It's Friday, it’s Armistice Day, and maybe like me you’re in a reflective mood. It’s been an eventful few days, an eventful year in fact. The world feels like a very different place to this time last year, 11 Nov 2015, when TEDxBristol took to the stage at Colston Hall with 14 incredible speakers, who shared some remarkable stories and brave insights into how we might make the world a better place.

And it fills me with pride to know they kept to their word and kept at it. This year Al Crisci MBE has been taking his revolutionary approach to prisoner rehabilitation via food around the world. He was a finalist in the Basque Culinary World Prize and recently travelled to Turkey to share his message and TEDx talk with the culinary world there.

Meanwhile Lynne Elvins continues to break down barriers - he talk has had over 25,000 views and TEDx selected the talk about adoption and gay parents to appear in their LGBTQ playlist which has been watched around the world - their TEDx Innovations Blog is well worth a read.

Kim Ingleby is on the home stretch of her 100 mile challenge - running a series of 10km races as part of her brain-healing and charity fundraising mission. Despite literally getting knocked down quite recently, she’s back on her feet and getting out there!

I could go on listing some of the fantastic things our speakers have gone on to do, and the many positive connections and collaborations that spanned out like ripples in a pool of positive action from this time last year. And I feel that now more than ever, brilliant ideas and innovative solutions are needed. It is clear the world is going through a phase of exponential change. And it’s this disruption to the status quo, coupled with the ways we move through and forward, that the TEDxBristol team are committed to exploring at our next event in 2017.


Funnily enough a group of us got together six months ago to brainstorm our next theme, and after throwing lots of ideas, concepts and feelings into the pot, we came out with the phrase 'Dare To Disrupt'. Far from being a negative adjective - we wanted to explore the progress and break-through thinking that might be achieved through disrupting the status quo. So without even knowing it we’d stumbled upon an idea which would hold even greater significance in a post Brexit and Trump-elect world - as we head into an already disrupted and unimagined 2017.

So my challenge to you is to join us on our quest for the positive disruptors, the people that challenge the status quo to find better and more authentic ways of solving problems, breaking down barriers and pioneering progress. We’ll be back on stage in late 2017, having gone through our own exponential phase of change and growth, as we become a two-day event, having been granted a ‘level 2’ licence from TED. With that will come many challenges - but with your help we are sure the journey will be an exciting one.

Our new website is coming soon - when we launch it we’ll also officially launch our speaker search for 2017 - so keep your eyes and ears peeled, and whatever else happens in 2017, we’ll be back with some welcome disruption to the status quo. I hope you can be a part of it!

In the meantime, if you get a chance check out Can a Divided America Heal? on In the wake of the most divisive US election in living memory, TED curator Chris Anderson talks to social psychologist Jonathan Haidt about how to get our heads around the moral, political and emotional issues that have now come to the fore. From the polarising nature of social media to the patterns of thinking and historical causes that have led to such sharp divisions in America - it’s 20 minutes well spent if you’d like to wrap your head around what just happened, in a safe TED-space!

Take care and see you soon.

Best wishes,

Mel Rodrigues

Curator, TEDxBristol