EVERYDAY racism, imposter syndrome and the potential of artificial intelligence were among the topics aired when Winchester held its first TEDx conference dedicated to “ideas worth spreading”.

TEDxWinchester had been due to take place in a sold-out venue at the University of Winchester in March but was postponed and moved online.

TEDx gatherings are independent, self-organised events, licensed by the organisers of the influential TED conferences.

Local entrepreneur Amanda McKenna talked about the imposter syndrome she suffered despite being co-founder of one of the UK’s largest independent digital agencies.

Ben Scott-Robinson, founder of the Small Robot Company, told how a near car accident led him to launch a start-up specialising in revolutionising farming through robotics and AI.

“Body percussionist” Chris Pott gave an interactive talk which had people making music at their desks.

Dr Sophie Arthur shared her PhD research into how stem cells repair our bodies.

Eddie Owusu, the former Team GB basketball player who teaches maths at Kings’ School, spoke about growing up surrounded by everyday racism. He asked delegates to “challenge racism when they see it”, adding: “To be silent is to be complicit.”

Hannah Bellamy, managing director of Charity: Water, told how Covid-19 had prompted a change to her planned talk. She told how, working from home with small children in the house, she “had to focus on, not the size of my impact, but to come back to my intent.”

During the coffee break, delegates enjoyed goody boxes containing tea from Char Winchester, coffee from local roasters Mozzo and biscuits made in Winchester by Ruba Cookies.

They also connected around virtual coffee tables and could visit booths hosted by the event sponsors Workshop Winchester, University of Winchester, Winchester City Council and Winchester BID, as well as take part in some speed one-to-one networking.

Local event producer and TEDxWinchester curator Jan Carlyle said: “We were delighted so many people from the Winchester community embraced TEDxWinchester as an event to connect and listen to ideas that are worth sharing, inspiring us to action and change.”

One delegate told organisers: “I’m still digesting and thinking about the speakers three days later. Like a really good book - it stays with you. If that helps change behaviour on some level, job done.”

Plans are under way for TEDxWinchester 2021, with details of how to take part due to be announced shortly.