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International Trade Adviser hosts Bollington’s inaugural TEDx event

About Sara - the TEDx Bollington host

Sara Knowles is a DIT International Trade Adviser and a specialist in intercultural communication. Her passion for supporting businesses and communities to connect internationally extends to her voluntary work. Sara delivered her own TEDx talk, ‘The Case for Cultural Fluency’ at TEDx Nantwich in 2016. There, she spoke about the importance of language learning and intercultural understanding for international trade and cultural relations.

GC International Trade Adviser hosts the first TEDx Bollington

More recently she obtained the license from to curate and host Bollington’s first TEDx event on 16 June. The event provided a platform for 8 speakers from Cheshire and Greater Manchester to share ideas on the theme of ‘The Art of Connection’. The talks have been published on the prestigious global platform,, putting the North West town on the global map and raising its profile as a creative hub and attractive place to live and work. The event provided opportunities for local businesses, as well as the wider community, to contribute as sponsors and partners. This helps forge new business links, opportunities and encouraging collaboration amongst creative industries including marketing, communications, photography, design and training companies. The event also attracted new visitors to the Cheshire town and has raised the town’s profile internationally as a place of big ideas and an attractive place to live, work and do business. 

Sara has been appointed to be the International Trade Team Leader at Growth Company International TRade under DIT. Her team support the businesses within the Cheshire and Warrington region with their international growth ambitions. She is also Chair of the Bollington Business Forum, supported by the Town Council.

More about TEDx Bollington

At the event, Sara held a Q&A session with businesses and delegates to answer all the questions about international growth and export. You can find details of the session here.

More information about TEDx Bollington can be found here.

Growth Hub Mentoring Lead talks at the event

As well as Sara’s roles as Curator/Organiser of the event, Andy Hall, Mentoring Lead at the Growth Hub delivered a TEDx Talk, ‘Can we cure our own mental illnesses’. This had a strong health and wellbeing/mental health awareness message.

The event is an example of living the GC values, most notably:

Empowering People: The event provided a platform for individuals to share their knowledge on a prestigious, global speaking platform. The speakers were empowered through the process of crafting and delivering their TEDx talks; volunteers by being given management and leadership roles as event organisers; and the audience as learners and participants.

Stronger Together: Members of the business and wider community worked together as sponsors, partners, organisers, speakers and audience co-create an event that supports knowledge sharing, learning and relationship-building within and across local and international communities. Make a Positive Difference: The Mayor of Bollington, Cllr Roland Edwards, acknowledged that the event had multiple positive effects on the local community. These include community cohesion and economic impacts.  

About the author

GC International Trade

GC International Trade