Announcing the Speakers for TEDxToronto 2016 | Symbols + Signals


  • Announcing the Speakers for TEDxToronto 2016 | Symbols + Signals

    • August 16, 2016
    • 1

    speaker announcement blog


    After receiving a record number of speaker nominations, we are excited to reveal the official lineup of big thinkers and change-makers who will take the stage on October 27, 2016.

    The 12 talks will span across topics such as science, gaming, sexuality, language, entertainment, design and the future of work – leaving you to wonder, share and take action.



    1. Aled Edwards // Chief Executive, Structural Genomics Consortium
    2. Andray Domise // Writer & Community Activist
    3. Bassel Mcleash // LGBTQ+ Advocate
    4. Calvin Rieder // Student & Member of World Youth Parliament for Water
    5. Duana Taha // TV Writer, Author & Name Expert
    6. Dr. Helene Polatajko // Occupational Therapist & Rehabilitation Scientist Researcher
    7. Marcel Danesi // Professor of Semiotics and Linguistic Anthropology
    8. Dr. Mary Donohue // CEO of Donohue Learning
    9. Nick Saul // President & CEO of Community Food Centres Canada
    10. Paul Rowan // Co-founder & VP Inspiration, Umbra
    11. Salim Ismail // CEO, ExO Works & Founding Executive Director, Singularity University
    12. Sarah Barmak // Female Sexuality Author & Journalist


    To learn more about our 2016 speakers, you can read their full bios HERE


    Further details about conference day will be shared in the coming weeks, including the lineup of Tech Demonstrations and special Performances.

    Applications to attend TEDxToronto have been extended to Monday, September 5th (11:59pm) // Apply Here

    Stay updated on all of our latest announcements by signing up to our newsletter here and by following us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

  • How To Become A TEDx Speaker

    • May 4, 2016
    • 0


    Special contributions by Nick Kindler and Jordan Axani.

    At a recent event held at Soho House Toronto, Director of Programming Nick Kindler, and 2015 TEDxToronto speaker Jordan Axani shared their insights on what it takes to become a speaker, and the journey to reaching the TEDxToronto stage.

    Here are some highlights from their discussion:

    Nick: How did your big idea translate to the TEDxToronto stage?
    Jordan: My big idea evolved over time, especially as I worked through the thesis of my talk with my speaker coach. It initially began as a talk about technology, but became more about self worth. As I worked through the coaching process, I began to understand my own message in a way I hadn’t previously.

    Nick: What was it like preparing for the stage?
    Jordan: My coach and I set a timeline over 4 months to ensure I was hitting the key milestones, and memorization was an important focus. As speakers, we were fortunate to work with our assigned coach, as well as a professional vocal performance coach who led us through a series of workshops.

    Nick: What was it like the day of your talk?
    Jordan: I had a brief moment where I couldn’t believe I was going to give a live talk in front of 1,100 people, and that it was going to be live-streamed globally. I stayed backstage for the hours prior to my talk to rehearse a few more times; it wasn’t until I was about to step on stage that I truly felt ready.

    Nick: What was your key takeaway from this experience?
    Jordan: If you really want to connect with people anywhere in life, being human and imperfect is the way to go. My talk allowed me to explore my own discomfort and vocalize how I see the world. Cut through the nonsense and be more vulnerable.

    Audience: Does TEDxToronto have a different process for known speakers vs. someone who is unknown?
    Nick: TEDxToronto treats every speaker the same way. We have to ensure that the speaker has enough time to be coached – whether you are a first time speaker or a high-profile performer.

    Audience: What does it take to become a TEDxToronto speaker?
    Nick: We look for someone with a message that is globally relevant, however, it is important for the speaker to have some kind of tie to Toronto. We are looking for people who want to share a big idea that will inspire and spark conversation, without any personal agenda.

    For more tips on submitting your speaker nomination, read Nick Kindler’s 5 Tips on Submitting A Strong Nomination”.

    To submit a speaker nomination – click here. Speaker nominations are open until May 8, 2016 at 11:59pm.

    Stay updated on all our announcements by following us on Twitter (@TEDxToronto), Facebook (TEDxToronto), and Instagram (@TEDxToronto) – or sign up here to receive e-mails from us directly.

  • Reminder: Submit your nomination to speak or perform at TEDxToronto 2016 // 6 Days Left

    • May 3, 2016
    • 0

    Click here to nominate

    “It may seem like an impossible dream to join the likes of Al Gore or Anthony Robbins as speakers at TED, the legendary ideas conference. But with the creation of TEDx, independently-organized TED-like conferences throughout the world, it’s now possible for far more people to become speakers.” – How To Become A TEDx Speaker, Forbes

    For the last eight years, TEDxToronto has brought together our city’s impressive artists, innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and change-makers. We need your help to find the people within your communities who have a thought-provoking or inspiring idea to share. Here is what we are looking for:

    * an idea worth spreading
    * an impactful personal story
    * a unique performance
    * a jaw dropping technology demo
    * a brand new piece of work or research
    * a unique “how to”
    * a review of a unique trend or set of data
    * anything that would fascinate, excite, educate or inspire

    There are only 6 short days left to submit your speaker nominations (click here).

    Nomination Guidelines:

    * You can nominate yourself or someone else (even someone you don’t know personally)

    * There is no limit to how many people you nominate, however we ask that you limit to one submission per nominee (quantity of submissions per nominee will not impact selection)

    * Nominations must be submitted by 11:59pm, May 8, 2016. No exceptions can be made for late submissions

    * We welcome nominees across all topics, industries and communities; it’s all about a big idea worth spreading

    In case you missed it, be sure to check out 5 tips on submitting a strong nomination written by Professional Speaker Coach and TEDxToronto Director of Programming, Nick Kindler.

    Stay updated on all our announcements by following us on Twitter (@TEDxToronto), Facebook (TEDxToronto), and Instagram (@TEDxToronto) – or sign up here to receive e-mails from us directly.

  • What does it take to become a speaker or performer at TEDxToronto? 5 Tips on submitting a strong nomination

    • April 29, 2016
    • 2


    At TEDxToronto, we open our talent search to the entire Toronto community, in the hopes of giving a voice to the inspiring change-makers throughout our city. We welcome nominations for speakers and performers of any age, professional background, or personal interest mission – people with ideas worth spreading.

    The TEDxToronto community nominations are open until May 8th (click here to submit), and we expect a list of 1,000 submissions – eventually culled down to 12 chosen speakers and 3-4 performers.

    Never given a talk before? We’ve got it covered. Selected speakers or performers at TEDxToronto are each assigned a professional coach, who will work closely with them to prepare and develop their talk or performance. All the speakers, performers and coaches volunteer their time over the span of five months to ensure a memorable and impactful experience on conference day.

    So, how do we begin choosing individuals for the TEDxToronto stage? Here are the top 5 tips for a strong speaker or performer nomination:

    1. What is the big idea?

    At TEDxToronto, like its parent TED, speakers are selected for their “Ideas Worth Spreading”. If you think your idea is new, make sure it hasn’t already been shared – especially at another TED or TEDx conference. Most importantly, make sure the nominee’s message is one that will make the audience wonder, one that will inspire, and one that will make them continue the conversation.

    2. Connect the T-Dot.

    At TEDxToronto, our mandate is to shine a light on our great city; therefore, we look for speakers or performers with some kind of Toronto-connection. This doesn’t mean every speaker has to call Toronto their home, but there should be some point of contact or intersection with our city. Make sure you bring that connection to life in your nomination.

    3. Think Local, Act Global.

    Yes, we want the speaker to connect to Toronto, but the ideas should have global significance. Although the idea may have been generated locally, the idea should be applicable to the broader global community.

    4. The right fit

    Is your nominee the right person to share this big idea? Think about why you or the person you are nominating should take the stage to convey their message, and whether they are the best ambassador for that topic or idea. 

    5. Sell your idea, not your product.

    We often receive nominations from talented individuals looking to promote or sell their book, business or service. The TEDxToronto stage is not an opportunity for self promotion, but a platform for exceptional ideas and a catalyst for profound change.

    There you have it: 5 Tips to help you make the most of your nomination! We sincerely appreciate the time, effort and thought that goes into each submission – and we look forward to revealing our lineup of speakers later on this summer!

    Stay updated on all our announcements by following us on Twitter (@TEDxToronto), Facebook (TEDxToronto), and Instagram (@TEDxToronto) – or sign up here to receive e-mails from us directly.

    Nick Kindler was the Director of Programming for the 2016 TEDxToronto conference, and is one of Canada’s most sought-after speaker coaches. Nick is currently the co-founder of Talk Boutique, specializing in speaker representation and coaching.