Immy Kaur

Co-founder of Impact Hub Birmingham and Curator of TEDxBrum. 

MSc International Development, 2011

Immy is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2016 she was named one of the ten most influential people in the West Midlands from the world of business lobbying in the Birmingham Post's 'Power 250.'

Immy Kaur

Video transcript: I chose the University of Birmingham for my Master's because Birmingham was home. I'd previously been away studying in Cardiff and worked in London and I really wanted to come back. For me, Birmingham provided the perfect mix between a city university, home and a beautiful campus.

I chose to study International Development after a few years of having been uncertain about what I wanted to do. I'd travelled abroad, done a fair bit of  voluntourism, worked in India and Sri Lanka and I was increasingly interested in how I could bring my previous skills into a space that I really wanted to impact and I really wanted to understand how we as citizens could make a difference in the world.

Even though Impact Hub Birmingham has a very much a city level focus, international development and the work that I did prior to here in my studies at the University of Birmingham, continued to really influence what I'm doing. The Impact Hub network is a global network, working across more than 80 different spaces around the world across five continents, whether they be African countries or huge cities in America, the Impact Hub has manifestations locally in lots and lots of different ways.  So what I learnt very much from my time at the University of Birmingham  really continues to shape how we can bring global international and development practices into local contexts, but also how we can connect this local community to global innovators around the world.

I was sat in a coffee shop with Andy, one of the co-founders, and we'd had the lease in our hands and we signed the lease and we got the keys to the building and that evening we were about to launch the Kickstarter and the space was an empty shell, there was nothing here. We had nothing in our bank account and we didn't want to tell anybody that we'd signed a lease with nothing in our bank account. We were about to launch a Kickstarter, all of our friends and family had turned up here to see the building and I was just overwhelmed by just looking around at the amount of energy and amount of faith that people had in this journey.

Thinking back to my time as a student I wish I hadn't had such set ideas of what I was going to do and that I was ready to embrace the uncertainty and embrace the journey of graduating to a job, to your next stop isn't and doesn't have to be all planned out and you don't have to know everything that you're going to do at university. And that it's ok to deviate away from perhaps what you studied and maybe that’s going to be where you learn the most.

Photo of Immy Kaur


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Immy Kaur

“If I had to use one word to describe my time at the University of Birmingham it would be 'ambitious'.”