Devoted to 'ideas worth spreading', TED is a non-profit initiative famous for bringing together some of the world's most fascinating thinkers. Exploring democracy this coming Friday, co-producer and Industry member Reemé Idris gives us a heads up.
Tell us a little bit more about TEDx and why you decided to get involved?
This is the first ever TEDx event held by the Houses of Parliament, inviting a range of speakers and performers to share their ideas on the concepts of democracy and representation. As an avid TED fan, when the opportunity arose to help the event come together I leapt at the chance!
This Friday will see over twenty inspirational speakers and performers in the historic surroundings of Banqueting House and the Houses of Parliament, where TEDxHousesofParliament will juxtapose science with poetry, architecture with music, history and law with technology. Curated by Jonathan Drori (himself having discussed four talks on TED) speakers include MP Rory Stewart, Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield and Robert Rogers, Clerk of the House of Commons.
Parliament's most recent public engagement strategy includes acting as a forum for debate about society's processes in the way that people are represented and how decisions are made. By staging this event, Parliament are enabling a group of fascinating speakers to share their ideas with an international audience. Hosting TEDx is a bold move for Parliament and it is an honour to be part of the delivery.
What does the production side of TEDx have in store for us?
I think it's fair to say that the setting and resulting flow of this TEDx event is the most interesting element to work with in regards to production. Thanks to the Historic Royal Palaces, the main event will take place inside Banqueting House on Whitehall, part of the Historic Royal Palaces collection and the site of the execution of Charles I. The support of Sixty One Whitehall has granted us the use of their space and for attendees who have purchased a day and evening ticket who will be directed by our team to the Houses of Parliament for a reception on the House of Commons Terrace.
Performers include Baaba Maal, a uniquely talented singer and musician from Senegal, the London Oriana Choir and Lemn Sissay, the author of five collections of poetry and associate artist at the Southbank Centre. They will all be bringing some incredible energy to our stage set within Banqueting House – something that production company Event Concept have been busy plotting.
Other speakers include barrister Philippe Sands QC, Rita Clifton who is the Chairman of the world's leading brand consultancy Interbrand, designer Clare Hughes and Anna Reynolds from The Royal Collections who will be speaking on 'Democratising Fashion'. The speakers will all be delivering TED style 'performances' and there will be some interesting surprises for our audience but I shan't reveal any more...
How does your career in fashion styling lend itself to this unique project?
I've been slowly moving from fashion styling into more production oriented work and this event has provided a monumental opportunity to cut my teeth on content that isn't fashion-oriented.
Consequently I've been given an opportunity to not only observe but work with expert professionals from other sectors, including our organiser Tom O'Leary. Tom is Head of Public Engagement and Learning and has done a phenomenal job in managing the project. I have also worked alongside our host Jon Drori, who has curated the content with deft precision and the wider team encompassing legendary creative, Sean Canning (known fondly as 'Showbiz Sean') as well as a mentor of mine, event director Matt Briggs.
Fashion is by no means a slow paced background to come from, you learn to roll with unique circumstances and this project has been more a pleasure and an eye opener than a labour; having guests pass through airport style security to get to the reception is certainly something I don't expect to bear in mind for any other logistics plan.
Tickets are still available to purchase for TEDxHoP on Friday 22nd June 2012. To buy a ticket click here.
By The Industry's Features Editor, Harriet Bowe
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