12 May, 2018   ⁄⁄   Royal Grammar School, Guildford


TEDxGuildford began on April 13th 2017

We launched with a fantastic event for 100 people who gathered at the RGS Guildford to explore ideas on the theme of 'Be the best you can be'.

Over 723,890 views in 9 months

Our first year has delivered some pretty impressive stats. Our talks have had over 723,890 views in just 9 months and we already have over 5,500 followers on Twitter.

Following on from the success of last year's event we are delighted to be hosting TEDxGuildford again. This year's theme embraces all aspects of diversity and tolerance.

Within our community, we have uncovered an amazing cross-section of stimulating and thought-provoking speakers who have original and interesting interpretations on the theme.

Guildford Highstreet


This year’s theme embraces all aspects of diversity and tolerance.

Within our community, we have uncovered an amazing cross-section of stimulating and thought-provoking speakers who have original and interesting interpretations on the theme.

Emma Cole

Emma Cole

Emma Cole has been diagnosed HIV positive since 1991 and has chosen to speak publicly about living with HIV for over 25 years. She launched her 'Positive Voice' HIV talks to schools in 2002 after surviving her original prognosis of 8-10 years to live and now speaks annually at over 100 schools across the UK and Europe. Emma was one of 3 women featured in the critically acclaimed 2001 BBC documentary ‘Positive Women’. In 2010 she was photographed by Rankin for an international campaign run by the UNAIDS and Body Shop to highlight HIV activists.

Over 27 years have now passed since that fateful day when life changed irrevocably. In that time many advances have been made with respect to HIV and AIDS but what has changed little in that time is the fear, ignorance and stigma that surround this particular disease.

Emma made a decision after her diagnosis to speak out publicly as an HIV positive woman in an attempt to breakdown the misconceptions that many had, and still have about HIV. In delivering her Positive Voice talks she continues that commitment but also now bring the perspective of a long-term survivor

The Scary Guy

The Scary Guy FRSA

He’s been called many names, by many people – although it will surely pique your curiosity as to why at the top of that list are names such as Agent For Change, Urban Dalai Lama, Warrior For Peace and Mind-Waker.

In the last 20 years on the road, The Scary Guy has worked with schools, police forces, military, and a host of communities and corporate organizations through his live training performances and across his active online networks – helping millions of people around the world to achieve personal peace and triumph in their lifetime.

The Scary Guy – his legal name, changed nineteen years ago – has dedicated his life to teaching others his powerful, solution-based theories and concepts on human behaviour and communication; a code that he has personally developed, in what he experienced as an absence of any clearly defined active solution from society.

It is a code that he has test driven for the last 20 years and still lives by today. In his own words, with his face, hands, and neck fully tattooed, Scary says; Look at me! If what I teach did not work as a solution, I would not be here today. With the amount of negativity that I receive and would have reacted to, I would either be in prison or dead.

The Scary Guy teaches people the steps for the creation of A Powerful Mind!

The Scary Guy is first and foremost about showing your true colors and appreciating those of others. Phoenix New Times
Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies

Gareth is co-founder of The Bravest Path, a coaching and development company, which is one of only handful of organisations in Europe licensed to deliver the ground-breaking research of Dr Brené Brown as part of their leadership programmes. Prior to this, Gareth led specialist units within the Met Police, and this world class training has honed his ability to listen acutely, and provide his clients with a balance of support and accountability. Gareth coaches with strength and empathy, he is insightful and intuitive, with a rare ability to see the true, unique and often hidden depths of his clients. His robust and direct style provides a safe, confidential and challenging space in which he encourages his clients to lean into discomfort and grow with confidence.

Lucy Bushill Matthews

Lucy Bushill Matthews

Lucy was aged sixteen when she met a Muslim for the first time. Whilst going on to study Economics at Cambridge University, she looked into Christianity and Islam, and unexpectedly found herself compelled by what she found to make a life-changing decision about her faith. Lucy now heads up Strategy, Policy and Research for the National Zakat Foundation, a thought-leading Muslim organisation in the UK. Lucy is author of "Welcome to Islam-a convert's tale" and has been a regular columnist in Emel lifestyle magazine. Separately, Lucy co-founded and ran a madrasah (Muslim after-school group) for many years, and now co-leads a youth group that teaches Muslim children and teenagers to think about their faith in context, and engage with it intellectually, practically, and through service to others. Lucy has 3 teenagers and a kitten who loves walking over the keyboard.

Sophie Thomas

Sophie Thomas

Sophie is Founder of BornGloryUs - a progressive brand strategy and marketing consultancy that helps brands to connect meaningfully with their audience. As a female consumer expert; she’s fascinated with the redefinition of gender and what it means to be human, emotional connection, and how businesses can use their personality, brand purpose and communications to make positive change in the world.

Sophie is also Founder and Author of The Futurevators. The Futurevators is an exhilarating adventure story and global movement that inspires young minds to consider eco-innovation, equality, inclusivity, self-esteem and co-creation. It was inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio’s words on ecology and humanity: “for our children’s children”. Underpinning all Sophie’s work is the belief that with raised self-worth comes more compassion for self, others and the world at large.

Tom and Nicola Ray

Nicola Ray (PhD)


Nicola is a writer, artist and inspirational speaker on the subjects of sepsis, resilience and the carer’s experience. After spending the 1980’s and 90’s getting a PhD and setting up and running her own video production company, Nicola was on the point of having a much longed-for career break to look after her daughter Grace (3) and son Freddy, due in January 2000. Instead her husband Tom succumbed to sepsis, losing his arms and legs, and part of his face. Nic has spent the ensuing years keeping the family together, and dealing with the physical, financial and physiological fallout. In 2016 Nic and Tom’s story was made into a feature film, ‘Starfish’, in which she was played by ‘Joanne Froggatt’, and a book, based on their diaries. Nic now uses her unique experience and communications background to raise awareness of sepsis and help others deal with change and adversity.

Tom Ray


Tom is a writer and inspirational speaker on the subjects of sepsis, patient experience and resilience. In December 1999 was about to take up the reins as main breadwinner, as his wife Nicola was expecting their second child. Having previously worked as an actor and in Corporate Banking he was looking forward to becoming the main breadwinner again. Instead he developed sepsis from a routine dental examination and spent the best part of 2000 in hospital, including months in intensive care, reconstructive surgery and rehab. Tom lost his legs below the knee and arms below the elbow, as well as much of his face. In 2016 Nic and Tom’s story was made into a feature film, ‘Starfish’ starring Tom Riley. There is also a book, based on their diaries. Tom now uses his extraordinary experience and acting background to raise awareness of sepsis and help others deal with change and adversity.

Tom and Nic are represented for speaking and resilience masterclasses by Maria Franzoni - https://mfl.global/

Bode Bamkole

Bode Bamkole

Bode is an Economics Graduate from the University of Nottingham. He currently works at KPMG and is the founder of Study Streak, an Edtech company dedicated to addressing education disparities by race, income and gender through an innovative and comprehensive programme. Having benefited from a good education himself, he has made it a goal to make quality education accessible to as many people as possible. His energy and commitment have seen him turn this idea for better education into a rapidly growing project with quality content, supported by a growing team. Bode hopes to continue to develop his skills in the financial sector and use them to achieve Study Streak’s long-term vision of being a top quality education provider.

Walter Scott

Walter Scott

Walter Scott has stammered since the age of three. He is a civil servant and Government communications specialist. His past jobs have included working as a speechwriter. In 2014 he co-founded the Defence Stammering Network to support military personnel and civil servants who stammer, to educate and raise awareness about the condition, and to campaign for better support.

Stammering is a speech condition that is rooted in the white matter pathways connecting areas of the brain involved in speech. It affects 1% of the adult population, and roughly 70m adults worldwide. It shows in dysfluent, sometimes blocked speech, and avoidance behaviour, and it can have a significant impact on life experience, career prospects and mental health.

Much of the challenge of living with a stammer stems from the cultural pressure to be fluent - or at least to appear fluent. Society, and its employers, broadcasters and educators generally set high standards for fluency. Yet for those who stammer, the effort to appear fluent and avoid stammering compounds the dysfluency. Walter's message is that if society can only relax its standards for fluency, and recognise that human speech is a miraculous gift that should not be taken for granted, life could be so much easier for those who stammer.

In recent years Walter has written a series of articles and blog posts and given numerous public talks about stammering. He has recently published a collection of these in an Amazon Kindle ebook entitled A Few Quick Words, and filmed a series of short vlogs on stammering which can be watched on YouTube.

More speakers to be announced

Royal Grammar School


An iconic landmark site in the heart of Guildford

Located in the centre of the historic town of Guildford, the RGS is an independent day school for boys aged 11 to 18. The School dates its foundation from 1509 and as a flagship for boys’ education has a national reputation for academic excellence but also prides itself on its traditional values of decency and respect.

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Typical audience at TEDx


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TEDx Guildford 2018 – Tolerance

12 May, 2018 from 1.30pm

Royal Grammar School, Guildford

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