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  • Third round of talks from TEDxToronto 2014

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    Photo of Adam van Koeverden, courtesy of Andrew Williamson

    We are so pleased to share the third round of talks from the sixth annual TEDxToronto conference.

     

    David Fleet: Teaching Computers to See


    Vision, and our understanding of what we see, is arguably the most complex of the human senses. Computer scientists have made incredible progress over the last twenty years within the realm of computer vision, but simply seeing isn’t enough. In this TEDxTalk, David Fleet explains that real value of computer vision lies in a machine’s ability to process what it sees and to draw conclusions and inferences from that data — in the same way that humans process visual information.  While we’ve all heard that “seeing is believing,” David Fleet asks, “How much of the brain’s phenomenal capacity to learn can we give to computers so that we can believe what they will see?”

     

    Pantea Razzaghi: DIYBio: Unlock the Scientist in You


    The future of medicine no longer rests solely in the hands of doctors and scientists. With the do-it-yourself biology movement, citizens from all walks of life are banding together to devise solutions for many of the medical conditions and diseases that plague societies around the world. Open science platforms like Synbiota provide us with access to pools of scientific knowledge, and allow contributors to expand upon formulae and data that already exists. In this TEDxTalk, Pantea Razzaghi presents the benefits of this new approach to science and suggests that perhaps a scientist exists within each of us.

     

    Adam van Koeverden: The Pursuable Prime


    Olympic athletes spend much of their youth training to become world champions. But what happens once suddenly you’ve achieved those goals, and after twenty years of pursuing your sport you no longer have the same stamina you once did? In this TEDxTalk, Olympic gold medalist and world champion sprint kayaker Adam van Koeverden discusses the key factors that motivated him to succeed from a young age, and reflects on the impact that those lessons have had on his more recent years in kayaking. How can athletes continue to participate in their sport beyond their physical prime and what can we learn from them?

     

    John Cruickshank: Why We Can’t Afford to Disengage from the News

    In an era when social media and online publications are a primary source of news for so many, one might wonder if there is still a place for the newspaper amidst all the noise. In this TEDxTalk, John Cruickshank urges that traditional news sources must quickly find a way to re-engage younger populations to continue breeding an engaged society of socially and politically active citizens. He draws strong parallels between declining  interest in the news and the decrease in political participation amongst young people, and offers suggestions as to how we might break this cycle.

    Read an excerpt from John’s talk here in the Toronto Star.

    The final round of talks and performances from TEDxToronto 2014 will be shared with you next week.

     

  • Four more talks from TEDxToronto 2014

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    Photo of Sabrina Jalees, courtesy of The WestEnd Studio

     We are pleased to share with you the second round of talks and performances from the sixth annual TEDxToronto conference.

     

    Ana Serrano: Life Inside the Bubble of a Virtual Reality World

    Since the introduction of virtual reality (VR), technologists have struggled to design products and applications that draw users into digital worlds that are comparable to real-life experiences. As we progress towards the ability to tell stories by offering wholly immersive experiences for the user, we start to imagine what an entire industry devoted to the creation of virtual reality may look like in the near future. In this TEDxTalk, Ana Serrano extracts lessons learned from the explosion of the Internet over the past twenty years, and explains how these will help guide us in the creation of the virtual reality industry for the next twenty years. What can we learn from the way advertising and the public commons have changed online over time? How will this affect the VR world for the future? What risks does it present to the consumer? And how can we rectify it going forward? These are just a few of the thought-provoking questions she tackles during this talk.

     

    Gabriela Mastromonaco: Why We Need Zoos

    There are various schools of thought surrounding zoos and their purpose. Skeptics argue that it’s unethical to remove wild animals from their natural habitat to be put on display, but proponents of zoos stress that they serve a critical scientific purpose. In this TEDxTalk, Dr. Gabriella Mastromonaco explains that zoos play a vital role in preserving endangered species, and that they have a responsibility to explore the use of reproductive technologies to sustain animal populations that are currently threatened in the wild. Dr. Mastromonaco asks: If you had the opportunity to save an endangered species, would you just turn your back and walk away?

     

    Sabrina Jalees: How Living More Honestly Leads to a Better Life

    Throughout history, comedians have used humor to shed light on subjects that are typically considered to be uncomfortable or taboo. In this TEDxTalk, comedian Sabrina Jalees approaches topics like racism and sexuality as she tells a coming-of-age story laced with hilarity. After working up the courage to tell her Muslim family that she was a lesbian, Sabrina learned that being true to herself and taking pride in her individuality would not only enhance her material as a comedian, but that ultimately it would lead to a happier life.

     

    Choir!Choir!Choir!: “Because The Night” (performance)

    Choir!Choir!Choir! is a no-commitment choir based in Toronto, co-founded by Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman. At TEDxToronto, fifty-four members of the choir took the stage, with Nobu and Daveed leading our audience in a one-thousand person sing-along to Patti Smith’s “Because The Night.” Meeting regularly to sing new arrangements of pop songs, Choir!Choir!Choir! boasts dedicated and passionate membership of inspired singers from in and around Toronto and has quickly become a citywide phenomenon.

     

    Talks from TEDxToronto 2014 speakers Nav Bhatia, Jamil Jivani, Keith Vanderlinde and Rachel Parent can be viewed here. Stay tuned for additional talks being added in the coming weeks!

     

  • Thank You & First Four Talks From TEDxToronto 2014

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    Photo by: Andrew Williamson

    On October 2, 2014, seventeen of Toronto’s greatest thinkers and changemakers  joined together onstage at TEDxToronto to deliver powerful talks and performances that embodied our theme of “Relentless Pursuits”.

    More than one thousand delegates shared in an unforgettable experience at Koerner Hall. We had more than one hundred attendees join us at CSI Annex for our Satellite viewing event, and thousands watched the live stream online.

    With a surprise opening performance of Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, witty anecdotes provided by our conference host Drew Dudley,  Choir!Choir!Choir! leading us in a one thousand person singalong and Maylee Todd closing the show with her electrifying vocals and live band, TEDxToronto 2014 was positively unforgettable.

    We are eternally grateful for the extraordinary contributions of our 2014 Partners, Sponsors, Supporters, Speakers, Performers and Volunteers – without whom, the conference wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you for your time, your contributions and your passion in helping us share ideas worth spreading.

    We are so pleased to share with you the first round of talks from TEDxToronto 2014. We hope that these talks and others will encourage you to start conversations and relationships with other passionate thinkers in Toronto and beyond.

     

    Rachel Parent: Why You Have the Right to Know What’s in Your Food 

    At a time when environmental factors are contributing so significantly to the agriculture industry, many farmers and corporations are turning to the use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and pesticides to sustain their crops. Fifteen-year-old activist Rachel Parent believes that the use of these chemicals is negatively affecting our health, and that consumers have a right to know when they’ve been used to modify ingredients in the food we’re buying on a daily basis. In her informative TEDxToronto talk, Rachel urges Canadian officials to make it mandatory for food manufacturers to list the use of GMOs in labelling, so we can make informed decisions as consumers.

     

    Keith Vanderlinde: The Edge of the Universe From the Ends of the Earth 

    From dark days to lethal frigid temperatures, one might wonder where lies the appeal of visiting the South Pole. Cosmologist Keith Vandelinde provides insight into such a journey, as he discusses the experience of living in this part of the world for six months in the pursuit of scientific discovery and tells us about the birth of the universe. In this TEDxToronto talk, Keith shares his stories and astonishing images of the South Pole and reminds us that our universe is only one of many — and that secrets to the past can often be found by examining the skies overhead.

     

    Nav Bhatia: Changing Perceptions: From Sikh to Superfan

    Toronto has been named the most multicultural city in the world, yet many of the immigrants to the city still encounter racism long after they’ve arrived. Nav Bhatia moved to Toronto in the 1984, and after overcoming significant prejudice and obstacles as a Sikh, today he boasts successful business enterprises and the coveted title of  “Superfan” of the Toronto Raptors. The message in Nav’s TEDxToronto talk is one of hope and inspiration, as he urges us all to use our passions to rise above discrimination to allows us to excel both as individuals and as a city.

     

    Jamil Jivani: Racial Profiling Hurts Everyone, Including the Police

    Police forces around the world have often been criticized for racial profiling and for acting with unnecessary force. After being a victim of racial profiling himself, activist Jami Jivani wanted to change the way that the police engage with local citizens. In his TEDxToronto talk, Jamil discusses the importance of mediating the relationship between the police and the public. Though there may be fundamental flaws in the system, Jamil believes that by developing a dialogues with police officials, we can initiate positive change.

    We look forward to sharing additional talks from TEDxToronto 2014 with you in the coming weeks.

  • Introducing Our 2014 Conference Host: Drew Dudley

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    With only three days remaining until TEDxToronto 2014, we are thrilled to introduce you to our conference host, Drew Dudley.

    Drew Dudley was submitted as a community nomination to speak at TEDxToronto in 2010. Pacing back and forth, backstage, Drew was visibly nervous and the TEDxToronto team were concerned he might faint before his talk. What followed was nothing short of remarkable. Drew delivered his now famous “Lollipop Moments” talk to an audience of 300 people at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio. The talk was an instant success, and he was signed by the Lavin Agency to join their elite speaker roster the very next day.

    Drew’s TEDxToronto talk was selected to appear on TED.com, where it has been voted “one of the 20 most inspirational TED talks of all time”,  and has now been seen by more than 2 million people worldwide. He has since given nine different TEDx talks across North America, and he co-hosted TEDxToronto 2012. Drew is a testament to this year’s theme of Relentless Pursuits and exemplifies the TEDxToronto community as an individual who has inspired others through the power of ideas worth spreading.

    We are honoured to have Drew back with us on stage for TEDxToronto 2014. See him alongside our fabulous speakers and performers by tuning into TEDxToronto.com on Thursday beginning at 11AM for our live stream.

    **Reminder***

    If you haven’t bought your ticket to the official TEDxToronto After Party at CUBE Nightclub, get yours here now before they sell out! Don’t miss the chance to connect with all of our fantastic speakers, performers, partners and delegates, as we enjoy a vibrant night of music and surprises.

  • Details for the TEDxToronto After Party Revealed

    AFTER PARTY 2014

    With just over a week remaining until October 2nd, now is the time to purchase your ticket to The Pursuit of Greatness, the official TEDxToronto After Party!

    After an exciting day of talks and performances at TEDxToronto 2014, we hope that you’ll join us for an evening to remember at CUBE Nightclub. Not only will you get the chance to connect with all of our fantastic speakers, performers, partners and delegates, you’ll also get to experience a vibrant night of music and surprises.

    As you arrive at CUBE, you’ll be greeted by the Sidewalk Crusaders. The seven-piece busking band creates unique covers of popular tunes, putting their own jazz-inspired spin on songs.

    Upon entering CUBE, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back to the 1920s, as our decor and entertainment will be influenced by The Great Gatsby.

    From 9 to 11 p.m., you’ll hear live music from Shugga, one of Toronto’s best known funk and R&B cover bands, while you enjoy cocktails and networking. We’ll also have complimentary snacks available from Poutini’s, Maynards, Bad Monkey, Cadbury and Trident.

    Later on at 11 p.m., we’ll amp up the party on the dance floor with the musical stylings of DJ Divsa. A well-respected Toronto DJ, he spins many genres, including hip hop, R&B, house, electro, reggae, soca, mash-up, top 40 and dance. Divsa has also performed alongside such musicians as Nas, Usher, Pharrell Williams and Steve Aoki.

    After Party tickets are now available for public purchase at a cost of $30 each. If you’re attending TEDxToronto during the day, please note that your conference ticket does NOT include admittance to the After Party — tickets to this event must be purchased separately.

    Buy your official TEDxToronto After Party ticket, here

    We hope to see you at The Pursuit of Greatness, where we’ll celebrate the magic of TEDxToronto 2014.

    Please note that our After Party is a 19+ event. Valid government-issued photo I.D. and a copy of your ticket will be required for entry into CUBE (314 Queen Street West). Cash bars will be available. Please drink responsibly, and do not drink and drive.