Skip to content

NTU alumni share their inspirational stories of overcoming adversity at prestigious event

Three members of NTU’s alumni community have taken part in a TEDx event to share their inspiring stories around the theme of creativity through adversity.

Presenters on stage at the TEDx event
Presenters on stage with event organiser Mitzie Williams (centre)

Held at Confetti X, NTU's eSports hub, the event was curated and organised on behalf of TEDx by NTU Alumni Fellow Mitzie Williams, lecturer at Nottingham Law School.

“This is the result of months of planning,” she said. “We began in March, finding and engaging with the speakers, arranging rehearsals, and ensuring everything shared a central theme. Events like this are extremely prestigious and important for the university because they connect you not just with the wider community, but globally too. It’s a wonderful platform to be part of.”

Aneurin Smith on stage
Aneurin Smith

Of the six speakers, three studied at NTU. Alum Aneurin Smith (International Relations and Global Politics – 2005) gave a thoughtful  presentation entitled 'How the Mundane can lead to Exceptional Turning Points', which looked at how most of us face daily low points – from the benign to the more serious – and how these can often be pivotal in our career and life journey.

Now a successful business director, Aneurin has led teams in global corporate environments across beauty, consumer goods and eyewear industries, and has considerable of experience in running, establishing and exiting his own businesses, which he achieved straight out of university.

James Wells on stage
James Wells

Alumni Fellow and successful businessperson James Wells (BA Hons Broadcast Journalism – 2011) took the stage to tell his own inspiring story. Having twice being diagnosed with Leukaemia, James made a full recovery and went on to represent England in the World Karate Championships, becoming a multiple world medallist.

“It’s felt really pertinent to be back here and talk today,” James told us. “My cancer diagnosis and the battle to overcome it took place whilst I was in my second year of study at NTU. I graduated from university the year after having a stem cell transplant, which thankfully helped save my life.”

Mitzie is keen to encourage others to get involved in future NTU TEDx events. “I’d welcome people to come forward,” she said. “Especially people who have a particular message or experience it would be positive to share with the wider community. I think we may well use the same theme next year – creativity through adversity – as there is still so much more to uncover.”

Mitzie Williams on LinkedIn

Photo credits: Tom Morley