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About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED's media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter, or on Facebook.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

TEDxCourtauldInstitute Mission Statement:

TEDxCourtauldInstitute is a collection of students, working together to bring TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) to the Courtauld Institute. As the synthesis of two intellectual and creative powerhouses—TED and the Courtauld—TEDxCourtauldInstitute provides a learning environment for the Courtauld community based on the sharing of ideas and stories. Through a day of presentations and multimedia, TEDxCourtauldInstitute connects the world's brightest minds with the world's best stories.
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Collaborations with other TEDx organizations

Society Beyond Borders
30 January 2016

Venue: Hackney Empire, Main House
Prices: £65 VIP, £45 General, £35 Concession (plus booking fee)

Over 40 speakers and performers will take the stage throughout an all-day event full of new ideas on science, technology, human rights, history, food, art, sex and design. At TEDxEastEnd, you'll hear about rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean, how to predict the future, how clothes create cultural exchange, humankind's role in nature—and the personal story of a local boy who achieved national fame on The Voice.

Find the full speaker list and book tickets on their website:
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March 2016

500 years ago, Thomas More wrote a radical book that has captured imaginations throughout history: Utopia. In it, he presents an ideal society and places importance on the process of dreaming. Utopias may be unobtainable, and may come dangerously close to some people's dystopia, but More's book continues to inspire communities and prompt bright ideas. At TEDxCourtauldInstitute Utopia—Breaking the Rules, we ask you—and our diverse range of speakers—to reflect on what it means to break the rules, dare to do something differently, and dream of change, be it for better or for worse. Join us on March 13 to reflect on life-changing innovations, ideas and actions that ask: if we break the rules of our present moment, what could the future hold?
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Social Media



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Getting Here

Registration and breaks at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN

Live event at Great Hall at King's College London, Strand Campus, London, WC2R 2LS

Volunteers will take attendees from The Courtauld Institute to the Great Hall.

Getting to the Courtauld

Nearest Underground stations

Temple (Circle and District lines)
Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines)
Embankment (Bakerloo, Circle, District and Northern lines)
Covent Garden (Piccadilly line)

Nearest railway stations

Charing Cross


Buses stop directly outside Somerset House on the Strand. See all bus routes to Somerset House.


The Courtauld can be easily accessed using Santander Cycles. Docking stations are available on the Strand. Find out more about Santander Cycles.

The nearest bicycle parking is available on Lancaster Place and on the Strand, opposite Somerset House.


We highly recommend opting for public transport. The nearest public car parks are at Drury Lane and the South Bank Centre.
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Wells Fray-Smith
License Holder and Speakers' Co-ordinator

Josephine Lawson-Tancred

Clara Chivers
Artist-in-Residence Co­ordi­nator

Josefine Biskup
Finance and Sponsor­ship

Louise-Gabrielle Torron
Finance and Sponsor­ship

Laura Peh
Marketing and Com­muni­cations

Rebecca Morris
Marketing and Com­muni­cations

Emily Hartless

Maria Ognjanovich

Gavriella Levy Haskell
Digital Developer

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Sponsored by the Cultural Institute at King's College

with thanks to:
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Anne Phillips
Anne Phillips is a Professor of Political Theory at the London School of Economics. She has been a feminist since the days of the Women's Liberation Movement, and much of her work explores issues within feminist political theory. Among other things, she has written about the relationship between equality and difference; the over-representation of men in politics; areas of tension between multiculturalism and women's rights; and what goes wrong when we think of our bodies as property. Her books include Engendering Democracy, The Politics of Presence, Multiculturalism without Culture, Our Bodies Whose Property? and The Politics of the Human. She is a member of the British Academy and has honorary degrees from the Universities of Aalborg and Bristol. She lives in London and has two sons.

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553), Adam and Eve, 1526, oil on panel, 99.8 x 136.4cm

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
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Betsy Dillner
Betsy Dillner is the Director of Generation Rent. Generation Rent is a campaigning organisation that fights for decent, affordable, professionally managed, and secure privately rented homes in sustainable communities. She has dedicated her career to building power of marginalised communities to campaign for a better future. Before moving to the UK she worked as a community organiser in the USA, engaging on various issues including housing, immigration, healthcare, and finance sector reform.


Frank Auerbach (b. 1931), Rebuilding the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square, 1962, 152.4 x 172.5cm

© Accepted by HM Government in Lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery in 2015. Copyright Frank Auerbach
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Jack Flash
Jack Flash is musician whose sounds seamlessly merge rap, soul and folk. A brilliant story-teller and esteemed lyricist, Jack has won world championship rap competitions and rap battles. Combining poignant social observations, razor sharp northern wit and grand choruses, his music has been supported by BBC 1extra, BBC introducing, and has been witnessed by live audiences across the UK. His thought-provoking rhymes are supported by Karim Kamar on piano and Ben Riches on guitar. Jack is from West Yorkshire and lives in London.

Walter Richard Sickert (1860–1942), Reclining Nude, Mornington Crescent, 1905, oil on canvas, 50.7 x 40.6 cm

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
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Jane Powell
Jane Powell is a lifelong campaigner who heads up and founded the charity CALM, the campaign against living miserably, dedicated to preventing male suicide. With a track record of reaching and engaging men on the hitherto untouchable subject of male suicide for over 10 years, Powell has crafted a powerful brand and a service, pulling in companies like Topman & Lynx to help raise the issue of male suicide, and delivered a recent campaign #biggerissues with Lynx which reached an audience of over 23 million. Her CV boasts years spent campaigning at Greenham Common Womens Peace Camp, CND and Charter 88.


Henri Rousseau (1884–1910), Toll Gate, 1888–1982, oil on canvas, 32.5 x 40.6 cm

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
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Marie Naffah
Marie Naffah is a 23-year-old singer/songwriter from London. Since graduating from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2015, Marie has performed internationally, with her most recent shows taking place in Brussels and Berlin.

Last year, Marie teamed up with a group of six blind and visually impaired musicians in order to record her track 'Blindfold' which formed part of a short documentary that seeks to raise awareness and understanding for the issues surrounding visual impairment and sight loss.

She is currently working on her debut release and was named MTV's Unsigned Artist of 2014.


Edgar Degas (1834–1917), Woman at a Window, 1871–72, oil on paper, 49.5 x 61.3 cm

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
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Muz Janoowalla
Muz is a passionate crime fighter who drives the use of analytics and digital technology to tackle public safety issues including gang crime and child abuse. He has presented his work alongside Boris Johnson and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe at the Policing Global Cities Gang Crime Summit. One of his projects won a Platinum Award from the Management Consultancy Association. Muz has spent 20 years advising public sector organisations including the Police, Local Authorities, the Home Office, the Law Society, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice. Alongside the day job, he mentors MAC UK, a charity providing a youth led approach for tacking mental health issues in gangs. Outside work, Muz's long term goal is to become the UK's number 1 table tennis player the over 70's category.


Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), Nevermore, 1897, oil on canvas, 83.7 x 139.1cm

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
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TEDxCourtauldInstitute Artist in Residence: Peter Liversidge

Peter created a new body of work for TEDxCourtauldInstitute.

From Tuesday 1st March, he painted apolitical protest posters on-site in the Somerset House River Rooms. The content of the posters reference Utopia, Breaking the Rules, and were in part generated by the Courtauld, King's and Somerset House community.

Following Utopia—Breaking the Rules, Peter invited audience members to take the signs home with them.

About Peter
Peter Liversidge is an artist working and living in London. Over the course of the last 18 years, he has created proposals for exhibitions and projects that range from the simple to the impossible. All proposals start out the same way, as a typed A4 piece of paper. Liversidge says of his proposals that: "it's important that some of the proposals are actually realised, but no more so that the others that remain only as typed text on a piece of A4 paper."

He experiments with the idea of what is possible, as an individual and within a group, often realised as objects, performances, happenings or simple interventions.


Photo by Mischa Haller—
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Racheal Ofori
Racheal Ofori is a writer and actor. She graduated from Italia Conti Academy and has since worked in both theatre and television.

She played Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Tooting Arts Club Theatre Company and later Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Her first solo show Portrait, played a successful run at Edinburgh Festival and was followed by a UK Tour.

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Richard Howells
Richard Howells is a cultural sociologist at King's College London who asks the big questions about culture: What is culture? Why do we have it? And what does the rigorous analysis of it tell us about ourselves? His books include: A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design, (2015); The Myth of the Titanic (1999 and 2012); Visual Culture (2003 and 2012); Using Visual Evidence (2009); and Outrage: Art, Controversy, and Society, edited with Andrea Ritivoi and Judith Schachter (2012). He took his first degree at Harvard before returning to his native England to take his MPhil and PhD at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. He has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Center for the Arts in Society, Carnegie Mellon University, USA, and Visiting Scholar, St John's College, University of Oxford.

Roger Eliot Fry (1866–1934), Self-Portrait, 1928, oil on canvas, 45.7 x 37.1cm

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London. Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund and the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, 1994
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Shlomo is an acclaimed beatboxer whose performances are jaw-dropping, inspirational and totally absorbing. He has worked with some of the biggest names in music including Bjork, Damon Albarn, Martha Wainwright, Basement Jaxx and The Specials, and is a Guinness World Record Breaker. He is a favourite on the festival scene, bringing out guests like Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, Jarvis Cocker and Rudimental at his Glastonbury shows. He has composed music for the BFI, the Royal Festival Hall and the National Youth Choir, which earned him a nomination for the British Composer Awards. Shlomo has won numerous awards and is the world's Loopstation Champion. He has spoken at international events including CDI (Mexico), ITV's Big Think, Roundhouse Rising, MusicTechFest, MGX (Microsoft USA) and WIRED, and has been the Artist in Residence at London's Southbank Centre. Shlomo's latest innovation is coding his own customised software instrument, pushing the boundaries of the human voice, live looping and real-time manipulation of sound.

Shlomo's latest undertaking is delving into the world of hackers and programmers. He is completely reconstructing his live performance rig which will be unveiled at his TEDx talk at the Courtauld Institute, London, 13th March 2016.


Wassily Kandinsky (1886–1944), Improvisation on Mahogany, 1910, 100cm x 63.5 cm

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London
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Sussan Babaie
Sussan Babaie teaches on Islamic arts at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her research on the early modern Persian painting and architecture explore urbanity and the built environment, representations of sexuality, and aspects of food and culinary habits as visual taste. She also lectures and writes on the contemporary arts of Iran and the Middle East. She is the author of the award-winning Isfahan and Its Palaces: Statecraft, Shi'ism and the Architecture of Conviviality in Early Modern Iran (2008), and the co-author of Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1989), Slaves of the Shah: New Elites of Safavid Iran (2004), Shirin Neshat (2013), and Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis (2014). Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (United States), the Fulbright (for Egypt and Syria) and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

Metalwork Bag, early 14th century, Mosul, Northern Iraq, 13.5 x 19.2 x 15.2cm

© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Utopia—Breaking the Rules

Happened on

Sunday, 13th of March

The Courtauld Institute of Art