Backstage Theatre set for inspirational TEDx event

Longford prepares to host TEDx event

TEDx Longford

Shane Crossan with his hand-crafted TEDx Longford sign. The event will take place on Friday June 29.

Longford is set to be the first county in the Midlands to host a TEDx Conference on Friday, June 29, at the Backstage Theatre.

The internationally renowned TED conferences are devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful, inspirational talks.

Past TED events have hosted world leaders and leading thinkers such as Bill Clinton and Stephen Hawking, and TED Talks such as Ken Robinson’s 'Do schools kill creativity?' have been viewed more than 50 million times online.

TEDx events are independently run and designed to share ideas and spark conversation in local communities.

The theme for TEDx Longford is ‘Change Makers’, with six inspirational guest speakers from Ireland and USA ready to take to the stage and speak about their passions.

The impressive line-up includes award-winning journalist Gemma O’Doherty, US activist Chas Jewett, founder of FEASTA and Sustainable Projects Ireland Davie Philips, businessman and competition advocate Seamus Maye, ICSA President Patrick Kent, and local educator and environmentalist Anna Kavanagh.

TEDx Longford is the brainchild of local teacher and filmmaker Shane Crossan, well known through his many years of work with Longford youth groups such as School of Rock.

“The time has come for us to start imagining a better way of living,” he said.

“The purpose of TEDx Longford is to bring together speakers from a wide range of backgrounds, who together will give us some ideas on how we can create a better world for ourselves and our children.”

Speaking to the Longford Leader last week, Mr Crossan went into more detail about the upcoming event.

“By accident, there’s definitely an environmental theme to TEDx Longford.
“Longford’s problems are really international problems - climate change, food and water, security, overpopulation, global economies, banking, the whole lot.

“This is just our first year. It’s a little bit tight in the organising - it’s just me. And a few friends are helping out.

“Sheila Reilly is presenting it. She’s great. She’s a bit of a trailblazer herself. Everybody knows her and she’s very candid. I love her candour.”

Each talk, he added, will last for less than 17 minutes.

“It’s less than 17 minutes long. The talk has to be polished, has to be rehearsed, has to be tight,” he said.

“It can’t be more than 17 minutes long. So it’s enough time to expand on your argument without people getting sore bums.”

There will also be two videos of top TEDx talks from around the world played on the night, giving viewers the chance to see more speakers on more topics.

TEDx Longford promises to be an inspirational event that will leave audiences with a lot to ponder.

There are limited tickets for the exclusive event, priced at €12 per person. The event takes place on Friday 29 June at 7.30pm.

For more details, follow @TEDxLongford on Twitter or Facebook at

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