2017 Speaker

Pete Burnap

Pete Burnap discusses the work they do in their lab to analyse hate speech online. He shares with us some of their surprising findings, and how we can work together to make the internet safer for everyone.

Pete is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Cardiff University and Social Computing research priority area lead in the School of Computer Science & Informatics’ Complex Systems research group. He has developed a reputation for data-driven, innovative, and interdisciplinary research that broadly contributes to the growing field of Data Science, working closely with the Cardiff School of Social Sciences and School of Engineering.

Pete is an applied computer scientist with a principal focus on data and computational methods to improve understanding, operations and decision making outside of academia, while contributing to the academic fields of Social Computing, Web Science and Cybersecurity. These three fields are integrated within his research through the analysis and understanding of Web-enabled human and software behaviour, with a particular interest in emerging and future risks posed to civil society, business (economies) and governments. He achieves this using computational methods such as machine learning and statistical data modelling, and interaction and behaviour mining, opinion mining and sentiment analysis to derive key features of interest.

Pete’s research outcomes are organised and disseminated via the Social Data Science Lab, within which he is a director and the computational lead.


2017 Performer

Danielle Lewis

Danielle Lewis enchants the audience at TEDxCardiff with her beautiful, soul-filling music.

Anyone lucky enough to live in Wales is likely to have heard the absolutely beautiful voice and life enriching songs of Danielle Lewis. Since releasing her debut EP in July 2013, Paper Hearts, Danielle has been a live guest on four of their S4C TV programmes with more in the pipeline, been playlisted on BBC Radio Cymru and featured as Artist of the Week on BBC Radio Wales. Two tracks from her bilingual second EP, Dreams Grow, which was self released in June 2015, were used on a ‘Visit Wales’ advert campaign.

2016 saw Danielle Lewis being invited onto BBC Wales’ Emerging Talent Horizons Project for 2016 developing new, independent contemporary music in Wales and sole female artist among the 12 acts chosen. Danielle played prime festival slots at The Great Escape, Truck festival and Festival No. 6 as well as a recording session at Maida Vale Studios in November 2016.

BBC Radio 3’s The Verb broadcast two live performances from Hay Festival with tracks from her second EP on June 3rd 2016 and Ian McMillian was glowing in his praise, as he introduced Danielle at the opening and closing of the show.
Danielle’s 3rd EP ‘FLY’ is out now on Folkstock Records which features songs co-written with Richard Llewellyn from ‘Paper Aeroplanes’ and proudly funded by Arts Council of Wales.

“Danielle’s unique music does something very rare in the singer-songwriter world – she exudes happiness and joy, her songs are light, her smile fills the room.” – Bethan Elfyn, BBC Radio Wales

2017 2023 Performer

Mike Dennis

Who knew that one man, some loop pedals, political lyrics, hip-hop inspiration, and a violin could be so funny, engaging, and vibrant.

Returning for 2023, watch Mike Dennis captivating a sell-out crowd at TEDxCardiff 2017.

Mike Dennis is a classically-trained violinist whose boyhood love of Run DMC, Beastie Boys and Gangstarr led him to create a unique kind of string-heavy hip hop music he half-seriously refers to as Violinica.

“Violin in hand and a multitude of effects and loop pedals at his feet, he builds up to a string and percussion crescendo before opening his mouth and… wow! This guy doesn’t just spit rhymes, they just cascade out at a speed that is as ferocious as his lyrics.” – Wake The Deaf (Ben Gallivan)

Performing using Jess (violin), a loop pedal and a cajon, Mike builds up layers of dense harmony and embellishes with thoughtful, energetic rhymes drawing inspiration from daily British life and the perils and profits of love with a geeky fanaticism for rhythm-bending and syncopation.

You won’t have seen an artist like this before.

In his previous guise as half of Fidgital, Mike supported De La Soul, The Bays, J Live and Aesop Rock and toured mainland Europe extensively leaving crowds flabbergasted. In 2016, he released “Smiles & Cries” on his own label, D-Funk Records. The single, “Stuff” was picked up as Tom Robinsons 6music Recommends track in March 2016. It’s available now on iTunes.

“OH.MY.GOD… How have I not heard @Mikedennisyeah before last week’s FOTN submissions. CHECK THIS OUT folks: “Stuff” (Tom Robinson, 6Music)
“That sh*t you was doing…took me to different dimensions, man” (Vordal Mega of Cannibal Ox)
“How many brains do you have?!”
(Sensible J/Remi)

2017 Speaker

René Lindstädt

René Lindstädt takes us through the important process of nominating Supreme Court Justices. He shows us why we should care a lot more, and how the political direction of a super-power, and our own lives, can be changed by the appointment of just one of these Justices.

René is Head of the School of Law and Politics, Professor of Law, and Professor of Politics at Cardiff University. He also serves as an Editor of the British Journal of Political Science, one of the leading international academic journals in the discipline. Before joining Cardiff University School of Law and Politics, he held faculty positions at SUNY Stony Brook in New York, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Essex, where he served as Head of the Department of Government and Director of the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis.

His research, which has been published in leading political science, law and interdisciplinary journals, focuses on questions of political accountability trying to understand how elected officials are kept in check by voters, the media and elected officials in other government branches. Most of his research studies legislatures, but he has also had a long-standing interest in constitutional courts, in particular the U.S. Supreme Court and its role in the American separation-of-powers system. In addition to his research publications, René is a frequent contributor to mainstream media, including TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Most of his commentary is on the U.S. politics.

In his free time, René is an avid fan of American sports (in particular professional baseball and basketball as well as college football) and rugby. In addition to watching games on TV and listening to them on the radio, he also does sports analytics – the use of statistical methods to study athletic performance – as a hobby.

2017 Speaker

Lisa Parry

Lisa’s passionate argument is that theatre needs to engage with science and ethics in order to remain relevant. The talk also features an incredible performance from Natalie Paisey.

Lisa worked as a journalist until an encounter with a campaigning mother-of-six forced a mini existential crisis about how she was framing thought with language and so she decided to pursue a career in theatre instead.

Her work has since been staged by leading new writing theatre companies including: National Theatre Wales, Dirty Protest, The Miniaturists, PopUp Theatrics (NYC), The Internationalists (NYC) and Sherman Cymru. She has also developed work with The Traverse, Sherman Cymru and The Young Vic on its Genesis Directors’ Theatres project.
Theatres where her work has appeared include: The Other Room, Sherman Cymru, Wales Millennium Centre, Chapter Arts, Theatre 503, The Arcola, TACT Studio (Broadway NYC), The Arches, Bridewell Theatre London, Martin E Segal Theater (NYC).

In 2012, Lisa founded the female playwright contingent Agent 160 and co-produced its UK tour of short plays; and in 2014, she co-produced its Fun Palace at Wales Millennium Centre, a community event designed to bring the arts and sciences together. Lisa has spoken on various panels across the UK regarding feminism and theatre and the gender gap in play commissioning and production. In 2016, Lisa co-founded the Cardiff-based Illumine Theatre with award-winning director Zoë Waterman. The company aims to ‘reveal stories hidden in plain sight’ and is working towards it first production.

2017 Speaker

Mark Taubert

Dr Mark Taubert discusses the language we use when discussing terminal illness. He gives us (often very funny) examples of the language that his patients have used, and reads to us from his famous open letter to David Bowie.

Dr Mark Taubert discusses the language we use when discussing palliative and terminal illness. He gives us (often very funny) examples of the language that his patients have used.

Mark is a consultant physician and clinical director for palliative care at a Welsh NHS cancer centre. In 2016, he wrote a letter entitled “A thank you letter to David Bowie from a palliative care doctor”, which went viral and was shared across the world.

Apart from his clinical work and teaching, he works for a Welsh charity called Byw Nawr (Live Now!), where the aim is to get people to have a realistic and open approach toward the topic of dying and death. He writes and has published in the Guardian and the Big Issue. He has been a speaker at Hay Literary Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. He co-created the website patient, carer and healthcare professional resource.

Many of his patients and their loved ones tell him that once they have broached the topic of dying, they feel a great sense of relief and that a significant burden is lifted off them. He hopes to share some of their wonderful insights in this talk.


2017 Speaker

Mary Heimann

Nazism and Stalinism, which scarred Europe for generations, have barely passed away but again we seem to be sleepwalking into totalitarianism. The Fascist and Communist regimes that dominated Europe in the twentieth century relied on everyday human flaws – envy, gossip, malice, careerism – to tempt ordinary people voluntarily to police and report on one another.

Professor Mary Heimann looks at how we can learn lessons from our history and how, as individuals, we all can play a part in changing society and making sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes

Nazism and Stalinism, which scarred Europe for generations, have barely passed away. Again we seem to be sleepwalking into totalitarianism. It is tempting to focus blame on an individual politician – a Hitler or Stalin, a Trump or Le Pen, a Farage or May – and to forget that the power that they wield is only as strong as we collectively allow, through our silent complicity. The most extensive police state in the world can never monitor, let alone control, all of its citizens.

The Fascist and Communist regimes that dominated Europe in the twentieth century relied on everyday human flaws – envy, gossip, malice, careerism – to tempt ordinary people voluntarily to police and report on one another. Ideology enabled the oppression of everyone by everyone to be justified through lofty abstractions such as the ‘Aryan race’, the ‘interests of the nation’, the ‘working class’ or the ‘will of the people’. Since the fault-line between oppressor and oppressed runs within each of us, we will not fundamentally change society by replacing one leader with another, or even one ideology with another. Our most powerful defence against new forms of oppression is to call things by their real names and to value actual human beings above any abstraction. This is the only way to rob propaganda of its power to bring out the inhumanity in us all.

Professor Mary Heimann, Chair of Modern History at Cardiff University, is a leading authority on the history of Czechoslovakia, a country that was set up as a democratic, liberal and multinational state, but fell prey to ethnic chauvinism, dictatorship, and both Fascist and Communist rule. She holds a PhD in Modern History from the University of Oxford and has contributed policy recommendations for regional stability through NATO’s Partnership for Peace.

2017 Speaker

Ash Dykes

Join Ash Dykes as he takes us on his adventures around the world.

Most importantly you’ll meet Gertrude, the white cockerel!

British Adventurer, Extreme Athlete, 2X World First Record Holder, specialty master scuba diving instructor, Muay Thai Fighter, FHM: – “One of The World’s Most Fearless Outdoors Men”, Wales Online: – “7/50 coolest person in Wales”, UK Ambassador for Madagascar Tourism, 2015 UK Adventurer of the Year, 2016 Welsh Adventurer of the Year and now…TEDxCardiff speaker! From the age of 19, Ash Dykes boarded a plane & left to explore what was out there…

In 2014 – Ash became the first person ever to complete a solo & unsupported walk across Mongolia, over the Altai Mountains, Gobi Desert & Mongolian Steppe, covering 1,500 miles in 78 days knocking 22 days off the predicted time.
Ash pulled 120kg (18st) in a wheeled trailer carrying all provisions needed to survive, he faced sand storms, snow blizzards, Grey Wolves, Snakes, severe heat exhaustion & loneliness to name a few.

In 2016 – Ash became the first person ever to traverse Madagascar’s length, through its interior taking on 8 of the highest mountains on the fourth largest island in the world, 1,600 miles in 155 days. He was recently appointed as a UK Ambassador for Madagascar Tourism.

He contracted the deadliest strain of Malaria, was held up by the military, had to avoid bandits, was bitten by a spider, had to build a raft using natural resources to cross a river, was almost washed away by a strong river infested with Nile Crocodiles on a night time crossing and had to hack through almost impenetrable jungle among much more.
He partnered up with the Lemur Network Conservation & met up with different conservationists along the way, in order to spread the incredible work being done to protect & preserve Madagascar’s unique biodiversity.


2017 Speaker

Samantha Evans & Shauna Guinn

In 2012 Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn ditched their long standing careers and went on a six-month road trip across America to fuel their life long enthusiasm for bluegrass music and Dolly Parton and to discover the alchemy of slow and low barbecue.

They became so obsessed with American barbecue that they decided to try and make a living from it back home.

Since arriving back from their travels, and ​​​​in just 3 years, they went from feeding 5 bar flies in a pop-up in a backstreet boozer in Cardiff to becoming BBC award winning chefs, restaurateurs, cook book authors and outdoor cooking specialists.

This is a crazy train of a story that they tell with passion, enthusiasm and humour about how Hang Fire came to be.


2017 Speaker

Dilys Price OBE

Have you ever felt like your life was travelling in the wrong direction but that it’s too late to do anything about it? At age 54 that’s exactly how Dilys felt. She was anxious, stressed, disconnected and searching for her purpose but then something happened that changes her entire outlook as well as her future.

Using examples from turning points in her extraordinary life, Dilys Price OBE explains how through facing her fears she was able to find her purpose and make a difference to not only herself but to thousands of people.

Now aged 84, Dilys story serves as an inspirational reminder that life really is for living.

Dilys Price is an 84 year old grandmother who, as a single parent with a young child, forged a career in Modern Dance in Higher Education and on retirement founded & ran the business & charity , Touch Trust. This started from her kitchen and now has nearly ½ a million turn over. Dilys licensed the program, trained hundreds to teach the life saving, unique stress release & life enhancing program, and has the joy of knowing that it is received by over 1000 adults and children with special needs weekly. ​

Dilys has received an OBE for her work work and also two Lifetime Achievement Awards for work in Diversity & for Care in Wales (including the Inspire Wales Award for significant contribution to the Arts in Wales ). She was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Cardiff Metropolitan University (her old college). For Touch Trust, Dilys also obtained a place as one of the seven Artistic & Creative organisations in the prestigious & iconic Wales Millennium Centre. ​

Dilys is a woman who wants to enjoy the wonderful world and support others to do the same…….That is where her energy comes from. Her ethos is:

if you fall off your bike, get back on & do wheelies

find the jewel in the sh*t

get a passion

be kind to as many as you can, as often as you can, to whomever you can ,where ever you can, in any way you can. ​

The old cliché is worth remembering “Life is not a rehearsal” ​