A partner’s perspective on TEDxGlasgow – Standard Life

Following our big 2017 event, we’ve caught up with partner Standard Life who reflect on their experience from the day. Here’s what they had to say…

‘Ideas Worth Doing’

The strapline for TEDxGlasgow is ‘Ideas Worth Doing’ and it’s fair to say our new partnership has definitely been an idea worth doing. There’s been a real buzz since we launched the partnership earlier this year and a strong level of engagement across Standard Life.

Our internal TEDx project team is made up of a great group of colleagues (Alice Ojeda, Mike Ross and Katherine Jans) they’ve got creative ideas and a real desire to maximise the partnership. We opted for a big bang launch and had a great response from the outset. It was hard to miss us as we took the large ‘TEDxGlasgow’ letters on a tour of our Edinburgh offices and to spark people’s curiosity we held a staff competition. It certainly got people talking!

Standard Life - Alice and Andrea

‘Lots of firsts…’

The lead up to the conference was an exciting time, lots of contact with Pauline and Hannah at TEDx (who were incredibly patient and responsive despite being rushed off their feet!). There was a real buzz as people around our offices talked about what to expect / what would the speakers be like. Having never been to a TEDxGlasgow event before, I didn’t quite know what to expect. The programme told me to get ready to smile and dance?! It did not disappoint. We smiled, we danced.

As a Partner, we also had the honour of hosting our first lab event. It was a great experience to see this evolve from an idea on a page into a thought provoking session within a matter of weeks. Our Business Innovation team took the lead and ran an interactive session on ‘Disrupting Ageing’ – a very topical issue for so many people in this complex and uncertain world.

Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to join our lab, get involved and share views. We’ve collated the ideas and insights and are preparing to feed these into our Pensions and Savings business.

Standard Life partner of TEDxGlasgow 2017 - volunteers on stage

Lead or Follow?

The theme of this year’s event was ‘Lead or Follow’ and we were treated to a day of fantastic speakers who each gave their own angle on the theme.

It’s really hard to select a favourite but my top pick would be David Eustace current Chancellor of Napier – he really stood out for me and really struck a chord. Having left school at 16 with one o-level before becoming a Prison Officer, he has gone on to have his photography feature in world renowned publications such as Vogue and GQ. How did he do this? He took a lead and followed his passion. David’s key message was hugely powerful “Don’t let the ‘what if’s’ in life hold you back. We are often terrified by things we don’t know. Now is your time”.

His talk was heard not only by 1800 delegates but by a group of young people who joined TEDxGlasgow in the afternoon. I’m curious about the power of his message to this generation and how they will take this forward.

Standard Life team at TEDxGlasgow

Last but not least

At the event itself, I was really proud of all the volunteers who helped make the event such an outstanding day. Our Standard Life volunteers are such positive advocates of TEDxGlasgow and have already spread the word to the extent that we have had people asking about how they can get involved next year! What I was really impressed with was the sense of teamwork and leadership. By getting involved, not only did they extend their external network and meet lots of new people, they also got to know new colleagues in Standard Life.

A huge well done to everyone involved for making this such a memorable and inspiring day!


A big thanks to Andrea Goldie (pictured below) for providing us with her feedback.

Andrea Goldie - Photo by Peter

  • Written by Cat Leaver
  • Posted on July, 1 2017

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