The Future of Decarbonised Energy & An Inspired Vision of Net Zero by 2050

Following over 12 months of planning and hard work by our TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde team, we successfully hosted our Annual Ideas Conference; Resilience Reignited on the 2nd October 2021.

Held on campus at the Technology & Innovation Centre, we welcomed attendees from across the world to our largest and most spectacular conference in the society’s eight-year history.

Multidisciplinary in nature, as all of our annual ideas’ events are, we welcomed 14 international speakers to Strathclyde, one of our biggest delegations yet.

After 18 months of travel restrictions, lockdowns and being unable to interact with friends and colleagues in the way we used to, we were delighted to be able to host the 2021 iteration of our annual ideas conference in person!

Opened by the Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow, our attendees received a very warm welcome. Many had travelled to Strathclyde to commence their studies and were attending an event on campus for the very first time, so it was fantastic to share the experience with them and engage with our community at the university and beyond.

Held just a few weeks before Glasgow hosted COP26, a moment where the eyes of the world were fixed on our city, we welcomed world leaders, activists and delegates from around the globe. With this in mind, we wanted to ensure that our theme not only captured the global mood at the time but also highlighted the values and the spirit of the COP26 climate negotiations.

This is why we chose our Principal, Sir Jim McDonald as our first speaker at the event. Sir Jim, an electrical engineer by training has been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde since 2009. He is the current President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and co-chairs, with the First Minister of Scotland, the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board.

Speaking of a systems engineering approach to tackling the climate emergency, Sir Jim highlighted the myriad components that comprise the system and how each must work with cohesion if we are to reach our ambitious net-zero goals as a nation by 2050.

Discussing factors such as reliability, public acceptability and the change in behaviour needed as a collective to reach net zero, Sir Jim also commented on what the energy sector is doing to move towards a greener, decarbonised future. This made for a riveting talk, one which was a highlight of the conference.

One of the best measures of the success of a TEDx event is the number of attendees who commit to making a lasting change in their own lives and following Principal Jim’s talk, we were approached by several members of the audience who were keen to learn more about transitioning to a decarbonised future and who were inspired to educate themselves on how they can contribute towards the net-zero goal.

You can watch ‘A systems engineering approach to net-zero by 2050’ here.

We will be releasing all of our talks from the 2021 conference over the coming months and if you have been inspired to find out more about our previous conference talks then you can watch them here.

We are currently recruiting for our 2022 TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde team, so if you would like to be part of the organising committee of our next series of events, then you can find out more about the positions we have available here.

You can drop us an email at with your CV and we will follow up with you directly.

As always, you can follow TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde on their social media channels FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.

Photo credit: TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde Annual Ideas Conference: Resilience Reignited 2021

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