TEDx Leicester Women – Bold and Brilliant at Gateway College

Gateway Sixth Form College was delighted to host the prestigious TEDx Leicester Women 2019 event on Saturday 7th December.  The sold-out event focussed on strong minds and voices, ranging from the outspoken to the innovator and all committed to breaking down stereotypes and myths. 

Visitors immersed themselves in talks by nine internationally successful speakers chosen from a diverse range of sectors including technology, entertainment, media, art, science and politics as well as activities, performances and exhibitions created by students at the College.

As well as taking place in front of a live audience, the event was also streamed live on the College You Tube channel and filmed to be broadcast across the TEDx online network globally. 

Head of Media, Public Services and Sport and lead organiser for the event Laura Rawson said, “When we agreed to collaborate with TEDx we were never just a venue. We considered carefully how we could get the students involved and how it could benefit them.   We found opportunities for collaboration everywhere.  Our Art and Design students created the extraordinary wearable artwork and portraits that were exhibited on the theme of ‘Bold and Brilliant’ women, they also made the TEDx stage sign and designed and printed the t-shirts and gift bags.  Our Games, Animation and VFX students made animations that were screened between the TED Talks, our Media students liaised with the TEDx technical team to set up the event and then recorded it on the day, our Public Services students were ambassadors at the event and our Learning for Life and Work students set up a sweet market.”

“All of the students involved gained real employability skills and demonstrated such professionalism.  The event was electric!  The feedback from the attendees about our college, staff and students was phenomenal and as a result, we have had offers of work experience, individuals who want to come and give our students coaching and some of the speakers are keen to come back to work with our students too.”

The esteemed speakers included Dr Amber Ghaddar – Co-Founder of AllianceBlock; Charlotte Carpenter – Composer and Founder of BabyWoman Records; Dr Ghida Ibrahim PhD – Advanced Network Analytics at Facebook; Dr Kierann Shah – General Manager at the National Space Centre and Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE – CEO of Twycross Zoo Gareth Watts, Head of Creative Arts at Gateway College commented, “This was by no means a ‘safe’ collection of artwork or speakers. Provocative questions were posed across the various media and styles and viewers were taken to some unexpected places. A royal revolutionary writer; defiant survivors of violence and abuse; bold responses to notions of consent, objectification and ‘ideal’ body shape. Despite the clear theme, the ideas and work resisted homogeneity through its references to a diverse range of cultural expectations, norms, values and experiences. And that, for me, is our greatest strength as a College – we can boast of a diversity of voices that challenge expectations and we can pull at the threads of what could be possible for a better future”.

Cover photo by Matt Short Photography 2019