Falkvinge At TEDx: "Like A Cross Between Churchill, Gandhi, And Mad Max"

I presented my story at TEDx Observer in London recently, and the video from the event has come online. This was the first time I was asked to tell my story, rather than talking about the pirate ideas.

After a significant amount of sweat, I knew what to say. (More conferences are already asking for this presentation, or variations on it, by the way.) I think it came out quite well for a 15-minute presentation:

[youtube zsI3-IEWgFg 626 370]

This was at Sadler’s Wells in London, near King’s Cross, in front of an audience of 1200. I positively loved the reviews! I mean, “I wish it had been longer” – who’d say something like that about a politician speaking?

Audience reactions

Putting my Twitter name on every slide was, of course, a signal to the audience that I love reviews, no matter what they say. I’m biased here, but I read the reviews as quite favorable:

Funny, engaging, and makes sense. If only all politicians were like this.Charlotte Beckett

Rick Falkvinge is like a cross between Churchill, Gandhi, and Mad Max.Omaid Hiwaizi

Amazing talk by Falkvinge. A new breed of politician.Alex Emanuel

Brilliant speaker.Morgan Fitzsimons

Falkvinge is my new Citizen Kane.Daniel Blackburn

Glad there’s politicians like Falkvinge out there with an eye on our digital futures.Richard Dufty

Falkvinge: Really great job, love your presenting styleEimear Lambe

Clear, pungent, insightful, and funny. I wish it had been longer – words you rarely hear! Wanted to know more.Polly Fiona McDonald

Cracking talk.Michael Spragg

Very powerful on why governments must be stopped in their curtailing of net censorship and civil liberties.Nick Jefferson

Falkvinge: Great presentation at TEDx Observer. Message – excellent. Futurama quotes – a bonus.Sarah Bailey

Falkvinge: Outstanding and inspiring presentation.Gareth Redmond

…and many more. As flattering as these are, it was still just a selection (reformatted from Twitter flow format into article format, for readability).

Photo by Anna Gordon, CC-BY-NC license.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. DanielS

    Ahh Futurama, så bra serie ^^

    Just ja bra tal också 😛

  2. Yversa

    Very nice and very motivational for me to get politically active again 🙂

    I just hope the pirates won’t sell out like the green or social-democratic movements did during the last couple of years…

    1. Scary Devil Monastery

      Rick already adressed that issue – that your allegiance must be dynamically adressed – in this post:


      It is inevitable that the “Pirate Party”, once it comes to power will attract ambitious, lazy, incompetent and self-serving candidates. This always happens. Internal housecleaning in order to weed out those who view party membership as a mere stepping stone or another ad notam in their CV will be of high importance.

      Right now vigilance is distributed in something like an 80/20 model. 80% of our attention is focused outwards and not so much inwards. This is logical as there is, frankly speaking, no personal reward for sticking your chin out. And therefore we don’t as of yet need to worry about opportunism.

      Once we do like the German pirates and end up with local and national representation, we will be flooded with political opportunists leaping on to the bandwagon. At which point we will need to refocus – and keep our attention focused far more on the party itself. What has allowed all the other parties to degenerate to their current extent is simply that the “sliding scale” and the “soft borders” always apply internally before it hits the parliament.

      Once we achieve political power in the form of representation as well there will be paid positions, high salaries, and great prestige to be gained. This is where we need to keep sharp eyes out that we do not end up with a party system like that of the swedish moderates or social democrates today – one where what the bulk of the party thinks makes no difference to the policy being pushed.

  3. Justus Römeth

    Your best speech yet, from what I have seen! Well done!

  4. Booger Bender

    Rick Falkvinge,

    Can you please have this video captioned? universalsubtitles.org would be happy to have your videos captioned with our tools. I myself love all your articles however, i miss out on your videos and lectures. Please give a moment and take a look at Universal Subtitles you can have your video translated in any language all around the world. That’s really sharing and getting your video out there.
    Booger Bender

    1. Fropixx

      Excellent idea.
      For example I, who am fluent in English, have to concentrate relatively much, when listening to English speech. (It’s a foreign language to me, after all.)
      Subtitles would be great, they make understanding easier, even when the text only duplicates the things in the same language as the speech.

  5. Billy G

    Du måste bli bättre på o inte staka dig eller börja på en mening men sen strunta i den o bärja om på en ny för att senare återkomma till den första meningen. Ska du bli en true evangelist måste du bli bättre på o hålla föredrag. Det haltade på bra många ställen, och tja, presentationen/talet/what ever var lite väl “all over the place” och när det blir så så haltar även wow faktorn tyvärr.

    Har sett bra många av dina föredrag/tal osv.. och du har blivit bättre, men fortfarande så flamsar du runt lite för mycket. Och som sagt, kritik för att göra dina tal bättre, vill ju för fasen att hela världen ska lyssna.. =)

    1. Datavetaren

      Äh, vad är det där för skit-kritik. Det är inte så enkelt att tala engelska fritt då man inte har det som modersmål. Jag tycker Rick sköter sig alldeles utmärkt, och hans kapacitet att hålla tal, och inspirera är bra mycket bättre än motståndarna. När jag såg Rick tala för första gången från någon skramlig Bambuser-video från något möte i Linköping för länge sedan så bestämde jag mig för att bli en betalande medlem. Det enda jag hoppas på nu är att Rick får en ordentlig TED-slot på en timme och gärna också besöka inflytelserika talk shows som “Daily Show” med Jon Stewart.

    2. Calle Rehbinder

      Det är inte nödvändigtvis skitkritik – det beror på syftet och intentionen.
      Jag kan ju bara säga att jag tyckte väldigt mycket om talet, det var roligt, informativt och väl sammanhållet – och sen fanns det små, små skönhetsfel här och där, men sådant försvinner med tiden, med övning, rutin och finslipning.

      Nothing beats experience.

      Se till att hålla samma tal många gånger – då kommer du också att hitta fram lättare, polera bort skönhetsfel, och bli så säker på innehållet, och trygg i budskapet, att du kan freestyla lite mer, och då kommer det att flöda ännu bättre.

      RIktigt, riktigt bra!

  6. Rnonymus Today

    Meh. The message was a nice one but there was too much boasting on your part in my opinion. Even more when you look at the title of this article. I don’t know if that is normal behavior in other circle but where I am from it creates an easy way for the opposition to sway the undecided o their side based on superficial character presentation.

  7. Khaim

    I really liked the speech, but some of the slides looked rather poorly done. Might want to spend a few minutes polishing them before the next talk (or get an intern to do it).

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      It’s quite hard to convey my presenting style in a video like this – I flash keywords of what I’m saying constantly on the screen behind me. This presentation had 143 slides, and I think some 7 or 8 made it to the video.

      For instance, when I say “We love the net, we love copying and sharing, and we love civil liberties”, that’s five slides right there flashing past. “The net”, blank slide, “copying and sharing”, blank, “civil liberties”.

      Some of the audience tweets said “best presentation style” or similar about the overall impression of this, but it doesn’t make it to the video format.


      1. Kim Nilsson

        That’s a frequent problem with presentations done with slides.
        In my opinion the video should be either focused on the slides, with the speaker in a smaller inserted window in a corner of the viewing space, or the reverse. A video trying to convey the full experience of a live speech will always fail, so one must prioritise: the message (slides with audio) or the emotion (the speaker).

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