Mel loves coming up with new ideas, connecting people and putting on a good show - which is probably why she has taken on curating TEDxBristol with relish!

Mel thinks Bristol is the kind of place where creativity and collaboration feels so possible you can almost taste it in the air – and has enjoyed leading the TEDxBristol team in their mission to share home-grown ideas on the world stage since 2015.

By day Mel is a Producer at BBC Bristol, where she produces a variety of factual films and inspirational events. Her passion for this city began in the late 90’s when she moved here to study at Bristol University. She happily returned to Bristol five years ago after working on media projects in London, Cardiff and Melbourne and also for an international charity in Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

When she’s not racing around with a camera and a deadline, she enjoys the brilliant countryside walks that the Bristol region has to offer, as well as the quality of the cider in the more traditional Somerset watering holes!

I dare to disrupt because ...

Every day we make assumptions and rely on received wisdom - I like challenging unhelpful 'best practice' and finding 'better practice'. There's always room for challenge, improvement and break-through thinking!

Clare is has lived in Bristol for many years, and is proud to have worked here in the creative industries for 23 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 coming back to the TEDxBristol team having looked after the production, and managed the live stage in 2015 and 2016. 

In her spare time she loves to walk in the countryside. 

Introducing our fabulous superboomer, Halina who segued into Head of Partnerships in October 2018 to be the powerhouse behind the financial success of TEDxBristol 2019. Lucky that this gritty pearl loves a challenge! 

A natural connector she delights bringing people together with interesting, inspiring, intriguing opportunities. Halina has an unerring ability to not only spot potential but to bring it into being. Hence showcasing the successful Community Partnerships for TEDxBristol 2017. An ideas generator par excellence she is certainly action woman too. Her portfolio career includes HR with M&S; leadership roles in education; senior sales executive with Trinity Mirror Group; BWB – Bristol Women in Business providing high end professional development for corporate women.

Passionate about building community in all its diversity and richness; developing new talent; making our planet sustainable Halina is delighted that her values reflect those of TEDxBristol perfectly. Being able to help potential partners find their bespoke fit with TEDxBristol, discover how their investment in a variety of aspects can have ROI that exceeds their expectations hits her sweet spot for sure.

In 2017 Halina was nominated for a National Diversity Award in the Positive Role Model category. She is fairy godmother to 12 delightful, inspirational godchildren aged between 51years and 6 months; Strategic Consultant; Executive Coach, Workshop creator & facilitator; sings with Gasworks Choir; an expert decode of behavioural preference profiling; inspirational role model to women demonstrating that ‘yes you can achieve what you want’ and that by saying yes all sorts of adventures with a mix of scary & excitement have space to happen.

The magic of this extraordinary city with all its diversity, inclusion and contradictions influenced her choice of Bristol becoming home. Living on the harbourside is a dream become reality.

I dare to disrupt because ...

I dare to disrupt because it’s fun to explore, challenge and question what is to discover what might be and marvel in the journey of discovery. I dare to disrupt because by being a positive role model it gives permission for others to step into their star-filled selves.

Charlotte joins the TEDxBristol team in 2018. With many years experience in television she can spot, produce and tell great stories. Working across food, factual, history and entertainment programming for a number of broadcasters she knows how to engage, entertain and educate an audience. She has an infectious enthusiasm for Bristol and all it has to offer; she is proud to call it home.

When she isn't running around with a clipboard,a phone in each hand and a pencil in her hair she can be found in one of the many fantastic spots to eat in Bristol or singing her heart out with Bristol Musical Theatre.

With her strong view that "It only takes an idea to spark the fire of change" she is excited to be working towards TEDx Bristol 2019.

Sarah started her role as Social Media & Marketing Manager for TEDxBristol in September 2018. Within her first month she’d appeared on the panel at Business Showcase SouthWest with Mel & Halina, written various newsletters and blogs for our Bristol audience, boosted our social presence on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook as well as having her tweet chosen as the No1 inspirational tweet at the Female Festival of Entrepreneurs!

 

Sarah believes that her values are beautifully aligned with TEDx and so every minute spent supporting the team and raising awareness of the brand never feels like work.  “I focus my life choices around diversity, inclusivity, equality, trust & reputation.”

 

Sarah has mentored 100’s of small business owners over the last 4-5 years with a people focused social media direction. She was recognised for her work and awarded Finalist status for Mentor of The Year at the Successful Women Awards in 2018.

 

Sarah is passionate about empowering people especially women to have a voice, have their story heard and follow their dreams in life & business. Sarah creates innovative & inspiring networking opportunities for women in Bristol and the SW titled ‘Come Network With Me’.

 

Gareth joins the team in 2018 as our new content producer. TEDx is all about spreading ideas and making sure those ideas can be shared and enjoyed by an audience far and wide, is Gareth’s area of expertise. 

We love our big events, but we don’t think that only the lucky few who could be there should be the only ones to benefit from the inspiring stories and ideas. So whether it’s creating video or images to share on social media, creating podcasts for people to listen to or coming up with brand new ways to connect with people, Gareth’s experience and talent for knowing how to engage our audience is helping us spread ideas and keep the TED community growing.

Born in North Wales and having spent a decade in London, Bristol is Gareth’s new adopted home. Unlike anywhere he’s lived before, he loves the city’s community feel, it’s collaborativeness and it’s creativeness and that encapsulates everything that TEDx is about. 

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 as Executive Editor for the second year running.

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.

Sonia has started her adventure with TEDx as a speaker during TEDxMaastricht in Netherlands. Having titled her talk "How to fail a gap year gloriously", she soon became absolutely addicted to the idea of expanding horizons, jumping into deep waters, meeting inspiring people and travelling in order to learn more about the world we live in. She joined TEDxBristol in 2015 as a Bristol-based filmmaker, traveller and explorer.  
 
Having studied in India in international school with people from over 75 countries, Sonia celebrates diversity in every place she travels to. She currently works as Assistant Producer at Screenology, a very disruptive film school launched as a production company. Whether it's making a Bristol-based feature film on no budget in 100 days, producing Star Wars fan film featuring Bristol talent or following a Bristol quidditch team all the way to Italy for them to attend European Quidditch Cup, Sonia loves challenges and disruption in any shape or form. 

I dare to disrupt because ...

I can! Because I never believed we should follow certain paths and ways of doing things just because people before us did. We live in a crazy world and new standards keep coming up every day - let's make them high ones when it comes to love, science, social justice and the world around us.

Franco de la Croix-Vaubois has worked in VIP hospitality and events for the past 25 years. He spent 10 years on private yachts sailing around the globe working for royalty, celebrities and high net worth individuals, 10 years running venues in London and now he's keeping things a bit more local - happily running Walton Castle in Clevedon. Franco also has an event agency and founded the Event Organisers Network, bringing event professionals together from across the Bristol and Bath region.

Drawing on his passion for people, cultures and events, volunteering for TEDxBristol is a natural fit, encapsulating his skills set, along with the TED ethos of giving a little back and knowledge sharing across the globe and across cultures, a common thread throughout Franco’s life. He says the TEDxBristol team is great fun, working with amazing people across a huge breadth of topics, experience and skills set in hugely inspiring. Franco is married to Polly, together they have 2 kids as well as Charlie the chocolate lab, the two Siamese cats and Zara the goldfish! In his spare time, Franco enjoys the great outdoors, obstacle course races and sailing.

I dare to disrupt because ...

Every day we face challenges, big and small. Every day we are faced with a choice: Let it be or do something about it - challenge the status quo, dare to change things - what's the worst that can happen? Someone once said: Success comes after a string of failures and the ability to learn and move on from them.

Originally hailing from Yorkshire, Hannah has been dabbling in the Bristol scene for the last seven years and made the move permanent three years ago.

Coming from a career in publishing Hannah has always had her head in a book embracing great, interesting and challenging stories. Wanting to share her love of the written word Hannah set up a community book club for everyone to get together and discuss a selected book, over a pint at the pub.

Working at Aardman allows Hannah to be part of a creative hub at centre of Bristol where there are so many engaging people and places to be absorbed. The creativity of the city is infectious and inspired her to pursue her passion for jewellery making where she endeavours to pick up her tools whenever she has free moment.

Volunteering for TEDxBristol encapsulates Hannah’s interests as TED brings together a multitude of stories, ideas and experiences on one platform. Hannah feels privileged to be part of the team bringing the event to Bristol.

Paul arrived in Bristol as a student and like so many others, has fallen in love with the diverse, welcoming and inclusive vibe of the city.

He has an interest in sharing experiences between communities, recognising that TEDxBristol can be an amazing way to make the city a better and even more rewarding place to live, building upon the richness that already exists.

Having been introduced to TED by a colleague, this is the first TEDx event Paul has volunteered for, where he is enjoying every moment of the fast pace and energy of the team. He is particularly excited about this year’s theme, inspiring others to do things differently, to be disruptive to the status quo and to make a positive change. Paul is motivated to encourage others to be imaginative, to harness the uniquely diverse and creative edge that the city has.

Being in touch with nature and the environment are important elements of his life.

Tessa grew up in the South West but only arrived in Bristol in 2008. Prior to that she was living in different parts of the UK working and studying. Tessa is keenly interested in the natural world and also human nature.

Tessa enjoys spending time outdoors and is also involved in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy as a way of using horses as part of the therapeutic process. Tessa has spent the last 25 years working with children, young people and families in a variety of different settings. Over the last decade her work has been as a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist.

As well as working clinically she is also offers supervision, consultation and teaches on the Tavistock and Portman courses based in Bristol. This work, from a psychoanalytic perspective, means that she is constantly privileged to be able to be curious about unconscious processes in individuals, systems and organisations. She has been inspired by many TED talks in the past and has got involved with TEDxBristol as a way of being involved in sharing more inspirational stories and to also experience working alongside people from a range of backgrounds and organisations.

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!"

Kara has been part of the TEDxBristol Team since 2013. When she's not on her bike, sleeping under trees, underwater, or tending to her allotment, she works as an architect and masterplanner in Bristol and the Philippines. The past year of travel fed her growing interest in Permaculture Design and the plight of Indigenous Peoples around the world. This exposure opened her eyes to the importance of daring to question current development & design practices. She continues to seek solutions for self-reliance and sustainability. 
 
Kara also recently joined the organisation  Land is Life as a Board Director. Ultimately, she wants to share her passion about rekindling humanity’s connection with nature and one another; finding inspiration from Indigenous history and ways of life. She is the founder of the Coron EcoVillage, a community initiative that stemmed from a relief effort in the Philippines following the destruction wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

New to the TEDx Team, Jo is passionate about people, breaking down barriers and helping TEDx Bristol be the most inclusive and disruptive TEDx event ever. 

Previously leading on BBC Bristol’s Outreach and Corporate Social Responsibility in the city, Jo loves the opportunity to give people a voice and create conversations that lead to action and change. 

Her work around diversity and inclusion at BBC Bristol, launched a five-year schools programme; Talent Ticket Roadshow. This school ‘takeover’ project worked with 6,000 local students, inspiring them to consider a career in the media.

When not trying to change the world, Jo likes to curl up with a good book or escape to her allotment and look at the weeds.

I dare to disrupt because ...

There are too many invisible barriers all over Bristol, where you live, where you work, your school, your race and your mindset. I want to disrupt Bristol in breaking down those barriers, to enable those conversations that open up people’s thinking and present new ideas and perspectives. I want to be disruptive in telling people they can achieve their dreams and that together we can make Bristol a more progressive, equal and connected city.
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