The Inspiration of TEDx

The Inspiration of TEDx


As part of my work with Jump4Heroes and the The Royal British Legion Extreme Human Flight Team, my team strive to raise awareness for charity and to inspire others.  On Friday, I was inspired.  I was at TEDx Houses of Parliament.

Alastair Macartney speaking at TEDx Houses of Parliament 2013. photo by Paul Clarke.

Alastair Macartney speaking at TEDx Houses of Parliament 2013. .  Photo by Paul Clarke.

For those that don’t know, the TEDx concept promotes ideas worth spreading.  Having seen one of the Jump4Heroes human flight videos on YouTube  it was humbling that the curator selected me as one of the speakers.

In the months leading up to the talk I rehearsed time and time again.  I honed my content and, on the day, delivered.  While I am told that my talk was well received, the power I took from the day was from others.

Without exception, every single speaker was truly inspirational.  I simply can’t mention them all here, but I will pick just three:


  1. Jack Andraka.  At the age of 14 he invented a pancreatic cancer test that is 168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive and over 400 times more sensitive than current diagnostic tests.  But the amazing thing about his talk was not this achievement.  He used his story to campaign for open access to information to allow others to follow his path and make amazing break throughs that may just save lives.
  2. Suli Breaks.  I’d never heard of spoken word poetry until a couple of months ago.  Suli blew the audience away with the deep and meaningful delivery of some thought provoking content.  I strongly recommend checking out the video.
  3. Baroness Patricia Scotland QC.  I related heavily with this humble lady.  She told a story of a girl that achieved the seemingly unachievable.  The girl in the story was herself.  But she used this to ask the audience about their own talents, challenge them to contribute to making the world a better place and to pick three things that inspired them and then strive to achieve at least one of them.


I was humbled to sit with these people and to be among them.  I was also humbled at the tales that many audience members personally shared with me during the breaks and at the evening function.  I was humbled by the emails, tweets and Facebook messages that I continue to receive following this event.  I thought listening to others would be a bonus at the event, but being able to hear the inspiration that they shared really was magic.

If you haven’t been to a TEDx talk then I very strongly encourage it.  If you have been to one, I have no doubt you can relate to all and everything I say here and I’m sure you’re already planning which one you will attend next.

I challenge you: book your slot at a TEDx talk near you, wherever you are in the world.

Question: If you saw any of the TEDx Houses of Parliament speakers (at this event or others), who was your favourite and why?

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  1. I saw his “Why I Hate School But Love Education” video some time ago and was keen to see more.

    • That’s a great video too. Thanks for sharing Andy.

      Suli Breaks does some really inspirational spoken word poetry. He’s recently released an EP on iTunes and is one to follow for the future.


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