Resilience Reignited

2nd October 2021

At Technology Innovation Centre

Organisers' Note

Welcome to the TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde Annual Ideas Conference 2021!

We are thrilled to be hosting our flagship event in person this year and it is a pleasure to receive you all.

If the past 18 months have taught us anything…and they have taught us a lot…it is that resilience can come in many forms. From the emotional resilience, we have all had to demonstrate as we have navigated the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the social resilience we have collectively shown as we have witnessed numerous injustices played out on the global stage. We have also seen the physical resilience of communities around the world as they fight against the increasingly extreme environmental events precipitated by the climate emergency.

The world looks very different as we draw to the end of 2021 than it did as we entered the first of several lockdowns at the start of 2020. We also view the world now through a very different lens and that is why we felt compelled to highlight and pay tribute to this enduring attribute through our theme for this year’s conference, Resilience Reignited.

We are looking to the future, with an outstanding selection of talks from some of the world’s most exceptional innovators and change-makers. From how to tackle the climate crisis with actions not just words to the robotics that will be securing sustainability for generations to come; and from the art of gratitude to the materials shaping how we design our structures and increase their ability to endure in the increasingly challenging years ahead.

Each one of our speakers envisions a world where we can truly understand the lessons we have learned through our resilience over the past year and a half and how we can carve our futures with intention and humility, working with our communities both locally and globally. We hope that you find resonance with their inspirational messages and that you are compelled to take positive action in your own lives.


We would also like to take this opportunity to highlight another community that has had to steer through these uncertain months at a time when they are already facing some of the most stressful years of their lives, students.

Yet, as organisers of TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde, we have witnessed the strength of our student community and their commitment to ensuring that they strive towards the futures they had envisioned when they began their journey at the University of Strathclyde. We are proud of all of our members and of the resilience they have shown in planning an Annual Ideas Conference through lockdowns, government restrictions and personally challenging circumstances.

Not only have we managed to organise what is arguably our best conference yet, but we also won the prestigious ‘Society of the Year’ award at the Strathclyde Student’s Union’s Star Awards in April, an accolade we are exceptionally proud of. This year despite the odds, TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde has thrived. We have shown resilience and a determination to bring to you a memorable and thought-provoking Annual Ideas Conference and we hope you’ll agree it has been well worth the wait.

Very best wishes,
Sheik Abdul Malik & Maisie Keogh
Lead & Co-Organiser of TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde

Theme Description


“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”- Maya Angelou

The word resilience has numerous meanings, and we all connect with it in different ways, but most would agree that the general principles of resilience are optimism, adaptability and purpose. Resilience is the ability to respond to adversity, to take it in our stride and to rise from such life events with our sense of self and purpose remaining. Some people envision soaring mountains ready to be scaled accompanied by a sense of achievement and victory at overcoming great challenge. Others are inspired by the renewing energy of a flame and compelled to see the light in dark places.

This year, we have sought the answers to questions such as “How can we help to develop physically resilient structures as the climate crisis worsens?”, “How will businesses need to adapt as we enter an age where we are living more and more of our lives in the digital world?”, “Can we foster socially resilient communities by creating products that will make a real difference to their lives?” and “Can we instil in ourselves the courage and confidence to overcome failure and cement our emotional resilience in the years ahead?”

Whatever your personal connection to the word resilience, we want to take you on a journey as we explore some of these questions. These are not just abstract musings nor just simply ideas that we should perhaps begin thinking about in the years ahead. These are the difficult questions that we to take action on now. How can we build a resilience global community when almost 132 million of us will be living in extreme poverty by 2030 and where over 200 million will be displaced due to the climate crisis? What actions do we need to take to ensure we provide people with the tools to improve their emotional resilience when 13% of us are suffering from mental ill health? Our pursuit of knowledge and the answers to some of today’s most complex and multifaceted questions have led us to hosting a conference where some of the most accomplished speakers will share their interpretations of what it means to be resilient.

Here, inspirational ideas and thought-provoking stories will be shared, and we invite you to bring your unique perspectives with you, listening with an open mind and a willingness to learn. You will have the opportunity to have your assumptions challenged, to be inspired and emboldened to take action in your own lives, whether that is through activism for a cause that is important to you, to reignite your passion for your career or to making the changes you would like to see in the world. Our conference will help you to redefine your ideas on success and failure through the lens of resilience.

“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”- Nelson Mandela

TEDx Speakers for the Event

Philip Braat

The RT Hon The Lord Provost Councillor

Sir Jim McDonald

Principal and Vice Chancellor

Barry Rowe

Head of Airbus Program Engineering

Dr. Emma Mellanie Morton


Miguel Dupret

Start-up Director & Consultant

Silverstre Taveria Pinho

Professor in Mechanics of Composites

Dr. Lorenzo Conti

Managing Director

Sam Rogers

Design Lead and Jet Suit Test Pilot

Omar Esa

Singer/ Song-Writer

Damian Reily

CEO of Army Recruiting Group

Her Highness AlSayyida Basma Al Said

Psychotherapist & Clinical Hypnotherapist

Deborah Sass & Thomas Reemer

Founders of Space Hero

Kelvin Murray

Underwater & Polar Explorer and Expedition Leader

Join In

We want our conference to be a fully immersive experience and after so many online meetings and events, it feels good to see everyone in person! So, why not approach our TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde team with any questions you have about the event or simply get to know the other attendees! This is an inclusive event where everyone’s unique perspectives are welcomed.

You can also get involved through our social media channels, so why not take some photos and share them online – don’t forget to tag us!

Don’t forget to use our official hashtags!