Delivering TEDx Southampton

Ideas worth spreading

As License Holder and co-curator of TEDxSouthampton Lee Peck, alongside his colleague Annelise James, delivered an outstanding one day conference to much critical acclaim.

Postponed three times because of the pandemic, the event was eventually held live at the city’s Harbour Hotel and featured contributions from 13 speakers in front of a sell-out audience on the thought-provoking theme of Human to Human Connection in all its forms, which included a focus on innovation, connectedness and personal potential.

TEDx events are in the spirit of TED’s mission – “ideas worth spreading” – and the TEDx programme helps communities, organisations and individuals produce TED-style events at a local level. The “X” denotes that the events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis, under a free license from TED.

Speaking afterwards, Lee Peck said: “The reaction we received from the community as a whole was incredible. Because of the pandemic the event was postponed three times, but we were determined to put on a live event so that everyone had a very personal experience rather than sitting in front of a screen. I’m delighted we kept our nerve. There was laughter and tears as the thought provoking and often emotionally charged speeches hit home. It’s fair to say each and every one of our hand-picked speakers had the audience in the palm of their hands.”

He added: “Southampton is a great city and deserves to be showcased and its talent put onto an international stage. It’s especially important to keep the focus on Southampton right now as it’s on the long list for the bid to become the UK City of Culture 2025 and the TEDx programme has a global reputation for excellence.”

TEDxSouthampton Co-curator Annelies James said: “The topics have never been more relevant as the pandemic has engulfed the world. The speakers asked some important questions like how can we embrace our personal capital and be more vulnerable, revealing our more human side? How can we challenge ourselves, overcome adversity and champion our own growth and potential? How can we recognise and tap into the greatness that comes from being human?

She added: “I would also like to thank our team of helpers. TEDx events are not for profit so we had incredible support from our associates and fellow professionals in our community who gave of their time so generously. A mention too for our sponsors. Without their commitment and enthusiasm for what we’re doing there simply wouldn’t be an event. We are very grateful to them all.”

Lead sponsor of TEDxSouthampton was Aura Technology, which delivers proactive IT services for businesses. Legal sponsor was major law firm BDB Pitmans with offices in London, Cambridge, Reading and Southampton. Performance sponsor was Southampton’s world class Mayflower Theatre, the fourth largest in the UK. And venue sponsor was the award-winning Southampton Harbour Hotel, the city’s only five-star hotel.

The speeches are streaming on the TED website. To view them please visit


About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.