From tech to politics and social justice to cycling: Diverse line-up of speakers announced for TEDxBath

August 31, 2023

A former cabinet minister, a human rights activist and a psychotherapist are among the nine speakers lined up for this year’s TEDxBath. 

Taking place on Saturday 14 October, the event will also include three live acts and engaging exhibitions under the theme of ‘Unlimited’.

Organisers promise an “uplifting and energetic day packed with ideas worth sharing” for the audience of 1,600 people of all ages, with its diverse range of speakers exploring and sharing ideas that can enrich lives and help build stronger, thriving communities. 

TEDx events, which are held across the globe, act as a showcase for speakers presenting great, well-formed ideas in under 18 minutes.

They have been staged in Bath every year since 2018, when the first event, held in the Abbey, attracted 100 people.

Last year’s had more than 1,500 attendees, who witnessed a range of mind-opening talks from speakers aged from 12 to 82.

TEDxBath 2023, which takes place in The Forum, will bring together diverse and powerful ideas from leading change-makers, innovators, entrepreneurs and activists who will dismantle barriers to positive change, define new possibilities and boldly seek a better future world.  

This year’s line-up includes:

Eric Ngalle Charles  a Cameroonian writer, poet, playwright and human rights activist based in Wales. He was awarded a Creative Wales Award Fellowship in 2017 for his work on migration and memory. Eric’s TEDx talk will explore powerful themes from his life story, including the shocking trauma of his journey as a trafficked teenage migrant from Cameroon to Wales, via Russia.

Julia Samuel MBE  a leading psychotherapist and author. She worked for decades in the NHS and is a founding patron of Child Bereavement UK. Her three books, all Sunday Times bestsellers, have been published in 17 foreign territories and she has written for many national newspapers and contributed to many TV and radio programmes. In her TEDx talk Julia will explore and share ways we can all understand and better manage the human experience of grief and grieving.

Dr Mhairi Aitken  a leading sociologist with specialist expertise in AI and digital innovation.  She is an Ethics Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute and was included in the 2023 list of ‘100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics’. Mhairi is also a regular performer at stand-up comedy events. She will take a light-hearted look at the crucial social and ethical dimensions of AI and digital innovation in her TEDx talk.

Charles Sabine OBE  an Emmy Award-winning television journalist who worked for the US Network NBC News for 26 years before becoming a global spokesman for patients and families suffering degenerative brain diseases. In his TEDx talk, Charles will explain how we can help to transform approaches to helping those with devastating ailments, including by taking responsibility for our own health.

Jenny Tough  an endurance athlete best known for running and cycling in some of the world's most challenging events. In 2021 she completed a global challenge to run, solo and unsupported, across a mountain range on every continent, including three world-first traverses. Her TEDx talk will inspire the audience to fill their lives with excitement and say yes to adventure – whatever that may mean to each individual. 

Rory Stewart OBE  a British academic, diplomat, author, broadcaster, former soldier and former politician. He served as an MP from 2010 to 2019 and became Secretary of State for International Development. Rory is the president of GiveDirectly and a visiting Fellow at Yale University.  He hosts the podcast The Rest is Politics with Alastair Campbell.

Sahra Ahmed Kulmiya  currently researching quantum technologies at the University of Sussex and passionate about mathematical modelling in the physical sciences. She also holds a PhD from the University of Bristol, an MSc from the University of Birmingham and a BSc from Greenwich University. Her TEDx talk will shine a light on the potentially unlimited future power through future research and development, including through quantum computing. 

Erinch Sahan  a business strategist and economist. He is the business and enterprise lead at the Doughnut Economics Action Lab, alongside founder and former TEDxBath speaker Kate Raworth. Enrich was formerly the chief executive of the World Fair Trade Organisation and previously worked for Oxfam, Procter & Gamble and Australia’s aid programme. His TEDx talk will show how actions are necessary from businesses so as to meet the needs of all people within the means of the living planet, and bring unlimited – and sustainable – benefits for all.

Kudzai Matsvai  an architectural designer and EDI activist with a genuine passion for progressive change for under-represented communities. Having trained and worked in Liverpool and London, Kudzia has a track record of engaging with diverse communities, including working with young people, and an understanding of co-design and co-creation frameworks. Her primary area of academic interest is Black British history and its underrepresentation in the architectural space. Kudzai’s talk will explore aspects of her passions for equity and social justice, and how we can move towards a fairer, more balanced and fairly represented society.

TEDxBath curation lead Geoff Rich said: “We’re so thrilled to be bringing another amazing lineup of TEDx speakers and acts to the largest venue in our home city.”

TEDxBath lead organiser Rhodora Baguilat added: “We are building TEDxBath as a fully inclusive community. We are looking forward to our event and to welcoming people from all backgrounds, ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities and people with visible and invisible disabilities. 

“We are passionate and proud to reflect diversity in our audiences, our city and on our stage.”

TEDxBath is run by a group of volunteers, who have come together each year to make it happen. 

Volunteer and comms lead for 2023 Bob Mytton said: “We are proud to be supporting such an exciting local event and bringing the community together.” 

Tickets for TEDxBath 2023 cost £20 (Students £15) and are available through Bath Box Office or via


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