TEDx Team

The TEDxLeamingtonSpa Team

Kimberley Owen

Licensee and Event Director

After becoming slightly obsessed with the TED cause of sharing ideas, Kimberley has been heavily involved in TEDxLeamingtonSpa for its last two sell out events: in 2015 as Marketing & Comms Manager and last year as the license holder. This year she’ll be very much steering the shape of the event, ensuring TEDxLeamingtonSpa gives a global voice and brings in fresh thinking and ideas to our community.

With over 13 years’ experience in PR/Marketing/Social Media Kimberley has worked with big brand names such as Heinz, Tilda and Marston’s (multiple breweries across the pub estate and also its tasty beers like hobgoblin). In her current role she is responsible for the creation, implementation and evolution of social media strategy for Mitchells & Butlers and all its brands, including: Harvester, All Bar One, Toby Carvery, Miller & Carter, Ember Inns, O’Neill’s, Nicholson’s and Sizzling Pubs.

Besides working frantically on TEDxLeamingtonSpa this year, Kimberley is a beer nerd (blogger), a ‘dank’ stepmother (that’s what the kids say now for good, right?) and also a keen fundraiser for NSPCC with her next charity trek taking her to Patagonia.

Kimberly Owen on LinkedIn

Paul Smith

Event Manager

After 20 years in the British record industry working with some of the most successful artists and creative talent in the UK, and then 10 years’ experience in Retail Marketing and Planning for global technology brands, Paul is now a freelance retail project manager.

Apart from the project management contracts he also uses his years of record industry experience and his passion for music to guide and manage the greatest and most exciting young rock band in the Midlands (check out theellipsis.co.uk).

Through his involvement with the band he was introduced to TEDxLeamingtonSpa in 2015 when The Ellipsis applied, and were selected to provide the musical entertainment. This year Paul applied to help organise the event and we are delighted to have him on board. His role is to make lots of lists, lots of phone calls, drink lots of coffee, and keep the entire event planning on track.


Craig Spivey

Creative Director

Having held creative roles in design and marketing agencies for over 20 years, Craig’s innovative thinking and visual flair have helped launch cars for Audi, make farms a bit safer with NFU Mutual, brought mobile data to life for Vodafone and helped Marston’s pull more pints and pull in more customers.

Working independently from his base in Leamington, this past year has seen him work on brands such as Chelsea Football Club, National Grid and National Express as well as being instrumental in helping Stourbridge-based stationery company Helix re-issue a line of vintage products to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars.

He’s an Associate Fellow of Warwick University, the Industry Advisor on the Visual Communications course at Warwickshire College and originator of Warwickshire’s award-winning Backspace video games festival. A lifelong geek, he’s written features on technology and pop culture for the Hong Kong-based Gafencu magazine, worked with Spa Town Comics to help stage ‘Spa Wars’ and boasts an impressive collection of little plastic space toys. His eldest son is also called Ted.


Alan Heap

Compere and Co-Organiser

Alan joined us as a speaker in our first year and has been with us ever since.

Alan loves an audience, not just to perform to, but to create an experience with. His early career was in community theatre in Birmingham and then he jumped at the chance of a lifetime: an open audition, held at the London Palladium, to join the West End production of Barnum starring Michael Crawford. Proper showbiz job secured, he met his wife Jo, made many lifelong friends and learnt how to be catapulted 20ft in the air on a big see-saw. Following a stint in a touring circus, he formed a comedy partnership with Mime, Mick Wall (clearly Alan did most of the talking) and they went on to have their own BBC Children’s series, Dizzy Heights.

Another change of direction saw Alan co-found Purple Monster, a drama-based training company in 1995, along with his friend and fellow performer, Nick Cursi. This foray into business coincided with Alan and Jo starting a family and their two children are now embarking on careers of their own. When Nick moved to South Africa, Alan bought the business just in time for the recession. He’s always had great comedy timing. Alan is a committed member of the Leamington Spa community and sits on a whole host of panels and forums determined to continually improve the town for its citizens. 22 years since it began, Alan is still relishing the challenges Purple Monster provides and still laughing his way through most of them.


Paula Palade

Curation Team

Paula is a Romanian-born lecturer and electrical engineer with a passion for education, innovation and research. She currently coordinates a project that aims to accelerate technical skills development within Jaguar Land Rover. She has a strong technical background, holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering, worked as a research scientist at the University of Nottingham and electromagnetic simulations design engineer, and is the author of patents and scientific journal papers. She also acts as an Expert Evaluator for the European Commission, monitoring security projects to protect the EU critical infrastructure and security of civilians and improve the competitiveness of the European security industry. Passionate about education, she’s a volunteer teacher in STEM subjects and a STEM Ambassador.


Ian Davies

Technical Director

With a background in creative technology stretching back more than 30 years, Ian has been getting stuck into all kinds of digital media, long before it was called “new”.

He helped launch one of the first higher education courses in the country to focus specifically on Electronic Graphics, was responsible for digital output at an award-winning Midlands design agency for nearly 10 years, and has now been a freelance Motion Graphics Artist for even longer, concentrating on event graphics, animation and 3D visualisation for clients such as Bacardi, Autodesk, Lloyds Bank, Bupa, Whitbread and Epson.


Shahrukh Kazmi

Curation Team

Part of our curation team last year, Shahrukh certainly knows a thing or two about the application process and what makes a good speaker. Oh and he also works at Jaguar Landrover as a Group Leader in Adavanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).