TED is a great conference format that is focused on the theme of ‘ideas worth spreading’ in technology, entertainment and design. Showcasing the brightest and coolest minds our times, TED is an all around impressive event that videotapes all their speakers and puts the videos up for free on their TED talks list. They really stand behind their principles of sharing ideas, even if people are unable to attend the highly anticipated TED event.
They just recently announced TED x which is a franchised community version of the bigger TED conferences. They’re encouraging folks to take the spirit and format of TED and have local events focused on the coolest in technology, entertainment, and design. It’s a great concept that initiates community support, discovery and definitely promotes ideas that are worth spreading. I had the chance to speak at TEDxShanghai this past June. It was a great experience to give my ‘Open Everything‘ talk to an international audience in Shanghai and I was surrounded by brilliant local and international speakers that were incredible. TEDx is a great experience and really opens up the TED idea to a broader audience.
It is very exciting to hear that we have a TED x Vancouver event coming up for the first time. Vancouver (and its surrounding area) is saturated with brilliant innovators and pioneers, especially in the sectors of technology, entertainment and design. This event will hopefully be a great presentation of the amazing people and ideas that are coming out of the Lower Mainland. Nominations are now open for speakers and everyone is welcome to throw the names of their favorite heroes in the hat. Here’s some hardworking, interesting, kind peeps that I think would be great to consider as speakers for the event. Some of these people I know, some I don’t know, but either way they’re doing good work and it’d be rad to hear them speak.
Bev Davies is an international rock and roll photographer. She has been photographing live concerts since the 70s and has pioneered the art of capturing the energy of live concerts. Her most famous work is based around the punk scene in Vancouver for the last three decades.
Michael Turner is a Canadian poet living in Vancouver who’s writing explores the concept of the seemingly ordinary adapted from the concept of the means towards a desired end. Turner is also a musician and a film maker.
Carla Bergman is a youth activist who’s theories around working with youth are revolutionary in their dissemination of minority status. She works with the Purple Thistle Youth Collective, the Rain Zine Collective and is part of the Unschooling movement.
Dan Savage is the author of Savage Love, which is an international relationship and sex advice column. Located in Seattle, Savage is poignant in his discussion of sexuality and rounds out explicit controversy with humor and wit of pen.
Irwin Oostindie is a Canadian activist who co-created Under the Volcano, a music festival that has a social-activism theme. He was also the executive director of Gallery Gachet in Vancouver’s DTES which is an art gallery geared to promote DTES resident artists. He is currently the executive director of the W2 Woodwards project that is a legacy project for the new Woodwards building.
John Fluevog is a internationally renowned shoe designer whose flagship store is based out of Vancouver. His designs often push the conventional boundaries of shoewear but have maintained a popularity devoid of mainstream conversion. In 2002 Fluevog opened up Open Source Footwear which allows people to submit shoes designs and if chosen, the shoes are produced and named after them.
Dave Olson is a literary genius that has dabbled into the visual arts as well. Whether it is constructing love letters from a Russian War era to water color paintings of natural settings, Olsen captures the renaissance attitude of the modern day beat generation.
Tzeporah Berman is an environmental activist who lives on Cortes Island. She first began her work with forestation in BC and most of her work was put into national forest campaigns. Lately her central focus has been around Climate Change and has started up PowerUp Canada to spread information to Canadians about climate change.
Tim Bray is a Canadian software developer. He co-founded Open Text Corporation in 1989 which helped create a commercialized search engine. He was also selected to co-edit XML and XML namespace between 1996 and 1999.
Eoin Finn is a yogi instructor who created the wellness portal that is Vancouveryoga.com. He also co-founded the largest yoga-focused fundraiser called the Camp Moomba Yogathon & Blissfest in 2007. He founded Positive Force Yoga System which is framework for a healthy yogi lifestyle.
A few other noteworthy nominations: SFU professor of Communications Richard Smith, semantic web programmer Jim Pick, founder of Happy Planet/Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, security specialist Dragos Ruiu, former politician/writer Gordon Gibson, electoral reform activist Shoni Field, and former Minister of Education and Children and Family Development Christy Clark.
It is a pretty amazing time that individual communities can host TED events like these. Hopefully the spectrum of speakers will represent the diversity and awesome people of this area. Make sure to nominate someone! You can find the TEDxVancouver speaker nomination here.
PS. I’m not involved with the planning of TED x Vancouver… just an excited and hyperactive community member! 🙂