TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh is an independently organised programme of local events that brings people together to share an experience similar to the multidisciplinary TED conferences.

About TED and TEDx

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.

TEDx brings the spirit of TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading to local communities around the globe. TEDx events are organized by curious individuals who seek to discover ideas and spark conversations in their own community. TEDx events include live speakers and recorded TED Talks, and are organized independently under a free license granted by TED.


Founded in 2013 TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh is organised by students with support from the University of Edinburgh. Each year TEDx University of Edinburgh hosts a major conference and a number of smaller events.  

TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh 2023 will explore 'The Great Unknown' - how can we make systems more trustworthy, reliable and effective?

TEDx events feature diverse talks from speakers of varying backgrounds, occupations and fields, all united by one thing: an idea worth spreading. 

Innovation propels us – seemingly at ever-greater speeds – into the future. It’s difficult to fathom how radically technology has changed everyday life in the last few decades. The rapid advancements in and increasing power and popularity of ‘intelligent’ systems appear to be speeding us toward another major global shift.

Very few of us fully understand how our systems work, and whether anyone has real control over them is debatable. Determining and applying digital ethics has been challenging enough, and now that systems could in some ways gain the capacity to ‘think’, conversations around everything from property to security, learning, and even the human essence have become substantially more fraught.

We need to address the great unknown surrounding innovation to ensure we build trustworthy and reliable systems which make the world a better place to live for everyone. At TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh in 2023, we’re going to demystify the future impact of some of the great unknowns on society. So often we scramble to keep up with how changing systems impact our lives. How can we use innovation to explore the great unknown whilst deliberately considering its place in our futures?

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