Inexpert 2018 was a social experiment disguised as a conference.  It took place on Friday May 11th 2018.  A not-for-profit gathering in a sold-out 100 seater London theatre that celebrated the power of inexpertise and not knowing.

In a world pre-disposed to speaker events where we are invited to listen to those with knowledge and answers, Inexpert asked what would happen if we intentionally set out to do the opposite. To explore what happens when we gather together to listen to speakers giving talks they’ve never given before, on subjects that they have a mighty curiosity about but no expertise in.   Think Portsmouth Sinfonia does TED!   Where the audience experience moments of delight along with moments of confusion and dissatisfaction, leaving with more questions than answers, possibly knowing less than when they arrived.

This page is a scrapbook of what happened and will never happen again.  A place for those who were there to make sense of the experiment and those that weren’t to feel like they were.




The speakers at Inexpert 2018 were no idiots.  They have their own unique expertise and experience but took up the rather dissonant challenge to speak from the rather unfamiliar and vulnerable place of not-knowing.  We were absolutely delighted to welcome the following onto the stage…


..back to top


All the speakers at Inexpert 2018 had the same brief.  Come along and do a talk on a subject matter that you are passionate about but have little or no expertise in.  Prepare as much as you need to in order to be totally OK with not knowing.  Beyond this, it was up to them.  Talks ranged from 7 minutes to 20 minutes and came in a variety of formats.  Below are all of the speaker videos for Inexpert 2018 that were filmed by first-time camera person Sophie Edwards who did a remarkable job.


Note:  both Claire Genkai and Kiran Sondhi were unfortunately unable to speak on the day so their talks are obviously not included here but we would like to thank them greatly for being involved.

..back to top


Below are a selection of the official Inexpert 2018 photos taken by Steve Marshall.


And here is a wonderful illustration of Inexpert 2018 created by audience member David Gifford.

 ..back to top


The foyer of the John Lyon’s theatre played host the the Inexpert Exhibition.  Curated by James Wilson it displayed a variety of inexpert art pieces from the students of London’s CityLit.  Each artist had their own unique perspective and story as to why their piece was inexpert.  You can browse the pieces below.


Click here to download a copy of the exhibition catalogue.

..back to top


Inexpert 2018 would not be possible without a wiling bunch of brave volunteers…


We were also incredibly grateful to Robert Dunsmore who volunteered his time and resources to help us with the staging and branding on the day.

..back to top 


A number of ticket holders and speakers are writing blogs about their experience of the Inexpert 2018 experiment.  As they are written we will add them below.  If you are writing a blog about the event and would like it featured then please let me know.

Tabitha Beavan: “How do you know when you know?”

Meg Peppin: “I am Inexpert”

Hilary Gallo: “The silent talk”

James Traeger: “Celebrating the power of not knowing”

James Wilson: “Relfections on a job done quite well”

Paul Stanley: “The Trip”

Emma Taylor: “Breaking the rules”

Nick Parker: “Playing with Inexpertitude”

Rowan Gray: “Not giving a fuck”

Steve Marshall: “Becoming Inexpert”

Deborah Henley: “Inexpert conference reflections”

Mat Hayes: “I’m an inexpert”

Steve Chapman: “On doing something only once – why Inexpert can never be repeated.”

..back to top


Two exclusive Inexpert 2018 designs are available to buy as T-shirts and other bits of clothing via Redbubble for a limited time after the event.  Click either of the designs below to preview/purchase.


All profits from the sale of merchandise go back into the not-for-profit Lab Fund and will be used to subsidise future Labs, other experiments.

..back to top


Inexpertise 2018 is not-for-profit on the basis that as soon as there is a profit involved, the dynamics of the event inevitably shift towards it being ‘value-for-money’ meaning that it is more difficult to maintain the ethos of the experiment.  Inexpertise 2018 is sponsored by The Lab and is only possible due to those who have come along to experiment and be experimented on since it opened its doors in 2015.  The Lab is a not for profit movement to help people nurture their creative spirit and strengthen their creative communities through being playful with not knowing.  The Lab has run a number of half day experiments over the last two years.  The majority of the costs will be paid for by the Lab fund and the minimal ticket price for the event is to cover the costs of hiring the venue and associated promotional fees. Any profits made from Inexpert 2018 will be re-invested in The Lab fund.

If you would like to come along to a Lab, either to try something out you’ve never tried before or to simply take part in the experiments of others then all the details you need are here.

..back to top