Seven months in the making, a team of six key organisers and Friday 9th March was here, the big day. Following the success of the first ever TEDxGranta event February last year, we decided to it all again, but this time bigger and better.
We knew we needed a fabulous venue, with great technical capability and that ‘something else’, the edginess associated with TED. What better place than The Junction, Cambridge’s finest arts venue. ‘J2’ as it’s known, with it’s 220 capacity offered everything we needed. Great sound and technical engines ever obliging, and a team of unbelievably helpful staff all of whom helped make the day the slick operation it was.
Food, a thought never far from my mind, how were we going to fulfil the vervacious appetites created by the days endless talk and stimulation? BIG DAY Catering suppassed themselves with their ‘man with a pan’ and delicous traditional paella and an equally tasty veggie slant. The smell was devine as the freshly prepared aromas of paella wafted into reception to greet the delegates. And the inside out profiteroles were something else and really had to be tried to be believed, along with a side order of fresh fruit salad, for good measure.
The speakers on the day were marvellous. I particularly enjoyed learning ‘animation in the making’ by Merlin Crossingham from Aardmann, and were delighted to see the little chaps in the flesh (well ok in plastercine!). In the presentation, Merlin showed the creative process, from initial sketches, quick film right on to the end result, the animated film with our friends Wallace and Gromit. I laughted every time without fail, at the same bits ….
Tim Minshall, from Institute for Manufacturing, opened our eyes to the problems we’re facing due to the falling numbers of students going into engineering and asking what is the role of an engineer? We learnt: No they don’t all wear workmens boots and carry a spanner, it’s far more technical than that, they’re creators, they’re innovators of design and they’re problem solvers.
It’s been great working with the other TEDxGranta members, if you weren’t able to come, check out the website for further info and perhaps we’ll see you next year!