TEDxMacclesfield: x = independently organized TED eventTEDxMacclesfield: x = independently organised TED event

We're back in 2019!

Townley St Chapel, Macclesfield

10am - 1.30pm, Saturday 4th May 2019 Map









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Thanks to all who made TEDxMacclesfield 2018 a success. Videos of the talks and performances are available on each of the speaker's or performer's profiles, can be found on the TEDx YouTube channel or on this playlist


  • Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson
  • Sarah Bird & Rowan Hoban
  • Emmanuel Botwe
  • Kate Fletcher
  • Mathieu Isidro
  • Clay Nikiforuk
  • Professor Cathy Parker
  • Christine Tacon
  • Geoff Bird

    Event host

Join our mailing list to stay in touch.


About TEDx

TED and TEDx speakers tackle humanity's toughest questions, attempting to answer them with innovation, enterprise and enduring optimism.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. Started as a four-day conference of short talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design in California 30 years ago, TED has grown and expanded to support its mission. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia.

TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organised TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows programme, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.


About TEDx

x = independently organised event

In the spirit of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, TEDx is a programme of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxMacclesfield, where x = independently organised TED event. A morning of live speakers and TED Talks on video will combine to spark discussion and make connections, and start community conversations. (The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx programme, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organised, subject to certain rules and regulations).

About TEDx Macclesfield

TEDx Macclesfield brings speakers and/or ideas on a wide range of topics which have a connection or resonance with Macclesfield. Our intention is to ignite exciting conversations, engage members of the community and create a catalyst for positive change at local and perhaps even national level. Cultural developments within Macclesfield over the last decade have proved the wide-reaching impact that passionate individuals can have on the town. We aim to build on this by spreading new ideas and unheard voices to an open-minded audience.

Like all TEDx events, this is a nonprofit enterprise, run by volunteers, funded by local business partners and speakers are not paid. The TED licence conditions limit the live audience to 100 and tickets are sold online only. Join our mailing list for updates.

  • Macclesfield
  • Venue
  • Organisers

About Macclesfield

Macclesfield is one of Cheshire’s original market towns, with a charter dating back over 750 years. Enjoying breathtaking views of the wild and dramatic Peak District National Park, Macc (as it’s called) is perhaps best known for being a hub of the silk trade. It once boasted over 70 silk mills and was the world's’ biggest producer of silk - a tradition which continues today.

Another popular association stems from an ancient incident in which it’s said a horse-drawn cart spilt its cargo of treacle in the centre of town. The poor eagerly scooped it up leading to the moniker ‘Treacle Town’, also the name of the town’s hugely successful monthly Treacle Market.

Macclesfield is the original home of flour and bread producer Hovis and renowned furniture shop Arighi Bianchi which was founded in the 19th century and has helped furnish royal residences. The town is now better known for pharmaceuticals, medical communications and digital and creative businesses - the hugely popular smartphone app Angry Birds was published in Macc.

Photo by Simon Brown - travellingsimon.com

Famous as the home of cult post-punk band Joy Division, visitors come from across the world to pay their respects at the grave of lead singer and songwriter Ian Curtis.

In recent years Macclesfield has developed a vibrant cultural scene of musicians, writers and visual artists of all disciplines as well as collectives and community groups. The Barnaby Festival, a wide-ranging cultural celebration founded in 2010 which took an annual factory workers’ holiday for its namesake, became a catalyst for groups and events including Community ArtSpace, Loominus, The Print Mill, Macclesfield Garden Festival and Potato Riot. All were instigated voluntarily by passionate members of the local community. TEDxMacclesfield intends to continue this trend by bringing new ideas to spark constructive conversations.

About the venue

Townley Street Chapel was built in 1788 of plain brick as a Calvinist Chapel by a splinter group from the King Edward Street Chapel after it became a Unitarian place of worship. In 1877, the larger United Reformed Church on Park Green was built and connected to the Townley Street Chapel, which later became used as a day school. Renovated in 2015, the hall is used by a wide variety of community groups including Macclesfield Barnaby Festival which, in 2016, showed an exclusively commissioned video installation by Welsh artist Bedwyr Williams.

The hall and adjacent areas are accessible and there is a disabled toilet. Please use the form at the bottom of the website to contact us with any questions, to discuss specific requirements or if using a wheelchair.

About the organisers

Lynne Jones

Lynne is an award-winning current affairs documentary producer and editor with more than 25 years experience at the BBC in London and Manchester. She specialises in hard-hitting, original journalism for flagship programmes such as Radio 4’s File on 4, 5Live Investigates and BBC1’s Panorama. Lynne managed complex undercover investigations including for the 10 O’Clock News, breaking stories which made newspaper headlines. There's nothing she likes better than an ethical or editorial conundrum.

In 2009 she co-founded Macclesfield Barnaby Festival and helped build a grassroots movement which forged a model for cultural and community engagement. Barnaby is now a much-lauded arts organisation and charity credited with having triggered a cultural renaissance in the town. Lynne served as Chair of Trustees until 2016.

Now a freelance executive producer for BBC Radio 4, Lynne also works with audio company Podcastable. She advises The Digital Life Skills Company CIC empowering young people to be smart, savvy and resilient online, and dabbles in various cultural projects locally including finding new life for a disused Georgian church.

Jude D'Souza

Jude is a presentation specialist who manages the global presentations team at McCann Complete Medical, a network of medical education and consultancy agencies.

A transplant to Macclesfield, Jude entered the town’s cultural scene by producing and directing two acclaimed charity productions of The Vagina Monologues. He soon joined the nascent Macclesfield Barnaby Festival, serving as a Trustee for several years and creating numerous events including the popular Great Barnaby Treasure Hunt, FlashPod and Dead End, an original play that he wrote and directed.

Jude founded Entropy Events to run both regular events such as poetry slams and one-offs such as political hustings and local performances. Its longest-running event Speakeasy, a themed open mic discussion group recently ended after six years. Cinevangelist, a fortnightly screening of underappreciated films whose titled are not revealed in advance, is in its fifth year. An unabashed cinephile, Jude has appeared as a panelist at a screening by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Student Union and served as a judge in Macclesfield’s SilkFest short film competition, which he now helps co-organise.


A huge thank you to our partners who have been with us on this journey and made TEDxMacclesfield a reality through their financial sponsorship, equipment, skills and expertise.

Contact us for details of how to become a TEDxMacclesfield sponsor.

Thanks also to our supporters

...And team of talented and enthusiastic volunteers

Most of the TEDxMacclesfield volunteer team
Image: Travelling Simon

Contact Us

For all press and media enquiries please contact press(AT)tedxmacclesfield.com

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Ticket terms and conditions

Cover image by Travelling Simon Photography.
Site design and development by Karlis Blums.

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Ticket terms and conditions. This independent TEDx event is operated under licence from TED.

Christine Tacon CBE
Curbing supermarkets power: is punishment the answer?

Christine Tacon was appointed as the first Groceries Code Adjudicator in 2013, regulating how the 10 large grocery retailers treat their suppliers. She is working to achieve behaviour change and a more equitable relationship between supermarkets and suppliers, through persuasion and the promotion of good practices. Driven by a desire for efficiency and fairness, Christine is forging a modern form of regulation, focusing on building strong contacts with the retailers to raise issues brought to her attention. She trained as a Chartered Engineer and spent 12 years’ in sales and marketing. Christine’s early career was with Coats Viyella, Mars Confectionery, Anchor and Vodafone. For 11 years she ran the Co-op’s farming business and was awarded a CBE for services to agriculture in 2004. She lives with her family in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Emmanuel Botwe
How to change a community by asking one simple question

Emmanuel Botwe was born, raised and educated in South London and is currently Head Teacher at Tytherington School, Macclesfield. He attended a comprehensive school and went to Corpus Christi College Oxford, where he gained a First Class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Turning down an opportunity to join the Home Office, Emmanuel chose to work with young people instead. Prior to moving north with his wife and two daughters in 2015, he was Deputy Headteacher for Raising Standards at an Outstanding School in South Oxfordshire. Since he joined, Tytherington School has undergone a transformation: Ofsted described his leadership as having brought a “new climate of change and innovation”. Manny's outside interests revolve around his beloved Arsenal Football Club and reading and listening to new music.

Clay Nikiforuk
Rethinking the story of mental illness

Clay Nikiforuk is a Canadian writer, performer and perpetual student living in both the UK and Canada. With the aim of investigating social and political issues through story, humour and research, Clay completed a MA at Goldsmiths, University of London in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy and conducted primary research into humour and Islamophobia. In 2017 Clay ran and compered Macc Laughs, a monthly stand-up comedy night in Macclesfield, and is taking the stand-up show 'Fun to be Around' to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. As part of an artist residency in Vancouver, Clay recently co-created and performed a dance-theatre piece 'Life, Blood, Water' exploring reproductive choices. Macclesfield, Cheshire was Clay’s first UK home.

Kate Fletcher
Usership: fashion beyond consumerism

For more than two decades Kate Fletcher’s work has shaped the field of fashion and sustainability, and even come to define it. Rooted in nature’s principles and the creative potential of design, her projects in research, business and education pioneer ideas and actions that lead to radical change. Kate is Research Professor in the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts, London. She also sits on the steering group of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion at the House of Lords. Kate has authored five books and more than 60 scholarly and popular publications. Her work was recently published by the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A and featured in the fashion magazine Marie Claire. She lives with her family in east Cheshire.

Geoff Bird

Event host

Geoff is a BBC Radio producer and reporter who’s made over a hundred documentaries on subjects ranging from confidence to cock-fighting, mermaids to marginalia. He’s also worked as a bookseller, lecturer, travelling salesman and children’s author, and lives with his family in Macclesfield.

Sarah Bird & Rowan Hoban
We need to talk about nature

Sarah Bird (left) and Rowan Hoban set up the multi award-winning Just So Festival in 2009 to create a spellbinding weekend where families could play, dance and create together. Their social enterprise Wild Rumpus, has grown into a thriving organisation and a leading voice in outdoor arts. They produce large scale events, often in wild natural landscapes and believe that when people engage in high quality arts together in the great outdoors something amazing happens. Sarah started out as a bookseller and managed stores for Waterstones; Rowan worked in science communication, including at the Royal Institution. They are now based at The Whirligig - a horse box, round house and treehouse in a Cheshire woodland - and live with their families in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Mathieu Isidro
How the world is coming together to build a time machine

Growing up in Polynesia, and with grandparents from the Australian outback and the countryside of southern France, Mathieu Isidro has had his eyes on the skies since childhood. Although not an astronomer, he is a passionate science communicator. His work explaining and engaging the public with astronomy has taken him all over the world, including the Chilean Andes to Hawaii’s mountaintops, South Africa’s Karoo and rural India to share the wonders of the Universe and the machines we build to study it. A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mathieu is part of a global effort to build the world's largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array, with its headquarters at the famous Jodrell Bank Observatory. Together with his Alaskan Malamute Kepler, he now calls Macclesfield home.

Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson
Changing spending, changing lives

Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson is Deputy CEO of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), an independent think-tank focused on progressive economics for people and places. Matthew has led work tackling inequality by seeking to ensure that local investment brings maximum economic, social and environmental benefit locally. He co-designed the ‘Preston Model’ of ‘community wealth building’ with colleagues at CLES and Preston City Council. Matthew is a leading expert on equitable procurement policy in Europe, a strategic advisor to the EU Urban Agenda Partnership, and Chairs the Greater Manchester Social Value Network. After 13 years he is leaving CLES to become a writer and policy adviser. Matthew grew up in Macclesfield, is a long-term fan of Macclesfield Town Football Club and plays cricket for Pott Shrigley.

Professor Cathy Parker
Why some towns thrive and others don't

Cathy Parker is Chair of the Institute of Place Management, the professional body for those developing, managing and making places better. She is also Professor of Marketing and Retail Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, where she leads a number of projects on retailing, marketing and placemaking - the design, planning and management of public spaces. These include the Economic and Social Research Council High Street 2020 project which supported town centre change in ten UK locations. Cathy is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Place Management and is Visiting Professor at the University of Tasmania and the Higher School of Economics, Russia. She is widely published and has presented her research at conferences worldwide. Cathy has recently moved to Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Charles Ormrod

Charles Ormrod is a pianist, composer and piano tutor based in Macclesfield. He performs alongside local Americana/ Rock band Field Manual, songwriter Ben Gorb, and in jazz, blues and soul groups of various sizes and volumes. He is currently working on an album of original piano works and looks forward to performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Peter Mason

Pete Mason was a hired guitar for a number of successful Manchester bands during the 1990s. With Jane Birch he now runs (and regularly plays at) Macclesfield's premier music venue, MASH Guru on Back Wallgate, a quirky bar with the best of retro music, live and on vinyl.

Photo by Simon Brown.