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The Year in Ideas: TED Talks of 2014

What were the most powerful ideas of 2014? In this 8 minute highlight reel (watch above), TED have curated a rousing tour of the most memorable talks of the year. Check out some of the featured speakers below, whose profiles can be viewed by clicking the image.

“This year, we explored space and sea, journeyed around the world, and even travelled back in time. We took bold steps forward, and helped medicine get personal. We re-examined power, redefined success, and reckoned with rising inequality. We wrestled with the power of big data, and debated the right to privacy. We empathised with those who suffer, recognised creativity as a constant pursuit, watched language evolve. And most important, we saw the best versions of ourselves.” – TED

Chris Hadfield speaker

Astronaut Chris Hadfield paints a vivid portrait of how to be prepared for the worst in space (and life).

Ben Saunders speaker

Explorer Ben Saunders offers a raw, honest look at his completion of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s failed 1912 polar expedition.

Thomas Piketty speaker

Thomas Picketty delivers new thoughts on capital in the twenty-first century.

Shaka Senghor Speaker

Chartwell’s latest exclusive Shaka Senghor demonstrates why your worst deeds don’t define you.





















What will 2015 bring? Click here to watch each of the highlighted TED talks in full.

For more information, or to book any of these keynote speakers for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

TEDtalk by Giles Duley named a favourite of 2012

I met with Giles Duley in the late summer of 2012, having seen his speech on one of my regular visits to the TED website. I found it deeply touching, and was delighted to see that TED named his talk as one of their favourites of 2012.

Giles had started his professional life as a fashion and music photographer, but despite the superficial glamour of his work had always felt unfulfilled, as if something were missing. It was this nagging doubt that led him to give up photography completely and work in care. Here, he began to work with a severely autistic child called Nick. It was in his attempts to relate Nick’s experience of autism through a series of photos that Giles found his true calling – to tell untold stories through images.

His new line of work took Giles around the globe, following victims of hardship everywhere from Ukraine to South Sudan to Bangladesh. He went on to document the experiences of an American unit in Afghanistan, and whilst embedded with them as they were out on patrol, Giles stepped on an IED and lost both legs and his left arm. The horror of this moment saw him transformed in an instant from the chronicler of other people’s hardship to the subject of his own battle against the odds. In 2012, after 18 months in hospital, he returned to his work of telling other people’s untold stories, but also made it his mission to tell his own – to demonstrate that losing your limbs doesn’t end your life.

October 2012 saw Giles return to the scene of his accident in Afghanistan. In February Channel 4 will be showing a documentary following him on his return journey, and the Observer will be publishing Giles’ own photos of the trip in the same month.

To find out more about Giles Duley, or to book him as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Conducting with Itay Talgam

What a pleasure it was to meet with Itay Talgam, acclaimed Israeli conductor and author of my favourite TED talk yesterday (I’m not the only one – Al Gore is also a massive fan). Over coffee – and over the irritatingly noisy group of engineers on the next table pouring over plans of the Westbourne Grove sewer system – we discussed his innovative approach to leadership and creating team culture. Using the examples of different great conductors, he demonstrates how their styles limit or create the space for enhancing the orchestra’s performance. Even more brilliantly, he has started doing group workshops where he brings along a string quartet and allows the audience to witness the effects of his lesson immediately and first hand.

Take a look at his TED talk here – I promise you’ll never have seen anything like it.


Kirby Ferguson explores creativity in a world where “everything is a remix”

Our State-side friends have been raving to us about Kirby Ferguson. Based in New York, Kirby is a writer, director and film maker whose series, “Everything is a Remix”, has found a growing following on the idea that creativity is not the divinely inspired genius of individuals, but rather an incremental process which, over time, sees great ideas and innovations feed news ones.

As a result, argues Kirby, creativity is much more collaborative and overlapping than we’d like to think. He believes that remixing relates to every aspect of creativity, and producing new materials comes from taking ideas from the past. Have a look at Kirby’s 2012 TED Global talk, in which he uses, among others, Bob Dylan and Steve Jobs to explore his thesis to compelling effect.

Kirby’s next work, “This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory”, will attempt to explore how US politics came to be the way they are. On The Media describe the series as “interesting, well researched, and visually delightful.”
For more information on how to book Kirby Ferguson as a speaker for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Jeana Webster at or call on +1 972 385 1021.

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