The talks were part of the inaugural TEDxLSTM event, independently conceptualised and organised by a committee of MRC DTP PhD students and held late 2019 at Liverpool's historic waterfront.
Centred around the topic of ‘Unknown Destinations’, the purpose of the event was to share experiences and promote discussion on topics, research and ideas ranging from climate change to anti-microbial resistance to identity.
The energetic work of organisers Katerina Cheliotis and Sophie Owen led to the granting of a license by TED, an influential global non-profit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, to devise and host an independently organised event. Supported by a committee of PhD student colleagues, Katerina and Sophie developed and hosted a dynamic programme of events that showcased the ground-breaking research taking place at LSTM and elsewhere, alongside cutting-edge performances that celebrated exploration of the unknown.
Those lucky enough to have obtained a ticket for the sold-out event were guided into the Museum of Liverpool by the lively beats of community drumming group Batala Mersey before being treated to 3 diverse, thought provoking sessions.
Speakers from LSTM included Professor Nicholas Casewell, Dr. Samantha Donnellan and Professor Sally Theobald who explored key research topics at LSTM such as snakebite, tuberculosis and leadership in global health.
Those in attendance were also inspired by the insights of guest speakers such as paediatric ophthalmic surgeon Dr Lola Solebo, Yemeni-scouse writer and poet Amina Atiq and global public health Professor David McCoy on themes of grace in artificial intelligence, the reality of the climate change emergency, advancements in child eye health and challenges of survival in underwater diving.
The day was perfectly rounded off by vibrant spoken word poetry, dance, and storytelling performances by both local and global artists.
Katerina Cheliotis and Sophie Owen said; “We wanted to provide a platform for unheard voices and to draw attention to great issues affecting people all over the world. We hope to have inspired positive change and enthused a new generation. The day would not have been possible without our wonderful team of volunteers and we are extremely grateful to them as well as our incredible speakers and compere, Ngunan Adamu, for all the hard work they put in. We were hugely inspired by the amazing talks and beautiful performances.”
Videos of the event are available via the TEDx Youtube Channel.