Last weekend we were invited to come along to TEDxNewham, an event hosted under the umbrella of the renowned TED organisation. TEDx follows in the spirit of TED, organising local conferences devoted to sharing “ideas worth spreading,” and combines videos and performances with deep discussion on world changing ideas and initiatives.

TEDx Newham was hosted in the Crystal, in the Royal Victoria Docks. The Crystal, if you have not yet heard of it, has been built by Siemens as both an office space and an innovative exhibit and conference centre devoted to the Sustainable Cities Initiative. At the base of the Emirates Air Line, and overlooking City Airport, the O2 Centre and the ever-changing City of London, this building feels perched on the edge of the future city. Devoted to the promotion of green energy and growth it hosts an interesting exhibit on the future of cities and is well worth the trip to Newham.

And it was this context that lead the discussion of TEDxNewham’s many speakers – to connect Newham, an often-overlooked corner of London, with the rest of the city and with new methodologies to empower residents.

The theme of the day “Where Resilience Lies” opened our eyes to a number of great changes in the London Borough – and the greater face of London. Speakers such as Jo Negrini, a regeneration practitioner, spoke of the power of bring people together through events like “The Big Lunch, “ while others stressed the need for activism within the city, as Richard Reynolds did in his talk on Guerrilla Gardening (we highly recommend you check out both initiatives).

Overall TEDxNewham told us to own our city. An empowering way to spend a day we encourage you to look up the next TEDx events within your own city – and when in London, make sure to come down to Newham to explore the Crystal and the surrounding area.