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  • 4 More Inspiring Talks & A Moving Performance From Our 2013 Conference

    We are thrilled to share four more powerful talks and a memorable performance from our 5th annual TEDxToronto conference.


    Michael Stone

    In Buddhist teachings, a focus is often placed on transcendence and enlightenment. In his TEDxTalk, Michael Stone speaks about his struggle with this focus, discussing his concern with how this takes attention away from the material world. He expresses how he wants to be OF the material world, engaged in and embracing of both urban life and natural environments, arguing, “we need to be more materialistic.” He postulates that the road to reconciling transcendence with the material world is not through the old model of “vertical transcendence,” but rather through “horizontal transcendence,” or transcendence through relationships with one another and the material world.


    Dr. Mendez

    Specializing in functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells and robotics, Dr. Mendez’s technical demonstration addresses the use of remote-presence robots for medical care in neurosurgery. He confronts the idea that quality medical care should not be the sole purvey of those who live in big cities; many people live in areas of the world that are remote, if not inaccessible, at certain times of year. These people face the reality that medical care may not be available when they need it. And in this technical demonstration in which Dr. Mendez takes us to Labrador, Saskatchewan and California, he shows how long distance telementoring neurosurgery is changing this harsh reality — and could continue to better the lives of rural inhabitants all over the world in the near future.


    Ti-Anna Wang

    As the first talk of our day, Ti-Anna Wang set the stage for a thoughtful TEDx defined by personal stories abstracted into greater theses imbued with meaning.  Speaking about the Chinese arrest and imprisonment of her father, Wang Bingzhang, this reluctant activitst challenges us all to do what is right instead of what is easy, and asks us to rethink our respective persectives on politics, human rights, and civic engagement.


    Brendan Frey

    One of the last and greatest mysteries of our world lies buried within the walls of our own cells. Along with his team of researchers at the University of Toronto, Dr. Brendan Frey seeks to reveal how the genetic codes within our DNA determine the fates, sometimes good and sometimes bad, of the cells in our bodies. Watch as Dr. Frey takes us on a journey into this uncharted territory, explaining how he and his research group are beginning to decipher these genetic “recipes” and how they are responsible for diversity between cells, individuals and species. Moreover, listen as he describes how the potential decoding of this information may lead to treatments for genetic diseases, piquing our curiosity about how far science should go.


    Matt Good

    Closing the show, Canadian rock icon Matt Good took the stage for a combined TEDxTalk and memorable performance. Watch as Matt speaks about the subject of mental health through a personal lens. His Talk recognizes the idea that our society wants to foster creativity, but at the same time, artistic genius can sometimes be accompanied by illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Unless we recognize that gifted performers may be facing struggles, we may fail to recognize these talents altogether. Finally, listen as Matt closes the show with a haunting and echoing performance of “Strange Days,” in which his voice and guitar alone captivate and stir the audience.


    Stay tuned – additional TEDxToronto 2013 talks will be posted up on our site soon.

    -The TEDxToronto Organizing Committee

  • More Talks Released from Our 2013 Conference


    We are thrilled to announce the release of more incredible TEDxTalks from our September 26, 2013 Conference.

    Rodolphe el-Khoury: More than ever before, the line between the digital and real worlds is increasingly blurred. Historically, computers and devices have functioned as a separate layer within our lives. Watch as architect Rodolphe el-Khoury describes a not-too-distant future in which “the internet of things” will become a reality. In this world, our homes, workplaces, and the objects within them will all be digitally connected, intelligent, and responsive.


    Debbie Berlin-Romalis: As a clinical social worker at SickKids Hospital and a facilitator at Sheena’s Place, Debbie’s work is fraught with emotional challenges. In this talk, Debbie talks about the importance of honesty. She draws upon examples that show how honesty can be transformative for families faced with difficult realities. As well, she uncovers her own truth to the audience, demonstrating how critical self-honesty is to leading an authentic life.


    Joel MacCharles: We live in a time and culture in which dialogue about food is more complex than ever before; food is at once accessible, disposable, commoditized, and fetishized. Watch as Joel MacCharles dispels myths about canning and preserving, helping us to understand how the traditional techniques of our forebears can be easier than we think as well as a time and money saver. At the same time, he exposes some unpleasant truths about the ingredients lists on the backs of food products at the supermarket. Steel yourself: you’re about to find out what “cochineal” and “castoreum” mean.


    Red Sky: Opening the show, Canada’s leading company of world Indigenous performance in dance, theatre and music graced the Koerner Hall stage. Watch as two dancers create an emotional and spiritual narrative through motion. The athleticism, grace, and beauty of this polished performance, “Horse Dreaming Excerpt,” set the tone for the day and opened our minds to inspiration and possibility.


    Thalmic Labs: As technology increasingly becomes an extension of us, Thalmic Labs has developed the gesture-based MYO band, a form of wearable computing that harnesses “electromyography sensors.” These sensors detect the electrical activity generated by muscle contraction, combining it with an axis-motion sensor that tracks the movement and orientation of a person’s arm. Watch the awe-inspiring, ground-breaking demonstration of this technology, wherein one of the company founders controls a helicopter onstage with only his arm.



    Stay tuned as more TEDxToronto Talk videos will become available in the coming weeks.


    The TEDxToronto Organizing Committee

  • TEDxToronto Releases the First Round of 2013 Talks


    Photograph by Andrew Williamson

    We are thrilled to announce the release of the first round of videos from our September 26, 2013 Conference held at the Royal Conservatory of Music. With twelve diverse and passionate speakers it was a day full of ‘ideas worth spreading’, we hope that you will be as inspired as we were from these incredible talks.

    Mark Henick: Over the course of Mark’s talk, a deep and resonant silence slowly descended over the room, culminating in an audience brought to tears – and a standing ovation. Listen and watch as Mark Henick broadens our perceptions on the subject of suicide. His TEDxTalk helps us to understand not only the point of someone who has made the decision to die by suicide, but also how we must re-frame our conversations around the subject in order to make change in the world.

    Steph Guthrie: In social media, the contemporary adage “don’t feed the trolls” is the guiding and golden rule of conversation. Steph Guthrie turns the tables on the commonly accepted “rules of engagement” of the internet and delivers a TEDxTalk arguing misogynistic behaviour in social media should be no more acceptable online than its offline equivalent. In fact, she theorizes that social misogyny is not just deserving of a response, but rather demands one, and at the same time articulates how social media has made it much easier to unmask those responsible for it.

    Dr. Steve Mann: Once the stuff of science fiction, in the past several years the digital capture and recording of our everyday lives has evolved from fantasy to novelty to norm. Watch as Dr. Steve Mann, the “father of wearable computing” delivers a TEDxTalk on the social, political and legal implications of this shift, making the case for what he calls “The Veillance Contract: An integrity protocol for the cyborg age,” a principle encouraging the recording of one’s environment in a bid to protect society from corruption from above.


    Stay tuned for more talks from TEDxToronto 2013, which will be going up on our site in the coming days.


    -The TEDxToronto Team

  • TEDxToronto 2013

    Thank you to our presenters, delegates, volunteers, and supporters


    Photograph by Andrew Williamson

    On September 26th 2013, over a dozen speakers and performers joined together onstage at TEDxToronto to deliver powerful and inspiring talks on the theme The Choices We Make. Our over 900 delegates – a unique group of Canada’s brightest leaders, innovators, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, artists, students, journalists, professors and executives, amongst others – shared in an unforgettable experience.

    Year over year, TEDxToronto continues to be a platform for exceptional ideas; our fifth year was no exception. From the father of wearable computing, Dr. Steve Mann, to Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker to Architect Rodolphe el-Khoury to Feminist Advocate and Community Manager Steph Guthrie, the audience’s understanding of the world today was stretched. Speakers like Sick Kids Social Worker Deborah S. Berlin-Romalis and Mental Health Case Manager Mark Henick had the audience occasionally in laughter but mostly in tears, with Mark’s Talk on suicide eliciting a standing ovation.

    Our first few Talks will be available early next week and over the next four weeks, the Talks will continue to roll out here at TEDxToronto.com. Thank you to our video partner, Biz Media, for capturing these enlightening and moving Talks on film.

    We’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the enthusiasm and commitment of the countless TEDxToronto 2013 Volunteers who have been – and continue to be – so generous with their time. Without each and every one of you, we could not have brought TEDxToronto 2013 to life. Thank you for making today the impossible, possible. Please note 2014 Committee and Volunteer Applications are open here.

    As well, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it regardless!) that we are so are grateful for the extraordinary contributions of our 2013 Partners, Sponsors and Supporters for their provision of services, their patronage and their assistance in bringing our Conference to life. These generous businesses are as follows: Biz Media, Shopify, The Working Group, Metro News, Pilot PMR, The Printing House, Mosaic, AusCan, Astro Marketing, Ceridian, Samsung, PayPal, ING Direct Canada, University of Toronto, HATCH Research Intelligence Inc., Sheridan College, Cisco, Barberian’s Steak House, Microsoft and Waterfront International Inc. If you work with a company, patron or organization that may by interested in helping to support TEDxToronto 2014, we would love to get in touch.

    Please know that 2014 delegate applications will open in mid-2014. Please join and follow or subscribe to our email newsletter to be the first to know once applications have opened.

    We hope that the Talks from the day have or will encourage you to start conversations and relationships with other Torontonians and passionate thinkers around the world. We are so proud to have been a part of such an amazing conference and the ideas it brought to the world.


    The TEDxToronto Organizing Committee

  • On the night of Sept 26th, where will your choices take you?

    AP Design_3_Night Club (1)

    Toronto, our TEDxToronto theme this is year is “The Choices We Make.” The collective choice we all make as a city is to live here – we choose to live, work, and play in Toronto.

    In true TEDxToronto fashion, Toronto’s most innovative event planners are putting together installations for this year’s After Party that will push the boundaries of live experiences in technology, entertainment, and design.

    When you arrive at the TEDxToronto After Party, you will immediately face a choice: enter the party through the red path or enter through the white path? Which will you choose? And depending on your choice, how will the night unfold?

    You’ll explore UNIUN and discover massive installations of art and technology that await you inside, including a life size “Ask the 8 Ball,” a forest of paper fortune tellers, and a ceiling installation that lives and breathes, just to name a few.

    Even the music will be chosen by you throughout the night on tablets, with our official DJs, DJ Deuce and DJ Romeo, performing a live mashup of the songs at the peak of the party.

    Be prepared for great drinks, inspiring installations, and a night to remember in our favourite city.

    Get your tickets here: http://tedxtoronto.eventbrite.ca/

    When: Thursday September 26th, 9:30PM

    Where: UNIUN, 473 Adelaide Street West

    If you’re attending TEDxToronto: please remember your ticket is NOT the same as an After Party ticket. If you haven’t already bought an After Party ticket, don’t miss your chance for you and your friends to attend!

    Please note this is a 19+ event. Valid government issued photo I.D. and a copy of your ticket will be required at the door for entry. Please drink responsibly and please do not drink and drive.


    The TEDxToronto Organizing Committee