The global phenomenon TED is taking place in Bollington, Cheshire as TEDxBollington on 16th June 2019. TEDx is part of TED, a not-for-profit organisation devoted to spreading ideas and sparking inspiration through talks that are 18 minutes or less. It’s a great way to connect local communities across the globe.

Who’s organising TEDxBollington?
Sara Knowles is the Licensee and Lead Organiser of TEDxBollington. She’s also the North West International Trade Adviser for the Department for International Trade. After being a fan of TED for many years, Sara presented her own TEDxNantwich talk ‘The Case for Cultural Fluency’. She described it as “one of the most challenging things I have done in my life, but amongst the most exhilarating and empowering.”

Here Sara tells us more about TEDxBollington and how Bollington’s community and connections will be shared on a global platform.

Why Bollington?
Bollington is my hometown and it’s a creative place with big ideas and interesting people. Situated in a distinctive position, between urban landscapes and the rural environment of the Peak District, Bollington is truly unique. It’s very welcoming with a strong sense of community. Everyone pulls together and is proud to experience what Bollington has to offer.

What is the theme?
The theme is ‘The Art of Connection’. We wanted to celebrate the connection that is already apparent in Bollington, to amplify it. Having a strong sense of community doesn’t always happen easily, but Bollington has it. The people make it happen. The talks shared at TEDxBollington will help us to further connect with each other through the past, new ideas and the environment. Every individual has a story and they all cocreate Bollington’s narrative.

Who are the speakers?
There is a line-up of eight speakers in total. Each of the speakers have been on their own journey and they’re excited to share their stories on the global stage. They’ve been given support and coaching in preparation for TEDxBollington that’s enabled them to grow their public speaking confidence and to be stronger communicators overall. For more information about the individual speakers, visit

How can you get involved?
There is a really active online TED community and the videos of each talk will be uploaded to the TED global website. If you didn’t manage to get a ticket to the live event, you can watch the speaker videos, engage with us on social media and keep up to date with all of the latest TEDx news by subscribing to our newsletter via

What are the benefits for Bollington?
It’s fantastic for a small town like Bollington to have a TEDx event, with members of our own community performing on the global TED stage. There is a lot of curious excitement about the event. I’m always asked about it wherever I go and receive ongoing support from the community.

From the actual TEDxBollington talks we want people to take away a sense of connection and how that can come through others. An overarching theme of the talks is health and wellbeing and how people have connected with themselves, others and nature. Some of the speakers have felt a sense of isolation but used the environment and community of Bollington to feel connected again.

We’d love for TEDxBollington to have a lasting legacy and live on once the event is over in the form of mini TEDx talks, creative roundtables and seminars.

Who’s helped to make TedXBollington happen?
Everyone has got onboard, and businesses and individuals have been volunteering their services and time. It’s been fantastic to see the collaboration between our local creative businesses including Embrace Marketing, Stein IAS, Visual Sense and Bollington Print Shop.

The volunteers at our event venue Bollington Arts Centre have been continuously dedicated to making sure TEDxBollington runs smoothly and the local council have also played an important role.


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