About Mel Rodrigues

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

Mel is a former BBC Journalist/Producer and Project Manager with a particular passion for digital storytelling and ideas development. She recently launched her own start-up, founded on the mission to seek out and nurture new and diverse creative talent and champion hidden voices and stories.

Her passion for the city of Bristol began in the late 90’s when she moved there to study at Bristol University. She happily returned to Bristol seven years ago after working on media projects in London, Cardiff and Melbourne and also for an international charity in Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

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.

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!

About Nat Al-Tahhan

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.

About Sarah Cook

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’.


About Gareth Evans

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. 

About Charlotte Ball

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.

About Sonia Wargacka

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. 

About Mark Loveridge

Mark has lived in the Bristol area for 5 years, previously living in both Cheltenham and Stroud. He’s passionate about what Bristol has to offer, its drive for creativity, sustainability and all-round collaboration.

He has worked for, and led, a number of companies, to include ecotricty with renewable energy, Vectrix with electric scooters and A2B with ebikes where he built a distribution network in the UK to include Evans Cycles and Halfords. During this period, he also setup and ran The British Electric Bicycle Association out of the House of Lords and was successful in aligning UK and EU law. More recently Mark has held a number of senior positions in the UV industry, Biotechnology and now The Royal Mint where he serves as Head of UK Currency

Mark got involved in TEDx as a longstanding fan of the free sharing of insightful and inspirational talks. In his spare time, Mark is a keen photographer, cyclist and aspiring cook!

About Patricia Patilla Sanchez

Patricia says she thrives being involved in new exciting activities which combine diversity, inclusion and community. Therefore, she did not hesitate to accept Halina’s invitation to join her Partnership Team in Spring 2019.

Patricia says, "After becoming a mother in 2018 I had a period to reflect on what I'm passionate about, rethink my values and reboot my attitude to make a real difference. What a great timing to join TEDxBristol as a volunteer and turn all these into action."

When she's not volunteering, Patricia works for Rolls-Royce as a Project Engineer, coordinating groups of engineers to deliver technical projects, bringing together two of her passions: technology and humans.

In 2017 Patricia won a WeAreTheCity Rising Star Award for her contributions to inspire the next generation into STEM careers and all her contributions to the Rolls-Royce UK Gender Diversity Network which she was key to relaunch on the Bristol site and as part of BWB – Bristol Women in Business providing high end professional development for corporate women.

Originally from Spain, Patricia has lived in six different countries around Europe and loves discovering new cultures and ways of living. She arrived in Bristol in June 2013 and has fallen in love with the vibrant personality of the city. She loves being active and can be found practising yoga or cycling around Bristol. She also sings with her son in BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby) choir which has brought both of them the joy of performing on a stage. 

On the first day I met Halina, she taught me to say yes to whatever sparks joy. Being part of TEDxBristol to promote a message of sustainability bringing diverse people of Bristol together to reach a wider audience will definitely be one of my 2019 highlights.

About Pip Morgan

Pip Morgan joined TEDxBristol’s Partnership Team as a volunteer in May 2019. He brings a good eye for detail, a passion to get things done in the most effective way, experience in project and event management, and plenty of enthusiasm and motivation. 

Pip settled in Bristol during the mid-1980s, enjoying the rich and effervescent cultural life, and savouring the remarkable city’s fertile playground of ideas, history, theatre, arts and music. 

Pip has 30+ years’ experience editing and creating illustrated non-fiction books for the international marketplace about a whole range of subjects – science, natural history, the environment, technology, medicine, health as well as personal development and mind, body and spirit. 

Singing features high on Pip’s list of priorities – uplifting and rewarding, singing works wonders for personal confidence and bringing people together. As Brian Eno says, it helps to ensure “a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humour”. 

As well as working as an administrator for Gasworks Choir, Pip has co-organised five major Sing for Water events in Bristol, coordinating and liaising with many community choir leaders from around the West Country and raising more than £200,000 for WaterAid. 

About Barney Grenfell

Barney is COO and lead storyteller at Hodos Consultancy Co. and has been part of the organisation since the beginning.

Barney's professional focus is developing new clients in the corporate world, who are benefiting from the skills and experience that Hodos has to offer.

Despite this his great passion is working with TEDx speakers, which he's done since 2017.

About Becky Walsh

Becky joined the TEDxBristol team in 2017. Her career started in theatre as a stage manager. This gave her a wing side view of what worked on stage and what didn’t. Attracted to the theatre because of her love of transformation, Becky then fell in love with personal transformation and took to the stage herself and became a speaker on subjects of personal development. She then turned ‘self-help into a stand-up comedy show’.

Becky became a TV and Radio presenter for specialising on wellbeing, spirituality and mental growth, having had her own show on LBC and BBC Radio as well as her own TV show on the ‘Made’ network.

Becky is the author of five books and has her own private practice for clients. She calls herself an ‘intuitive catalyst’ rather than a therapist or coach as she believes you can change your whole life in one conversation.

She also works in business communications and psychological/transformational marketing. Learn more at beckywalsh.com

About Samuel Williams

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!"

About Fran Thackray

Fran works as an Analytics Lead in Lloyds Banking Group, where she combines her passions for data and people. She enjoys being involved in Bristol community projects, inspiring the next generation and creating a more sustainable future. She does this internally through the Lloyds Women’s Network and People Forums and externally through Schools and Charities as Governor and Trustee.

New to the TEDxBristol Team in 2019 as Speaker Team Lead, she’s thrilled to support the Speaker Team and hear from potential speakers.

About Jan P. de Jonge

Jan’s work with people from all walks of life made him want to understand what makes them think, feel and behave the way they do. Whether to help him control some hairy situations when he was a policeman in Amsterdam or trying to win over the crowd when he was the singer in a band in Wiltshire, his focus has often been on the art of effective communication between people.

In his work as business psychologist, assessing, developing and coaching people and the teams they are part of, he looks at concepts of motivation, personality, ability and values, and how these interplay with skills, experience, culture and context. Communication, persuasion, captivation, collaboration and personal development are key elements he focuses on with his clients.

The consultancy People Business Psychology Ltd. he founded in 2012 has taken him to all corners of the world, reminding him that, underneath apparent differences, human core principles and values are universal.

Joining the Speaker team in 2019, he’s excited to help select and coach speakers to tell those inspiring Bristol-based stories that help create positive change across all boundaries.

About Kara de los Reyes

Kara has been in the TEDxBristol Core Team since 2013 and her role this year focuses on Smart Planet, the 3rd value pillar of TEDxBristol, pioneering and supporting innovative and traditional ideas for an event that is beneficial to our planet.

She is coordinating the "Towards Zero Waste" initiative, exploring a whole range of possibilities to make this happen.

She is a practicing architect, lecturer, and advocate for regenerative design and culture. In between work and voluntary roles, she can be found growing vegetables, spending time on her bike or underwater.

Her local and international work includes being a Trustee of Land is Life, an organisation that focuses on representing the voice of Indigenous People globally, and also Trustee for Artspace Lifespace, a Bristol organisation that supports regeneration of communities through Arts and Culture.

She is driven in all that she does to help create a happier, healthier, and more resilient world for future generations to enjoy.

About Bracken Hollings

Bracken is a television and short form content producer. She's currently setting up a nail-biting wildlife series going to several countries in Africa. Bracken has spent her career filming in locations as far-flung as Yellowstone National Park and Death Valley, Uganda and Vietnam, the Bahamas and Hawaii.

She's a core part of a new venture called WaterBear, a video on demand platform for wildlife and environmental content - think Netflix for the planet! There she heads up the Integrated Content team. Bracken has interspersed her broadcast television career with creating thoughtful short videos on subjects ranging from homeless and orphaned children, AIDS, vaccinations, eco fashion, community gardens and people with learning difficulties.

She's delighted to be part of the TEDxBristol Speaker Team, having been gorging daily on TED videos for many years!

About Chris Munton

Chris works in Bristol for a tech company as a business analyst where he gathers the peoples and companies’ ideas, facilitating their development and formation into reality.

He gets a kick from working with people to uncover the core needs of their concepts and using these as the foundations for forming the solution.

Chris grew up just north of Bristol. After satisfying his post-uni wanderlust by traveling through Asia, Australasia and the Americas, he moved to London where he lived for 15 years.

Educated as a chemist, he initially worked in the NHS and also the private pharmaceutical industry in laboratories, carrying out quality and developmental chemistry. It wasn’t long before he realised this was not where his future lay, which led him on path to software development and delivery especially using agile methodologies. He moved back to the south west and the creative hub that is Bristol.

Chris combines his scientific background with his interested in physiology, philosophy and the arts to explore human motivation, perception and why we do what we do.

He joined the TEDxBristol speaker team in 2019 after talking to a long-standing member of the TEDxBristol team. Chris hasn’t looked back since, enjoying helping uncover the raw talent that Bristol has to offer.


About Dina Mufti

Joining the Speaker team in 2019, Dina is delighted to become part of the TEDxBristol family. A theatre performer, documentary maker and former scientist with a Sufi heart, it’s in her blood to explore ideas and empower others to express diverse stories in unique ways.

Over the past 15 years, Dina’s day job as a filmmaker has taken her to the most beautiful and challenging parts of the world, from Outer Mongolia to Everest Base Camp, the High Arctic, Hackney and beyond. Along the way she’s had the good fortune to meet inspiring and humbling people - from Sherpani climbers to teenage eagle hunters, emerging street dancers to graffiti activists.

Constantly curious, she continues to be captivated by the extraordinary nature of everyday life and different ways of thinking. Working this year with the best talent for TEDxBristol brings together her love of story, physical expression, and a fascination with the uniqueness of the creative mind.

About Neill Jones

Neill returned to Bristol after many years living in other cities starting with B like Brighton, Barcelona and ... er ... Dublin and Melbourne. He was excited to see how Bristol had transformed into a positive, vibrant and forward looking city.

He is Operations Director at Newicon and has been involved with TEDxBristol for over 4 years working in the shadows building and expanding the TEDxBristol web application. This year he decided it was time to come out of the shadows! So to get more directly involved with the main event he joined the Speaker Team creating the Speaker Portal to improve how the site can assist the speaker application and selection process as well as get involved in the process personally.

He has an overwhelming passion for all things scientific but also loves the range and breadth of topics covered by TEDxBristol especially those talks that make him reflect, rethink and reboot his way of thinking.

About Peter Fullagar

Peter thinks his obsession with the world of ideas stems from an early fascination with the life and work of Leonardo Da Vinci and his ability to connect art to engineering all through the medium of drawing. A career creative in the design and innovation world, Peter is no happier than the moment when he sees new ideas emerge from group creativity.

While he often finds it difficult to describe his job to strangers, his work as an innovation consultant has led to fascinating projects helping brands and organisations to explore a diverse ranging of challenges spanning sustainability, packaging, consumer products, healthcare and crime to name a few. His work using design and innovation methods has included facilitating innovation for organisations including Coca-Cola, Sony, Dyson and The Home Office.

He’s now fascinated by the science behind creativity and looking for new ways to enhance creativity as a process, for individuals and groups. This led him to found INDUSTRY of Us a consultancy focused on helping people and organisations find better ways to innovate using design. A believer that we all have creative potential, his projects and training are about helping individuals and groups along the innovators journey.

Peter joined the Speaker Team in 2019 and is delighted to be part of the TEDxBristol Team celebrating Bristol as a hotbed for ideas and innovators.

About Sharna Smith

Sharna works as a communications manager at Bristol Water. She considers herself a beautician for the stories of others, helping to enhance but never change them, through the right words, messaging and tone.

After relocating to Bristol earlier this year, she is busy settling into everything this beautiful city has to offer. In fact, you’ve probably walked past her from time to time sat under a tree in the many green spaces across Bristol with a book and travel mug of tea in hand.

She is particularly passionate about preventing plastic waste and enjoys promoting the many places to refill a bottle on the go across Bristol, including the eight new public drinking fountains installed by Bristol Water this year.

Inspired by Nura Aabe’s TEDxBristol talk in 2017 and the way the speaker team helped Nura develop her story, Sharna immediately wanted to get involved. And just like that, she became part of the speaker team for 2019!


About Jo Sunderland

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.

About Interested in Volunteering?

Become a Volunteer

Volunteers are the lifeblood of what we do and they make TEDx events happen!

The TEDxBristol team is a happy camp. Like every TEDx event around the world, we’re a bunch of motivated and passionate people from all walks of life with one thing in common: delivering a brilliant ideas event. You don't need to be an event professional or have previous creative industry credits - but you do need to be prepared to give up some of your spare time, to learn on the job and to get stuck in.

As a TEDxBristol volunteer, you’ll gain some crucial professional experience of working on a live, high profile event and film shoot. You'll widen your professional and social network, be the face of our event, and probably make some fantastic new friends too.

Previous TEDxBristol team members have gone on to gain promotions and ambitious career changes, citing their work at TEDxBristol as a demonstration of their transferable skills, enthusiasm, and adaptability.

You don’t need any particular experience to be a TEDxBristol volunteer - above anything else, the thing we’re looking for most is passion and enthusiasm. 

To get more information about what is required from our volunteer team or to complete an application form, please visit our Volunteer page