How Andy Haldane inspired a team to act directly from the TEDx stage

Passionate people inspiring great ideas

TEDxGlasgow are incredibly fortunate to have great people who are behind our mission and events.  We get support in all sorts of ways, ranging from the volunteers who help us during the year, more who help at the main event, people who use their networks to help raise funding, connectors who recommend some of our incredible speakers and of course our brilliant guests who make event day such a huge success year after year.

Cameron MacQuarrie is one such great supporter.  He was hugely instrumental in with securing Richard Browning attending TEDxGlasgow in 2017 to showcase his ‘Iron Man’ flight around the Hydro – it was the quite a finale! (see it here).

We met with Cameron and the team at BrandsEye and learned that they had been inspired by Andy Haldane’s 2018 talk. In fact, they’ve been motivated to the extent that they’ve been working away to support the idea of Citizens Panels. 


Here’s what they told us:

You brought your team to this year’s event, did they enjoy it?

They loved it!  TEDxGlasgow is a significant event in our company calendar now, we know we will get an amazing range of ideas being shared from the stage, but also great conversations with the other guests throughout the day. We meet many of our business partners, current and future, in a wonderful atmosphere of optimism and fresh thinking, where everything seems possible.

Steve Coleman, a team member who runs our Financial Services says, “Truly amazing was the blend of ordinary backgrounds juxtaposed with such extraordinary stories, leaving the event I felt inspired and driven to find a way to add value”.

Matt Robertson (our Head of Services) has always loved TED talks and said “My first live event experience was incredible, I was struck by the energy throughout the day, the variety of speakers, hearing about some of the worlds most challenging problems. In fact, I regularly recall the day I met one of the world’s most influential economists – my dinner guests have been hearing about it all year!”


Did your team get what they expected from the event?

More than they bargained for!  It’s a bit of joke with them now that their ‘day off’ led to more work, which I have to say joking aside they undertook with gusto.  We were all really struck by Andy Haldane’s talk.

Many of us have worked around banking our whole careers and sitting through a talk by the Chief Economist of the Bank of England was, to be honest, seen as the perfunctory talk in the day. But we could not have been more wrong – Andy was amazing!

In the first few seconds of taking the stage, Andy’s warm sense of humour and humanity flowed across the auditorium. This was a real person, having real conversations with real people. His talk made the hairs on the back of my head stand up! Inspiration struck when he said “Hand on heart, I have learned more from those conversations than from any spreadsheet”. I knew immediately that my team and I could help scale Andy’s vision for Citizens Panels, driven by understanding what matters to regular people in terms of the economy.


How did you activate your idea, and what actions did your team take?

That day, my team and I couldn’t stop talking about how we might be able to help.  From that moment, and for the next 5 months, we set our experts to work by listening to, analysing and categorising over 4 million public conversations across the UK on the diverse subjects that affect the wealth and health of ordinary citizens in the UK. The possibility of helping ordinary people is what inspired and catalysed the team to act.  

Next, with the help of TEDxGlasgow, we were able to meet with Andy and his team to share what we’ve produced.  It has been very rewarding for the team to be able to offer thoughts on how to get more from the Citizens Panels, through the wisdom of our crowd.  If we have helped to surface the real challenges of the public, to the highest office of the Kingdom, and there is one less community needing to choose between “heating and eating” then we will have made a real difference in creating a deliberative democracy.

Andy Haldane said “I was delighted to speak at TEDxGlasgow last year.  I am thrilled that Cameron and the team were inspired to start putting some of my ideas into practice using state of the art technologies.  This is a step forward towards better understanding our economies, improving our policies and strengthening our democracies.”

You can watch Andy Haldane’s talk here.


Impact starts from an idea

A huge thanks to Cameron and the team at BrandsEye for sharing how they’ve converted an idea worth doing into a positive outcome. We at TEDxGlasgow are passionate about sharing ideas and are delighted to hear the inspiration our event has had – in this case inspiring a whole team to make a positive impact.

TEDxGlasgow is all about ideas worth doing and making a difference, this is a great example of how the event can translate ideas into lasting impact.

If you have a story to share, big or small, where you’ve been inspired to take action we’d  love to hear from you. You can get in touch by emailing [email protected]

  • Written by Zeb Ahmed
  • Posted on January, 9 2019

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