TEDx talks audiences are well accustomed to coming away feeling ‘uplifted’. But few were expecting a speaker to take things literally at one of their events in Glasgow last week. The SSE Hydro was briefly turned into an aerial acrobatics show as ‘real-life Iron Man’ and inventor Richard Browning donned a jet propulsion suit and elevated himself above the crowds as a finale to his talk. The indoor stunt, which was part of a packed schedule of talks, was nothing if not ‘highly’ rated in terms of its speaker engagement.

Richard, the founder of Gravity, a British start-up with an ambition to build technology that allows people to one day take to the skies, said: “Flying around The Hydro was incredibly special, it’s a huge space and has great conditions for the suit. For me, the suit is not just about a man flying, it’s about inspiring the next generation of innovators and inventors. To do this surrounded by inspirational buildings and innovative design, in a city famous for both, was incredibly special.”

Browning was asked to speak at TEDx on entrepreneurism and invention, and used the opportunity to demonstrate his prototype with the hope it will inspire more ideas and innovation. In total, 20 speakers appeared at the event, which is curated in Glasgow by Gurjit Singh Lalli; among them were Jonah Jones, Product Design Manager at Facebook and BBC Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville, as well as University of Glasgow statistician Dr Liberty Vittert.

Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at the SEC, said: “We have huge amounts of respect for people with the drive and bravery to take a risk and do something amazing. I think the combination of TEDx and Gravity captured our own love of events that can inspire generations and make a difference to the world.”