It is a city that attracts residents from all corners of the world, all here with a common ideal – knowledge: the pursuit of it and the imparting of it.
It is a city with a pervasive atmosphere of innovation. And also one of venerable tradition and history. In this city, the birth of new ideas is accepted as the norm – but each new idea still buzzes with excitement.
It is worldly wise, and at the same time, a little insular. You meet people with huge intellect, who are almost incapable of buying a postage stamp but will discuss complex physics with authority. I love this city.
It has Science Week which I’ve heard described as one of the best science festivals in the world. It has Wordfest, now 10 years old, and although small, one of the festivals that attracts authors from all over the country. It has Cambridge Open Studios: four weekends in which to visit artists in their studios all over the city. Each of these is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a specific aspect of the arts or science. But none of them is specifically devoted to fostering connections between these areas of expertise, culture and innovation.
With all these wonderful connections and contradictions in one place, Cambridge is just the perfect place for a TEDx event. So we’ve put together TEDxGranta:Alive & Kicking – “A celebration of restless innovation in the arts and sciences. Of survivors and creators. And of people who kick back against established ways of thinking.”
Just look at the great list of speakers. We’ll cover design, business, social enterprise, psychology, music, film-making, engineering and more. We’re even having a blindfold kung fu exhibition. And that’s just on the stage. The delegate list is just as interesting.
We’ve still got a lot to do – and with only 2 weeks to the event, we’re in high-activity mode. I’m really looking forward to it – the buzz will be brilliant.