Wonderland? – Society’s Search For Utopia

Ahead of TEDxBrighton 2017, taking place at Brighton Dome on 20th October, Joe Buzzard introduces the theme and key talking points of the conference programme and the issues we want to address with the audience.  


We live in troubling times, wouldn’t you agree?

Health, education, migration and community are discussed at length as costs that need cutting, cultures that need integrating and processes that need managing. All the while, technology moves on at a pace that society can barely keep pace with…but we are told will help shape a better world.


Dreaming of a better world

Every day, people strive to do things that they believe will make the world a better place. Even if those people might be public or political figures, whose views and actions we reject and protest against.

Even the most cynical among us, the most apathetic and disillusioned, believe that there is something that needs changing. Something that could make the world a better place.

It’s the constant search for Utopia. For a ‘better place’ that doesn’t yet exist, but maybe, just maybe might be a reality in the future…


What is a Utopia?

A Utopia is our heaven on earth – it embodies exactly what we want from the world. All of the parts we want, and none of the bits we don’t. And it is inherently personal to each one of us. But it’s a naturally flawed concept:

“Every utopia […]  faces the same problem: What do you do with the people who don’t fit in?”

-Margaret Atwood

You may have heard of Margaret Atwood recently – she’s the writer of ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’, which you may now know as the hit TV series that’s been adapted from it. And she has a point here.

Just like her story, in order to achieve the world we want, there is always going to be collateral damage. With the best of intentions, someone will always be unhappy and hurt by the consequences of what the creator of a Utopia believes is ‘progress’.

But isn’t there a strange beauty in that?


A brave new world lies ahead of us

From progressing world views on LGBT, to the way viral-internet celebrities are created – change is always in motion. Each year that ticks by brings further progress in some shape or form. And whether you see it as good or bad, it comes from the most human thing of all: community.

Progress happens when people come together, when they unite behind a cause, and they try to make a difference. Every community has the chance to be radical, prosperous, delightful or even dangerous. But in the end, they are all trying to shape their Utopia.

This year at TEDxBrighton we want to peel back the layers of fame, of gender constructs, and of media narrative. To explore how communities affect, and are affected by, society’s constant craving for Utopia.


Join us in our search for understanding as together we creep one step closer to a true Utopia…

Get your tickets to TEDxBrighton 2017, taking place at the Brighton Dome on Friday 20th October.