is speaking up and saying, this is me and this is what I have to tell you. And it’s important, and interesting, and therefore, so am I.

Learn more about Anna by folllowing her on: Twitter and her website.


The Robots are Coming… Look Busy by Laura Thomson

The Robots Are Coming… Look Busy | Laura Thomson

Laura Thomson loves robots! She has been developing and delivering culture change, communication and leadership programmes for organisations since 2000 and is passionate about helping people increase their confidence, impact and results in life through fun, practical talks and workshops. Alongside other clients, she have been involved with Heathrow Airport on various skills, mindset and behaviour change projects since September 2013. At this year's TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWellsWomen event, she'll be giving us a glimpse into the future of robotics and how they'll impact our lives.

Here's why Laura will give a terrific TEDx talk: Laura has a background in Human Psychology, and is fascinated with the impact that robots, smart automation and Artificial Intelligence will have on future workplaces. As front line jobs become increasingly automated, it will require a shift in leadership focus to ensure teams remain switched on: motivated, safe and vigilant in their work. During these transition years, the robots will only ‘take over’ if us humans switch off. The key will be to create a Silicon Symbiosis – where technology complements rather than competes. A thriving workplace will be one that focuses people on the aspects of a job that are beyond an algorithm.

Long term, this will impact how society needs to prepare today’s children for tomorrow’s jobs. Right now, leaders need to be focusing on the human skills to create a living workplaceover the next decade as we see the enormous changes that AI will bring.

We all love TED 'round here! Here are some TED talks Laura especially enjoys: Derek Sivers: How to Start a Movement as it makes leadership less lofty and more accessible. Likewise for Drew Dudley: Leading With LollipopsBrené Brown: The Power of Vulnerabilitywas life-changing for Laura, and Matt Cutts: Try Something New for 30 Days is the TED talk she's passed on the most.

Laura wants you to walk away from her talk: Feeling inspired to refresh the way they view technology in our lives. Laura believes technology should complement rather than compete for our attention at home and work and she wants audience members to find the practical tips she shares useful as a way to identify what to prioritise in our lives. She also wants us to feel more optimistic about how we can contribute to today’s children having a meaningful career ahead of them.

Learn more about Laura on: Her website


Defrost Your Potential by Nat Taylor

Defrost Your Potential | Nat Taylor

A GP in the British Army, Nat is co-leading Exercise ICE MAIDEN, a phenomenal expedition of the first all-female attempt to cross the Antarctic land mass coast-to-coast, via the South Pole. Come to TEDxRTWWomen to find out more about the challenges and perils of planning and training for this arduous adventure and find out why It’s About Time women take on Polar exploration, which has for the last 100 years been dominated by men. As Nat says, “This challenge is about inspiring others, not only women, to get out and find their fire. Fire comes from a small spark. It will be become a fire with nurture.”

How Listening to My Gut Changed EVERYTHING by Rebecca Hirst

How Listening to My Gut Changed EVERYTHING | Rebecca Hirst

We're at our best when we feel our best, and nobody knows this better than TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWellsWomen speaker, Rebecca Hirst. Her journey from Coke-selling marketing executive to nutritional expert has radically and gloriously changed her life, and she's now helping others change their lives and feel their very best, too. We're so excited to hear her story and steal her secrets to living the glorious life during her TEDx talk on the 29th of October, that we're already planning to boycott the Halloween candy... maybe. 

A little bit about her and why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: After being thoroughly fed up with having adult acne in her 20s and 30s, Rebecca began investigating whether there was a connection between what she was eating and her skin woes. Spoiler alert: there was. This revelation prompted her to leave her career after 20 brilliant years in marketing– the last six of which were at Coca-Cola– to study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. That's right, she is a senior Coke marketer turned nutrition expert, and the irony's not lost on her! She now runs her company Glorious Wellness where she transforms the energy of busy professional women (and a few men, too) so that they feel gloriously well, fire on all cylinders, and accomplish amazing things. As a busy professional woman herself, she knows how important living gloriously well is, and she’s delighted to finally be spot-free in her 40s and share her knowledge with others.

Rebecca's favourite TED talks: Mel Robbins: How To Stop Screwing Yourself OverCindy Gallop: Make Love, Not Porn, and Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability.

Here's what Rebecca wants you to take away from her talk: To trust your gut. She never lies.

You can learn more about Rebecca over on: FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Youtube.


The Man Who Needed to Listen by Joe Strong

The Man Who Needed To Listen | Joe Strong

When it comes to gender equality, TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWellsWomen speaker Joe Strong knows the importance of addressing systemic inadequacies that hinder communities from achieving equality between the sexes. An avid traveller, Joe's been studying women's empowerment around the world while pursuing his recently-completed Masters degree and he's going to share some eye-opening thoughts on his studies in Ghana with us on 29 October. His talk may make you realise that you don't need to travel far to find systemic gender inequality after all...

Here's why he will give a terrific TEDx talk: Born and raised in Tunbridge Wells, Joe recently finished his Masters and is now working as an intern and volunteer. After a gap year where he wound up working in a tequila bar in New Zealand, he researched and wrote his dissertation on The Power of Context: Measuring Women’s Empowerment through Data in Ghana.

We all have a favourite TED talk and this is Joe's: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Dangers of a Single Stor

Here's what Joe wants you to take away from his talk: He hopes that they might take away ideas beyond what we are taught and know in the UK about the intersectionality of race, gender and geopolitics and the role that globalisation has had on women in Ghana. And maybe some history about Ghana you didn’t know about, too!

Learn more about Joe and follow his travel adventures on: Twitter

3 Huge Problems with Care Homes, 1 Small Solution by Debbie Harris

3 Huge Problems With Care Homes, 1 Small Solution | Debbie Harris

Debbie Harris is passionate about family and believes that spending time together as a family and taking care of the younger and older members in our family is enormously important. This is especially true as our greying population is growing and many of our loved ones find themselves in care facilities where they lack the emotional and nutritional nourishment they need to thrive in their golden years.

A little bit about Debbie and why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: Debbie Harris is the founder of Chosen with Care, an independent care home finding company. She believes that our older citiizens should be cherished. Their stories are the fabric of our nation and we should shine a spotlight on their achievements instead of allowing them to spend the end of their lives living invisibly amongst us.

Based in Tunbridge Wells, Debbie and her team help self funding families find care homes across the South East of England. Debbie lives in Tunbridge Wells but was born in Birmingham and has lived in the South East of England for most of her life.

Here's what Debbie wants you to take away from her talk: Debbie wants the audience to start thinking inclusively about care homes. How can the younger generation work with care homes, so that both young and old benefit and are included in society?

You can learn more about Rebecca over on: TwitterFacebook, and her website.

Are You Guilty of Not Having it All? by Alexandra Bond

Are You Guilty Of Not Having It All? | Alexandra Bond

Have you heard of The Guilt Game? The one where you endlessly feel guilty about not doing enough, being enough, and achieving enough? The one where you compare yourself to others and feel like there's more you need to be doing? The Guilt Game is a game that many play but few enjoy, and TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells speaker, Alexandra Bond, thinks it's about time that we stopped playing it.

Here's why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: Alexandra spent the last decade working on financial and creative event projects for GE Corporate, London 2012 DP, Regents College and Imperial College London. Since then, having trained in theatrical performance Alexandra led educational projects focusing on speech development, focus engagement and education using theatre and production techniques to build on those tricky communication skills that can stem from a lack of confidence. During her leap from project management to the creative sector, she used her evening and weekends to obtain a degree from Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, focusing projects on the spectator/ performer relationship and how we can harness these skills in performance and production for brand engagement. Over the years Alexandra has had the pleasure of working with Shakespeare4Kidz, Perform UK, and currently has the pleasure of working with Disney Theatrical Productions. Two years ago she started her own agency now rebranded as Bond Ambition – a creative business support agency based in the South East providing B2B event, promotional staffing and payroll in the UK, Europe and the United Emirates.

We all have a favourite TED talk or two. Here are Alexandra's: Barbra Streisand on women and medican research which gives fascinating insight into how medical research is conducted. Leila Hoteit: 3 Lessons on Success from an Arab Businesswoman in which she talks about being a working mom.

Here's what Alexandra wants you to take away from her talk: That you take some time to think about what you put out into the world, have a think about what people are really saying when they communicate, and ultimately take a breath, and realise that whilst there are fights that need to be fought, we are all doing much better than we thought.

Learn more about Alexandra by giving her a visit over on: LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Let's Talk About SECS! by Lucy McLeod

Let's Talk About SECS! | Lucy McLeod

We live in a world that references sex endlessly. Whether we're watching a television show, reading the newspaper, or clicking around the internet, we're endlessly exposed to sexually charged imagery. Now in her mid-twenties, Lucy McLeod is especially aware of the prevalence of sexual imagery that surrounds us and she's also aware of how rarely our young people are getting realistic, informative and helpful sexual education. She believes that it's about time we changed that.

A little bit about her and why she'll give a terrific TEDx talk: Lucy grew up and was educated in Mid-Kent but is now very happily settled in West Kent where she works in marketing and communications. She enjoys long walks through the countryside and tea– lots and lots of tea. She's excited to be speaking at TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWellsWomen about a topic that is very important to her: the need for more substantive sex and relationship education in secondary schools. From her own experience, and that of a few brilliant teacher friends, she's found the current curriculum to be lacking in substantive informative sex and relationship education. She wants to highlight the importance of S&RE education in our sexually liberated modern world which is full of unrealistic ideals and influences.

Watch Lucy's favourite TED talks: Brené Brown: The Power of VulnerabilityCindy Gallop: Make Love Not PornTim Urban: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator.

Here's what Lucy wants you to take away from her talk: A better knowledge of the current issues surrounding sex and relationship therapy, how young people are responding to one of the few things providing them a semblance of "sex education" (porn), and new and emerging battles we have to face (revenge porn, sexting, the immersive nature of sex in media). She also wants to encourage parents, teachers, and people in positions of trust to push past the awkwardness of "the chat" and know that they are so so important for providing an education about sex, relationships, trust, consent, etc. so that young adults can go on to trust themselves to know when they're unsafe, to recognise dangerous behaviour patterns, and to respect people in their relationships.

You can learn more about Lucy over on: Twitter