TEDxCambridgeUniversity brought together inspiring speakers and a student audience for one day of ideas, imagination and debate. Odgers Berndtson was proud to be a Gold sponsor of the 2018 series.

“We were delighted to continue our long and close working relationship with Cambridge via an event that so vividly showcased their fresh thinking and innovation,” explained Alex Acland, head of Odgers Berndtson's Education Practice.

The theme for 2018 was ‘X and Why’, emphasising the power and significance of asking one simple, but profound question: ‘why?’

Subjects included alternative funding, artificial intelligence, viral altruism, education technology, gender equality in economics, HealthTech, and the power of the anomaly.

“The day was full of original thinking from powerful young minds. That’s something we’re always looking for as an executive search company as we seek out the talent and leadership for our clients facing an increasingly complicated world,” added Mike Drew, Global Head of Odgers Berndtson Technology Practice.

We’ve gathered some of the highlights from a day that asked plenty of questions, and more often than not surprised with the answers.

Opening up the AI black box

Dr Advait Sarkar, a Postdoctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge’s Human Experience and Design Group, is fed up with the “AI bandwagon” and presents a better way to think about it. How can we blend the best aspects of human and machine capability? How do we make AI systems more accessible and transparent?

Money isn’t always the answer

Bryan Zhang, Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance called for a more critical examination of alternative finances, like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrencies. Do we need to think beyond money? How can we fundamentally change its structure, and devise channels that really benefit the disenfranchised?

Where are all the woman economists?

Soumaya Keynes writes about economics for The Economist wonders why there are so few women in economics and uses economic thinking to uncover the reasons why.  Preference, performance, constraints, or prejudice, what lies beneath the imbalance, and where can we pin the blame? Soumaya presents some alarming evidence.

The power of being an anomaly

Niyi Adelakun is studying for his MPhil in Education at St John's Cambridge. In a former life, he was a London-based rapper and one-time guest DJ for Radio 1 and XFM. He also gave Lady Gaga her first UK show, and played on stage with will.i.am. His message is about the power of being yourself, especially when you’re not like everyone else.

This is just a selection of the speakers at TEDxCambridgeUniversity 2018. You can find more to watch here.

Odgers Berndtson executive search has a graduate programme and summer internships, as well as CEOx1DAY which allows selected graduates to shadow a leading CEO for a day.

You can find out more by emailing graduates@odgersberndtson.com

Alex Acland

Alex Acland is a Principal in the Education practice of the London office of Odgers Berndtson. He predominantly focuses on recruiting leaders of schools, business schools and universities and has b...

Michael Drew

Michael's expertise spans the technology and IT services sectors in both EMEA & Asia Pacific. During a 15 year career in executive search, he has partnered with high-growth software innovators and...



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