I’ve been hiding my TEDxBrixton from you until now…

22 Feb I’ve been hiding my TEDxBrixton from you until now…

I deliver lots of talks to audiences of 20 people to 500 people (some are even filmed like my Lost Lecture) to help spread the word that effective activism can come in many different forms. Often I really enjoy delivering the talks and ending with  the opportunity to have thoughtful chats with people afterwards.

Last January 2013 1 was asked to do a TEDxBrixton talk to 500 people in July. I was honoured to be asked and know that I was picked from a long list of people. I know it could be a great platform to talk about the benefits of craftivism and hopefully engage more people in our projects and approach to craftivism. Plus I was told that if I did really well then TED.com might even showcase my short talk which would be incredible! All speakers of had to agree to 3 training courses leading up to the event & we were encouraged to memorise our talks word for word. That was a lot of pressure (on top of knowing I was doing a TED talk- those who know me, know that I watch many TEDtalks whilst making our craftivism kits) and I’ve never memorised a script before.




I memorised my script but was incredibly nervous, more than I have been for any talk. I didn’t want to waste this opportunity to engage people in what we do because I have seen and head that it’s something lots of people find really helpful so I want more people to know we provide products and services to support anyone interested.  On the day I knew I went online discount pharmacy usa over time and was a bit stiff. I could hear myself not flow when speaking. The crowd were very encouraging in the breaks speaking to me and tweeting positive reviews on #tedxbrixton. Even the animated notes by Creative Connection looked good (below). But my gut feeling was right – it wasn’t the standard a TED Talk needs to be. And a few months later I got the link to my talk & decided to hide it from everyone (including my sister and dad who had helped so much with my preparation).


tedxbrixton animated minutes of my talk by the very talented, hardworking team of Creative Connection

tedxbrixton animated minutes of my talk by the very talented, hardworking team of Creative Connection


I thought it might harm the Craftivist Collective more than help it; because it’s Founder wasn’t very engaging or inspiring. But…  maybe you will get something from it even though it’s not the most succinct or exciting, maybe you will connect to some of the content (I hope!) and it will be a catalyst for you to think about how Craftivism can be a useful tool for you to be the change you wish to see in the world and challenge systems and structures fostering injustice. I hope that my nervous, talk also shows that anyone can be a craftivist, even super-flawed me.  I’ve learnt from my mistakes and hope my next filmed talks will be much better.


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  • Nina
    Posted at 19:56h, 22 February Reply

    Thanks for being brave and sharing your talk at last! You do seem nervous but I don’t think that matters as much to anyone else as it does to you. I found it interesting and it put a slightly new slant on craftivism for me – I’d thought about it being a quieter, more meditative process but I hadn’t really thought about how the impact is different to conventional activism.

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 14:34h, 26 February Reply

      Thanks Nina 🙂 I’m glad it made you think about the different elements of our approach to craftivism. I need to get the courage to write more blogs about my thought-process and approach to craftivism so it’s clearer. It’s on my To Do list!:)

  • Lucy
    Posted at 17:31h, 23 February Reply

    Don’t be so hard on yourself – this was fantastic!
    So it wasn’t “perfect”, that doesn’t matter a bit, you came across as genuine, warm, engaging, and passionate, and I for one found it inspiring 🙂

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 14:32h, 26 February Reply

      Thanks so much Lucy. It means so much to hear that. I still feel like I wasted a great opportunity but it’s great to hear you got something out of it 🙂 x

  • Mary
    Posted at 05:59h, 28 February Reply

    Dear Sarah, I started watching but stopped. I want to comment before I watch the rest, because in an important sense it doesn’t matter what I think of this recording, even though I’m keen to see it.

    Changing the world is a big job–and I realise you know this. One activist to another, you can never be delighted with every single thing you do. Anyone with an opportunity to do something like a TED talk would want it to be their awesome best. What if you didn’t quite reach the heights you dreamed of? I am so glad they asked you and recognised what you’ve been doing. I am so glad that many people got to hear about your work. I am glad that there were responsive people there on the day. I am glad more will find the talk here.

    These are all successes. And in the whole scheme of changing the world, the crucial thing is not whether we succeed on an individual occasion. The critical thing is that we persist, because the task is huge. You wouldn’t set the bar this high for anyone else, and you don’t deserve to set it there for yourself.

    Be gentle on yourself no less than the next person doing all they can by every means they can find. Compassion, Mary

  • Mary
    Posted at 06:21h, 28 February Reply

    Well, now I’ve listened. That talk can only help the cause. I think it is inspiring and fabulous, and that it gets the crucial points from your book across beautifully in 20 short minutes. Everything could always be better. But this talk is awesome IMHO. Well done. Mary

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 15:03h, 28 February Reply

      what a relief to hear Mary 🙂 Thanks so so much for your comment x

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