Team 2015




If Mel could choose a motto to live by, it would probably be Spread Ideas Worth Spreading’ – and so she’s delighted that TED has already coined it!

Mel began her career in journalism and TV production 13 years ago, before the days of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook when you used the phone book to find contributors and ideas were harder to spread so instantly and democratically. When she discovered TED she jumped for joy – as she never really enjoyed sharing videos of dancing cats online – mind-blowing talks are much more her thing.

Mel thinks Bristol is the kind of place where creativity and collaboration feels so possible you can almost taste it in the air – and she experienced this first-hand last year when she produced the first “BBC at Bristol Food Connections Festival” – 11 days of live shows and fun food experiments on the waterfront.

Mel is thrilled to have taken the reins as TEDxBristol’s curator for 2015. She promises to bring her passion for food to the role (anyone fancy an empanada?) and also her military precision production skills, to find the most exciting and enlightening speakers.

While not running around the country filming psychic pets and kung-fu grannies, she loves yoga, pop-up restaurants and planning the next adventure.




Nat has worked on the TEDxBristol core team since the event began in 2011, attended TED 2012 and curated TEDxBristol 2013. This year she’s using her eye for detail and encyclopaedic knowledge of all things TED to oversee the event.

By day Nat is a freelance designer, using a multidisciplinary skillset to work with a wide range of clients, from Disney and CBBC to the London School of Economics and the Academy of Medical Sciences. When she’s not having very serious conversations with adults about the best way to draw fart clouds, she can be found in the gym picking heavy things up and putting them back down.

Nat believes that the best ideas happen when people cross industry lines, and conversations happen between people with wildly different experiences and skillsets.




Born and bred in Plymouth, Matt grew up exploring the rugged landscape of Dartmoor and beaches of Devon and Cornwall. The outdoors life led Matt to join the Army at the age of 19, where he served as far a field as the USA, the Balkans, Kenya and the Jungles of Central America.

Ten years later and full of curiosity at the workings of the world, Matt left military life to become a student and study physics. Post graduation, he landed a job with a major technology company working on communications and biometric technology.

Matt is a passionate collaborator and loves nothing more than a challenge, especially where a bit of ducking and diving is required to solve them, so it is fitting that Matt now finds himself as a leader of innovation with a particular focus on design thinking, problem finding and generally resisting the status quo! A recently elected Fellow of the RSA, Matt is relishing the opportunity to help people share their ideas and make this years TEDxBristol the most successful yet.

In his spare time, Matt can be found exploring the Mendips with his wife and children (boy/girl twins), travelling, learning photography, reading books, watching TED talks, consuming good food and seeking inspiration from what little idle time he can squeeze in between.

Alana Crisci - Project Manager

Alana Crisci

Project Manager

Alana comes to TEDxBristol 2015 to direct and manage all operations, creative strategy, event design and generally keep the team on the straight and narrow!

Having graduated from Reading University with a history degree, Alana went on to sharpen her skills in the world of investment finance before moving full time in to the charity sector, spending three years developing support strategies for highly vulnerable young people through arts, education, therapeutic programmes and practical support at Kids Company.

Alana not only has vision, she is a born doer with a creative flair who knows exactly how to deploy her business development, networking and strategy skills, to achieve it.

So, it was fitting that Alana moved on to cut her teeth in the start up world, playing a major role in launching Room One, a 4000 square foot creative studio, gallery and study centre where artists explore ideas that challenge the perception of how art can be conceived, constructed and used. Following the success of the launch, Alana moved on to work on a variety of freelance projects... thereby allowing her to join the TedxBristol team.

In her spare time, Alana supports both the arts and charity sector through applied knowledge in varying capacities, and eats - a lot.

Alana is most excited about working with Matt Mullan.

PAOLA DAVIS - Facilities and Logistics Manager


Facilities and Logistics Manager

Paola was all set for a career as a research biologist, but after doing a lab-based dissertation she realised that a solitary existence with lab cultures wasn’t actually for her. After getting her degree she took off travelling to the Middle East and parts of Africa, lived in London for four years, travelled again, this time to Australasia, before coming home in 2002 and settling in Bristol.

She joined the AXA Event Team delivering and designing wide and varied motivational strategies, annual sales conferences and everything else in between from super high-level CEO meetings to fun team days. She also knows her way around a golf course, albeit on a buggy via the halfway house! After 10 years learning the trade, she then took the leap into the world of freelancing.

What Paola loves about the world of events is designing event programmes for her clients, creating events that exceed their expectations. She thrives on the event-day buzz when all her planning comes together!

In her spare time Paola works with the Event Organisers Network, has started running (with her second 10k looming) and reads books back to back.

Paola loves vibrancy and creative attitude of Bristol and has really put down roots in her adoptive city, doing the job of her dreams and spending quality time with her husband and two children.

Hannah Allies - Social Media & Content Manager

Hannah Allies

Social Media & Content Manager

Hannah is a West Country native who loves nothing more than seeing big ideas come to life. After studying English Literature at the University of York, she moved back down south to get stuck in the Bristol creative scene.

With a background in marketing in the environmental sector, she's now a freelance writer and media junkie, bringing copy to life for organisations across the city. She loves the vibrancy and originality found in every corner of Bristol and can't think of a better place for a TEDx.

She's in charge of social media and content for TEDxBristol, and you probably won't miss her at the event - she'll be snapping everything in sight for the TEDxBristol Twitter feed, and she's got blue hair.

In her spare time she writes fiction, spends far too much time on Buzzfeed and says hello to every dog she sees on the street.

ASH PHILLIPS - Social Media Consultant


Social Media Consultant

Apparently, running a creative agency and a social enterprise full time, whilst fitting in public speaking and some sort of social life wasn’t enough for Ash so he decided to help us out with sending TEDxBristol viral in 2015.

His experience in building brands, websites and marketing campaigns for clients both small and large will hopefully see this years event win the best and largest reputation yet. Experience in running networking events locally will be used to full advantage too! All this experience but only 25… (the team think he might be the real Benjamin Button.)

Ash is also a huge fan of all things space and hopes to explore it one day - which we’d be frankly over the moon to see happen! (See what we did there?!)
Clare Crossley - Production Manager

Clare Crossley

Production Manager

Clare is Bristol born and bred, and is proud to have worked here in the creative industries for 19 years. She’s a powerhouse of the production world, having managed a huge range of television, live events and graphic design projects. No budget is too big or too scary, and her spreadsheets make sense of madness.

Having worked on some of the BBC Natural History Unit’s best love nature films, her colleagues would say she’s got a cool head but a quick reflex. She's the lady that makes sure Attenborough has a comfy bed for the night, and that the tent the crew are camping in is definitely bear-proof.

We’re not expecting any grizzlies at TEDxBristol this year, but she’s your lady if you have any queries or comfort requirements.

She’s looking forward to swapping the natural world for the urban jungle and delivering the most ambitious TEDxBristol to date.

In her spare time she loves taking her dog and children for walks, and loves lounging in the Lido on her own.

Samuel Williams - Speaker Coach

Samuel Williams

Speaker Coach

Samuel is indefatigable when it comes to celebrating the diversity of human creativity. He is driven to advocate and pioneer sustainable and contextual initiatives that work towards individual motivation, community transformation and product innovation.

This drive towards experiencing the richness of human expression has seen Samuel working amongst the rapids as a kayak instructor, the pigment as an artist, the dispossessed and disenfranchised as a youth worker in England and abroad; as a writer, academic, minister, mentor and Not for Profit advocate.

It wasn’t long before Samuel realised that he was in the business of story. Now as the founder and lead storyteller at Hodos Consultancy Co. Samuel works with SME’s, charities, groups and individuals, helping them to identify and then magnify their message.

Among other bits and pieces Samuel is focused towards working along side our TEDxBristol speakers. He says, “it is such a privilege, and humbling too, working with people of passion who are at the top of their game. I get one-to-one TED talks every presentation coaching session - I love my Job!"




Well-crafted, targeted, imaginative and engaging words are where Lianne’s passions lie. She can often be seen shuffled into the corner of a bus on her daily commute, cramming lines of inspiration into swelling moleskins. Whether it’s a Facebook status, blog posting, article, poem, short story or shopping list, she’s a sucker for a beautifully fashioned word.

In her professional life, Lianne works in a multi-faceted role for an electronic design start-up company, based in the innovative hub that is the Bristol and Bath Science Park.

Lianne’s diverse passions include experiencing the striking intricacies of Bristol culture and watching EastEnders everyday - including the Sunday Omnibus.

Dana Bopp - Volunteers Manager and Event Support

Dana Bopp

Volunteers Manager and Event Support

New in June from the States, Dana brings her technology project management energy and expertise in New York City and Silicon Valley to TEDxBristol. Originally excited to find out an event was actually happening in her new city, she sent an email and quickly found herself immersed in the exciting world of producing a world class event with an AMAZING team of talented and kind people. While working with the TEDxBristol team she's also been introduced to the inside of the BBC, Boston Tea Party and the Lido.

A single mother by choice to two wonderful and creative teenage kids, she looks forward to hearing and integrating into her life the advice the amazing speakers have to offer. Another benefit: Her "coolness" credibility was dramatically increased when her children found out she was working on the TEDxBristol team!

When not working on different components for the event, she's learning the Bristol bus system, quilting, working on a book of activities for children teaching kindness and compassion or meditating with her 3 cats.

Rosalind J. Turner - Volunteers Co-ordinator and Event Support

Rosalind J. Turner

Volunteers Co-ordinator and Event Support

Originally from 'up north' Rosalind has lived in Bristol nearly 30 years and loves its creative credentials, it chimes so well with her own. Whilst she describes her career path as eclectic and whimsical, a meander with several diversions off-piste, working with new ideas is definitely one of them. Following a chance encounter on arrival in Bristol, Rosalind discovered a flair for organisation that led to 13 years in events design and delivery, including roles within Ashton Court Festival, Womad, and Glastonbury. Intertwined with her interest in Ceramics, Rosalind also followed up on her earlier training, an apprenticeship in hand thrown pottery, into a BA Ceramics at UWE, she is now a regular maker and exhibitor, not only of ceramics, but also of macabre fascinators.

Stepping aside from the world of events after her son was born, Rosalind was motivated not only by her curiosity into the stories we tell ourselves and the tales we tell others, but through her love of the natural world, and a very deep desire to help us understand our place within it. This part time post graduate diploma in Humanistic Psychology, entitled Leadership, Facilitation and Coaching fuelled her with a passion for helping others to explore ideas, walking alongside people as they dive deeper below the surface and become more embodied. TedXBristol is a perfect fit.

Rosalind is known in Bristol for projects which facilitate dialogue on the move, such as Netwalking South West, and also facilitates for the internationally renowned Schumacher College, where she works annually with Satish Kumar. In her personal life she juggles freelance work with parenting her now teenage son, carving out time for her art, and when and where possible, she loves wild swimming. Described by others as insightful, plain speaking and deep thinking, Rosalind describes herself as an edge walker, which according to permaculture, is where all the interesting things happen . . .

James Sopp - Audio Visual

James Sopp

Audio Visual

After spending a number of years as a landscaper, James put down his hedge-cutter and chose a different career path a few of years ago, and has since immersed himself in tech, working as an editor and camera operative in Bristol.

Combining the structures and time management procedures of self-employment with his new found love of gadgets and codes, he has found the change into a world on zeros and ones a mind-blowing, yet exciting and enjoyable journey, and looks forward to diving head first into the world of TED.

Outside of work he is keen blogger and gardener, freelance music journalist and also has a keen interest in photography and Kung Fu.

Tom Glendinning - Photographer

Tom Glendinning


Tom Glendinning is a freelance commercial photographer living and working in Bath. The aim of his work is always to discover and reveal unexpected stories, emotions and meaning through frozen moments of time.

As further artistic outlet, he makes street photography portraits when exploring cities and is addicted to seeking out wild and rugged landscapes, skies and seas. The rest of his time is occupied with rock climbing, surfing, yoga and reading philosophical sci-fi. All at once.

Anna Barclay - Photographer

Anna Barclay


Anna Barclay is an editorial photographer covering news assignments and events in the South West of England and Wales. After graduating from Nottingham Trent School of Art and Design she landed her first job on the local newspapers in Bath in 2001. After three years she joined the National Press agency SWNSphotographing news and features at a national level anything from The Guardian to Grazia. Anna is now freelance and enjoys working for a wide range of clients and titles.