Building community around ideas.
TEDxBrayfordPool was our first project. Working under licence from international phenomenon TED.com we've created space for our community to share their "ideas worth spreading".
The idea to bring TEDx to Lincoln came on the back of our individual successes working with Festival800, the celebration of the sealing of the Magna Carta, in 2015.
After having focused on the heritage that made our home iconic we wanted to show that Lincoln was capable of having as big an impact on the world today as it did in its past.
Creating Space & Support:
The TEDx model allows people to create independent TED-like events to showcase their communities. The events are entirely financed by partnerships, ticket sales and in-kind donations. Early adopters include Lincolnshire Police, The Centre for Culture and Creativity, Lincoln Minster School and Lincoln College and a whole host of small businesses including Glimmer Candles, Krimson Productions and FCM Publishing.
Over the years, we have created a platform for people from all areas of our community to share their "ideas worth spreading", and to harness the power of those ideas into creating tangible community action. We also created a support structure to help people tell their stories with impact.
So far, since 2017 we have delivered 26 events as TEDxBrayfordPool, TEDxYouth@BrayfordPool, TEDxBrayfordPoolSalon & TEDxBrayfordPoolWomen. We've featured 120 speakers and performers reaching 1000+ attendees with talks viewed online over 200,000 times. We have worked with 44 partners to date and achieved £1.5m in social return on investment. We will continue to develop this resource over the coming years to create even more impact and wider community engagement.
our Key learning:
Bootstrapping is a brilliant way to achieve community ownership.
Over the course of the time that we’ve been curating the TEDxBrayfordPool series, we’ve seen the investment in the events grow. Not just from large organisations like Lincolnshire Police, but small, independent companies that want to really affect the shape of the communities their part of.
Never underestimate the enthusiasm of the community.
We were awed by just how many people not only stepped up as potential speakers but also those who volunteered their time to make these incredible events happen. Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be even remotely as successful as we are. Again, those volunteers really own the process. As the global pandemic begins to end we’ll be able to turn all that enthusiasm into tangible social actions to affect real change in our wider community.
Listen to what people
With our TEDxBrayfordPoolSalon series, we tried something different. We co-curated the events with the participants. They told us what they wanted to do at the next session. It really helped build ownership of the process, but also took us in some incredible directions we wouldn’t have explored were we to have simply dictated the content. Moving forward we want to co-create and connect even more deeply with the community so that we can build a legacy for years to come.
You can’t always plan growth.
When we started this process, we had a five-year plan. It flew out the window within a matter of days. This again comes down to listening to the community and being able to put them at the heart of what you do. Sometimes, losing the plan is the best thing that can ever happen.
Appreciate and share your successes.
Within the first three years of the series, we’ve seen a staggering £1.5m social return on investment, not bad considering we started with a budget of £2000! The community that has developed around TEDxBrayfordPool are a phenomenal group of people. They are invested in seeing Lincoln thrive and continue to drive the TEDxBrayfordPool platform to new heights.