TEDx Meet Cap U
World-Famous Speaker Series Comes to Capilano
// Frank Paul, Writer

“Ideas worth spreading”: it is the slogan of Technology Entertainment and Design, or TED, a global set of conferences that bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers. TED aims to provide a platform for the world’s smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries, and most inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world.

TED speakers are challenged to give the talk of their lives in an engaging and innovative way, all within a relatively small timeframe (18 minutes or less). The talks cover a wide range of topics in the research and practice of science and culture. Many of you have likely seen or heard of these talks, as they are widely reported on and available for free on the TED website. The brand is recognized the world over for its capacity to inspire and its ability to attract prestigious speakers such as Al Gore, Richard Dawkins, and Bill Gates.

On Nov. 5, Capilano University will hold its first TEDx event in the North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At the event, TED videos and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection amongst all of the attendees.

Among the people in attendance will be thought leaders from Vancouver businesses and entrepreneurs who are making a difference in the community. There will also be educators, politicians, industry leaders, and members of the Vancouver blogging community. The intent is to make TEDx a trending event across Canada and help put Capilano University on the media map.

Of the 384 available seats, approximately 100 tickets will be made available for sale to Capilano students. According to Patricia Lambert, Head of the BOSS Self-employment Entrepreneurship Program (a program that provides entrepreneurs with practical and current skills, tools and thinking), and member of the TEDxCapu organizing team, the day will “focus on the theme of entrepreneurship and the impacts of change on businesses.” Technology, expectations, and demographics are the three subject areas related to change that speakers will discuss, with the focus on how these elements affect businesses.

TEDx will feature nine speakers in the three categories already mentioned, including notable people such as Peter Van Stolk, founder of Jones Soda Co.; Cybele Negris, co-founder and President of webnames.ca; and Capilano University Professor Ivan Surjanovic. Further information on all nine speakers will be made available on the TEDxCapU.com website in the coming weeks.

There are a number of ways for the student body to become involved in the TEDx event. The organizing committee is actively seeking 50 volunteers through its’ website for a variety of roles in which students will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with Vancouver’s business elite.

In addition, TEDx is also sponsoring three competitions for the event in the areas of public speaking, art design, and filmmaking. One individual will have the opportunity to be one of the nine live speakers at the TEDx event, where they will receive coaching and mentoring before they deliver a speech in the category of Expectations. There will also be separate competitions held: one where an individual will create a 2-D art piece in the spirit of TED; and one in which an individual will create a 60-90 second teaser/trailer for the event. Information on all of these competitions including rules and deadlines can be found on the TEDx website.

Lambert believes than an ideal TEDx event is one where “ideas have been challenged and/or created, and where solutions may have been laid at the table, ones that are usable and relevant after the event.” It is an event where “people learn there are great ideas, they meet people they didn’t know before, and they realize they’ve got places to think that they’ve never had to think before.” Given Capilano’s reputation as a place for creative thinkers seeking practical, applicable solutions that lead to stronger local, national, and global communities, the event seems like a perfect fit.

// Frank Paul, Writer

Tickets for students for the TEDx at CapU event will go on sale in October. For further information on speakers, contests, ticket sales, and volunteering, please visit the event’s website at www.TEDxCapU.com


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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com