What’s our legacy?

In previous blogs, we’ve explored the learning gained and the inspiration found from TEDxPlymouthUniversity, so I wanted to do something different and write about why I got involved and what we might do next.

Everyone gets involved with something like TEDx for different reasons. From my viewpoint, I wanted to help bring a well-known brand to the University and make the event a real success for Plymouth. For my own personal development, I can’t deny I thought it would be fantastic to get TEDx on my CV and be associated with this respected name. Once I’d had the chance to look into it further, I realised the challenge of creating something new while being bound to the strict rules and conditions of being a licensee would be tough but interesting too. As a project manager and inherent organiser, I love to see how others set out their processes and planning; the 100 page how-to TEDx manual gave me more than enough material to consume and enjoy!

So, while we all hugely enjoyed the experience and got to watch some great talks, what will the legacy be? What was the point? As I type, the speakers’ presentations from the night are being moulded into TED worthy videos and popping up in our inboxes in draft form. As we wait for all 13 to appear as complete mp4s ready for upload to YouTube, we are musing on what’s next? What’s your feedback telling us? What do the speakers want? How do we take our collective learning and create something even better?

It is early days and we have a lot of ideas, but also don’t want to make any promises we can’t keep. However, I think it’s clear to everyone involved, from our student volunteers right up to the Deputy Vice Chancellor who attended on the night, that we should be doing more events like these. Events that bring our students, academics and professional staff together with businesses, social enterprises and local people who can, together, spark brilliant ideas and open up perspectives.

I think this brings us back to our true calling as a university, to bring knowledge and opportunity to people who want to learn, be challenged and have their minds changed forever. The TEDx format has given us this opportunity and we will seek to repeat the experience. We’d like to include more opportunity to meet and talk with the speakers, to have an open discussion or Q&A amongst the audience. We packed a lot of speakers into the event on the 9th March which was fantastic in terms of the topic range, but it left a limited amount of time to digest and discuss the ideas offered.

As a committee, we will explore “what next” in our debrief meeting next week; the options, the budget, the resources, and keep you posted. As every post-event email declares, we do value your feedback and will be using it to plan the next event. If you attended on the 9th, we’d love for you to tell us what you thought and what you’d like to see next. Watch this space; we will see what we can do….

Francesca Crickmere