Saturday 10th July 2021 @ The Internet

2021 – Ctrl + Alt + Delete returns


After the chaos of 2020 and still managing to deliver an online-only event, TEDxWolverhampton 2021 was going to be simple, right?

Hi, Delta variant!

With the pandemic still affecting our daily lives and the planning of any physical event, the team was still determined to hold a 2021 event.

Fortunately, the easing of Covid and associated restrictions during the summer of 2021 meant we could go ‘hybrid’ like everything else and we returned to the Arena Theatre, this time with a live audience (be it strictly limited) and an online stream.

Some of the speakers who couldn’t make the online event in 2020 took part and we had some new faces join us. Thanks to the dedication of the folks at The Arena Theatre and a tenacious TEDx team, we were able to hold what turned out to be a fantastic summer event.

Meet the Speakers


Meet our speakers for TEDxWolverhampton 2021…

Anne Scrimshaw

The Life Changing Magic of Food

Engineer, Artist, Ex-International Racing driver, Scrapheap Challenge star, avid collector of knowledge, and a maker of weird and wonderful things.

My Dad, got me into making, he built his first hovercraft in 1966. The first thing my Mum knew about it, was when she came home from shopping to find him sawing wood in the living room. I started racing hovercraft when I was 13, and raced nationally and internationally for 20 years. I studied Automotive Engineering at University, and became a Bearing Application Engineer, and then an Art Teacher. I was also asked to be on the first series of Scrapheap Challenge alongside Dick Strawbridge.

I currently run the Fab Lab at Sandwell College. A Fab Lab is a place where people come and make almost anything. It has been variously compared to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, and Q’s workshop from James Bond, and for anyone into making, it is a mind-blowing experience.

I have to know how things work and that includes the human body. I like to ask questions, like what if I do eat 10 potions of plant foods every day? Will I feel any different? I use tech to see what works.

Chris Burden

Sex and Sensibility: A Novel Approach

Chris Burden is a proud Wulfrunian, and University of Birmingham and Wolverhampton alumnus. They are a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages and a social activist, campaigning for numerous issues including youth engagement in politics, LGBTQ+ liberation, and environmental causes.

Chris sits on the board of the Young Combined Authority, as well as their local political party branch, where they raise the opinions and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community to those with the power to effect change. This experience has shown Chris the limitations and restrictions placed on the community, preventing a full integration to society, inspiring them to campaign for change.

Chris is particularly interested in the voices of the largely unheard working-class voices in the debate around LGBTQ+ liberation, and wishes to bring their own experience of these issues to a wider audience. They wish to provide an opportunity to hear a frank, open, and honest discussion on the issues of a marginalised community, with no punches pulled.

Chris is honoured to accept this opportunity to raise these issues to a wider audience, and looks forward to sharing their experiences.

Gina Patel

Disability and Ambitions

Gina Patel is passionate and proud to work for the NHS as a Personal Assistant at Health Education England and is Portfolio Co-Lead for Skills and Digital on the West Midlands Young Combined Authority. She is a young woman with Cerebral Palsy (Hemiplegia) and Epilepsy who is an ardent disability rights activist by wanting to use her voice for good. She inspires to be a positive role model for all people with disabilities to convey that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. She is strong-minded in ensuring no one goes through the same situations in life that she has personally gone through and continues to do so. She is committed to breaking down barriers through educating others on the disability perception and the need for inclusion as a whole!

Gina is determined to speak out for all people with disabilities (including those with mental health issues.) But she is particularly passionate to speak out for those who are unable to do so for themselves. She believes that no one is too disabled to live an ordinary life and encourages this in her day-to-day life to others.

Millie Gould

Putting the ACT in Activism

Millie Gould (she/they) is an 18 year old activist and volunteer from the West Midlands, serving as a Member of Youth Parliament for 2 terms and having campaigned locally and nationally on issues she feels passionate about, such as Climate Change and Educational Equality.

Millie has just completed her final year at Sixth Form and is hoping to study Politics in September. In addition, she also enjoys spending time in nature, writing and reading and runs her own small jewellery business.

Pamilerin Beckley

An end to violence? Rethinking gender, refocusing power

Pamilerin Beckley is a digital communications professional with an insatiable passion for storytelling. As the Architect of Stories of The Haven, Wolverhampton, she engages with various stakeholders to explore how their stories can be told, through digital mediums, as a catalyst for change. 

She has always been an advocate for women’s rights and the betterment of the girl child. As the former editor-in-chief of GoWoman Africa, she curated content covering various issues affecting women and children, including but not limited to domestic violence, female genital mutilation, discrimination and gender parity. She was exposed to and became fully cognizant of the stereotypes and stigma associated with many of these gender-based societal issues and how the power dynamics between men and women often leave women at the bottom end of the totem pole.  

As a freelancer, she supports small to medium women-led businesses and organisations with simple, affordable but effective design and digital solutions. She has developed brand identities, designed and implemented marketing and communication strategies, which have improved consumer engagement and secured media coverage in leading media outlets like CNN and The Huffington Post.


The Vibration of rejection, How a moment shapes who we become

Kupid the King is a Youth Mentor, International Recording & Performing Artist and Father who works with hard to reach young people at The Switch Project. Kupid specialises in engaging them through improvisation, tailored activities and conversations around social & motional wellbeing and personal development.

Kupid is passionate about challenging stereotypes, changing perceptions around young people, building relationships and promoting healthy mindsets through early intervention and restorative practice.

Kupid the King prides himself in sharing an honest message through his music and extends his positive practices through every area of his life. Kupid was encouraged by a young person, who was inspired by his real talk approach, that he should share his knowledge, ideas and experience through a Ted Talk.

Many of the young people and artists who Kupid has worked with have been affected by rejection and have found a variety of ways to overcome and/or avoid future rejection. In his talk, Kupid the King will explore the different ways we feel rejection, our cognitive reaction to it and what it sounds like at different stages of our life.

Nathan John

The Personal Development Myth & My Army Solution

Nathan John is a student turned teacher of self-motivation and personal development. From
humble beginnings, born in Wolverhampton, and following 20 years’ experience in the British
Army, degrees from Kings College London, Northumbria Business School and the Open
University, Nathan is a natural entrepreneur and has built several businesses including a
property portfolio and media company.

His debut book, Decision Point: The First Book You Read if You Want To Succeed, it is a
culmination of his personal development journey and a synthesis of his best lessons for
success. Nathan has fused practical human psychology with his own research to support and
develop colleagues and clients to achieve their own successes.
Now mentor to others, Nathan loves nothing more than to support and empower others to
realise and chart a path to life’s ultimate goal is – happiness.

Lisa Burbidge-Brown

Change the Curriculum, Close the Gap! Education, Entrepreneurship and Empowerment

Lisa started her career in marketing for a multi-national company before reading BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. She then went on to complete a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and started her academic career in Further Education colleges teaching media, film and advertising, gaining QTLS status.

After leaving the FE Sector in 2011, Lisa went on to become a freelance video producer and started her own small business in specialised event catering and management, developing a successful brand alongside writing and blogging. Lisa then went on to complete a postgraduate qualification in Enterprise Management from the University of Birmingham and a Certificate in Digital Marketing through the Open University.

Lisa joined the University of Wolverhampton Business School in 2018 as a Lecturer in Digital Marketing and Enterprise and is currently working towards a Professional Doctorate in Education (Educational Enquiry).

Lisa’s research interests lie within enterprise education, ethical business practices, women leaders and entrepreneurs, social enterprise and digital marketing.

Lisa is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Chartered Management Institute as well as a Qualified Teacher for Learning and Skills.

Rebecca Allen

Different is not a bad word: reframing our obsession with being normal

Becca studied to be a primary school teacher. Since graduating, instead of teaching in the classroom, she has spent several years working in various countries across Europe and in Canada with children and young adults who have varying abilities and support needs.

She aspires to one day either work in an outdoor school for physically disabled children, or live in a countryside cottage and write novels. Becca is passionate about inclusivity and driving change for acceptance, awareness and celebration of both those within the autistic community, and those who identify as “different”.

Pranev Patel

Racism. Why?

Pranav Patel has 17 years of teaching experience working recently as an assistant principal. He has an exciting career in leadership; leading standards; behaviour; data; professional development, and curriculum. His NPQSL project was to lead whole-school coaching and has been a successful coach for over a decade. Pran has suffered from depression, anxiety and sleeplessness for much of his life; he firmly believes that we should accept and embrace these issues as illnesses. As such he firmly stands as a mental health advocate, he recently featured in the BBC documentary ‘Why teaching is making me ill’ and has spoken openly about the pressure of the education sector.

As a man of colour, Pran ascribes as a member of the ‘Global Majority’. While at university in the year 2000 he started his journey on the anti-racist road. In his inspirational TEDx talk ‘Decolonise the Curriculum’ he describes the moment he realised that the world was tiered away from an authentic truth and that started with the school curriculum. In this vein he recently featured in the Sky News Film ‘Slavery in Britain: What don’t we know?’ Alongside Prof Davide Olugosa, Prof Christopher J Brown, Prof Diana Paton and Prof Olivette Otele.

Pran is writing a book called the anti racist educator due out later in 2021.


The Arena Theatre is a friendly 150 seat venue in the heart of Wolverhampton, providing innovative theatre experiences for everyone.


The Arena began life in 1976 in a disused gym in the basement of Wolverhampton Polytechnic, as part of the Drama and Performing Arts department. In addition to student performances, the theatre presented shows by local schools and community groups, as well as professional touring theatre companies and musicians.

With support from the Arts Council of England, the theatre was able to put on more events and open its doors to a much wider audience from outside the polytechnic, becoming a much-loved theatre that offered work reflecting Wolverhampton’s rich cultural diversity.

20 years later, however, the theatre had outgrown its cramped and inaccessible home, so with investment from the University of Wolverhampton and a grant from the National Lottery, an ambitious £2 million refurbishment began.

After 18 months of building work, the Arena Theatre re-opened in October 1999. With greatly improved facilities and access, the theatre was able to expand its programme of performances and events. We now host in excess of 200 public performances per year – in addition to a host of other special events. The work of culturally diverse artists continues to feature strongly in our programme of work and we have developed a reputation as one of the leading venues in the country for our support of Deaf and disabled artists.


Arena Theatre is supported using funding by Arts Council England and by the University of Wolverhampton.

Find out more at: www.wlv.ac.uk/arena-theatre

Getting here:

By car

The Arena Theatre is situated in the heart of Wolverhampton City Centre, directly behind the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and next to the University of Wolverhampton’s Wulfruna building. The theatre is completely accessible by road.

The nearby Broad Street car park is open 24 hours a day and costs £4.50 for 24-hour parking. Parking is £2 after 5.30pm.

If you don’t have change available, you can download the RingGo app directly to your smartphone. The code for Broad Street is 8035.

By train

Wolverhampton train station is a just a five-minute walk away from the Arena Theatre. See the map (link above) for directions.

Arena Photos: Drew White


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What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Our event is called TEDxWolverhampton, where x = independently organized TED event.

At our event, TED Talks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.


Sat 20th July 2024, Arena Theatre

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This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.

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