First Hertfordshire TEDx Conference is a success

[Shelby Loasby | News Sub Editor]

The University of Hertfordshire’s first ever TEDx conference was held at The Forum Hertfordshire on Saturday 7th February, and saw a successful day of insightful and thought-provoking speeches.

For those of you that don’t know, TEDx is an independently organised event that follows the framework of TED; a non-profit organisation devoted to spreading ideas worldwide, in the form of short, powerful talks.

The talks usually last between 10-20 minutes and have to relate to the chosen TEDx theme. In Trident Media’s last article, we revealed the university’s theme to be; ‘Pink Polar Bears.’

UH students, Sean Ryan and Mattey Avgustinov, lead organisers of TEDx UH, have worked closely with their committee, volunteers from the university, and the speakers, for almost ten months in preparation for the conference.

They recruited students from Art and Design to help build a stunning set on stage that represented the Pink Polar Bear theme. Volunteers from TV and Film also helped out with the live filming of the event so that students who were unable to get a ticket could stream the event online.

The stage set - Shelby Loasby

The stage set – Shelby Loasby


The day of the conference kicked off with registration at 10.30am with a photo opportunity and tea, coffee and biscuits. The audience were then welcomed to find a seat in The Forum ready for the opening remarks from Ryan and Avgustinov.

The morning session began with the first speaker, Professor Karen Pine, who unfortunately started with some technical difficulties – but what is a conference without something going wrong with technology? Her speech “Is thinking overrated?” was a suitable starting point, introducing the psychology behind the ‘Pink Polar Bear’ and showing how thinking and acting are not always connected.

Professor Karen Pine

Professor Karen Pine


The morning session continued with one of the student speakers, Ifrah George, with “Are you happy?” which made audience members question their happiness and provided guidelines for life; “You’re happiness lays in nobody’s pocket but your own.”

Ifrah George

Ifrah George


Poker expert Dave Woods was next with  “The skillsets of poker” which looked at the poker industry, how to read people and how the skillsets for poker can apply to the skillsets in life.

Dave Woods

Dave Woods


Following this, was Ray Wilkinson’s “Brits in Space” that encouraged the STEM programme (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths for young people) and inspired people to engage with the future of space tourism.

Ray Wilkinson

Ray Wilkinson