October 28, 2012

TEDxToronto Recap

TEDxToronto 2012 focused on ALCHEMY. The seemingly magical process of taking ordinary, common elements, usually of little value, and combining them to make something extraordinary of great value.

TED focuses on ideas worth spreading and doing. Presentations will be posted online in the coming weeks.

Opening remarks set the tone for the day:
  • When all is said and done, we want to do “more”, that “more” can mean different things to each of us
  •  We often never expect to be doing what we end up doing
  • Alchemy happens at honest moments with the spark of an idea and it creates an experience
  • Never let expectations narrow your mind

Here are few topics that were discussed, presented, and shared (I’ve noted my favourites):
  • Public Policy (take a more active role as individuals and as a community)
  • Social Sourcing (make decisions to buy socially sound products)
  • Online Security (never take technology at face value – there is an entire underworld to the internet, apps, mobiles, and social media – always be curious about what information is out there about you)
  • Digital Creativity (don’t just consume, create – improvements are needed in our education system and in our own personal use of the digital sphere)
  • Solar Car (the message was about chasing your dreams, ignoring those that tell you it can’t be done or those that say no, “we don’t know what crazy dream will be born in our minds and what dreams will take flight”, “ignore your dream, but it will always be there”)
  • Flax Seed (the future alternative for oil and challenging what resources are finite and infinite)
  • In Vitro Meat Production (far-fetched but you heard it at TEDx first)
  •  Susur Lee spoke on how he came to be a Chef and what influences his style (culture, travel, and experience)
  • Redefine Suburban and Urban (there shouldn’t be any alienation between the two)
  • FAVOURITE Healthcare Technology (how to live WELL with chronic illness)
  • Women’s Rights (cruel words can act as a virus, don’t let them spread)
  • FAVOURITE Create Your Own Adversity Project – example presented Gobi Desert 250km foot race (“live outside of your comfort zone”, “relish the chance to prove yourself”, “there is power in adversity”, “sometimes we need someone else to show us what we can do”, “find a nasty big project”, “what you need is grit”, “we can all grow resilience”, “we are blind to what we can do”, “be your words, not your feelings”, “expectations can be the heaviest of burdens”)
  • Fruit Harvesting in Toronto (identify something that already exists and share it with the community, “make your best self manifest”)
  • FAVOURITE Stephen Page closing act – eloquently walked the crowd through his on-stage secrets with some singing, sing-along, and speaking (strong ending to the day)