TEDx Edmonton A Huge Success

This past Saturday, Edmonton was host to it’s inaugural TEDx event at the Trans Alta Barns (photos here) Mack Male and myself were on hand to live blog the event. TEDx is a  program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events (click here for more information on TED).

The crowd was treated to a world-class line-up of speakers that shared their passions on a range of topics from open source genomics to mobile disaster response. Speakers talked on the theme of “Cultivating the Creative Economy”, and though limited to a strict 18 minute time slot as per TED rules, all made great use of the time and were truly inspiring.

The event was sold out and many more followed the live stream or on twitter, pushing the hashtag #tedxyeg to the number one trending topic in Canada on Twitter. To watch videos of the event stay tuned to the TEDx Edmonton website.

Speakers from the event were:

Tim Antoniuk Industrial design professor, dedicated to creative-economic-emergence Tim Antoniuk is an Associate Professor in the Industrial Design Program at the University of Alberta. Before coming to the University, Antoniuk co-founded Hothouse, a furniture design, retail and manufacturing company that sold its own line of products to over 750 international companies. Over the past decade, Tim’s design collaborations have won awards such as The Apple/National Post Design Effectiveness Award and an award in the furniture category of the Annual ID Design Competition. Tim has gone on to become a regular presenter/exhibitor at international design conferences and exhibitions on ideas that surround sustainable desire, morphing products and the emergence of a new economy and creative class (‘creative-economic-emergence’). Currently the principal investigator on a major research project with Droog/Renny Ramakers and a collection of designers/researchers from across Canada and Holland, the Luxury of the North project is exploring how Northern Canadian influences could positively influence the future of (sustainable) luxury products.

Cameron Herold has been coaching, speaking to, or helping entrepreneurs build companies on five continents. He launched BackPocket COO to coach & mentor young, fun, entrepreneurial, growth companies and help make their dreams happen. He is one of the country’s most innovative business leaders and was a leading force behind one of the most successful businesses of the decade, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. As Chief Operating Officer of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? he helped to build a presence in 46 states, 9 provinces, and 4 countries while being ranked the “2nd Best Company to Work for in Canada” by Canadian Business Magazine and “the #1 Company in BC to Work for” twice by BC Business Magazine. Cameron helped the leading edge company grow from $2 million to $105 million in revenue in six years with no debt or outside shareholders, an awesome achievement by any standard. Cameron will be speaking at TEDx Edmonton on the topic of “Raising Kids to be Entrepreneurs”.

Andrew Hessel Genomic scientist and champion of open source biology Originally based in Edmonton, Andrew Hessel is a genomic scientist and consultant in DNA technologies. He is a strong supporter of open source biology for accelerating innovation and as a counterbalance to proprietary biotechnology. He is the founding director and CEO of the Pink Army Cooperative, the world’s first cooperative (open source) biotechnology company that is working to make personalized, affordable medicines for breast cancer. Andrew is also co-chair of the Bioinformatics and Biotechnology program at Singularity University, an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to prepare leaders for accelerating technological change. Working with leading academic and commercial groups, he has traveled the globe for more than 15 years in his exploration of digital biology, the successor to recombinant DNA technology which is transforming DNA into an easy-to-use programming language for biological systems. Andrew’s work is empowering a new generation of young researchers to tackle big biology-related problems like sustainable fuel production, environmental cleanup, superbugs and cancer. Andrew was featured as a speaker at TEDxSiliconValley in 2009.

Theresa Howland Western Canadian head of Canada’s 100% green electricity provider Bullfrog Power is Canada’s 100% green electricity provider. As Vice President, Western Region of Bullfrog Power, Theresa Howland is responsible for leading the company’s operations in Western Canada. Theresa has held progressively more senior positions in marketing and product development since joining the deregulated electricity industry in 1996. Prior to joining Bullfrog Power, Theresa oversaw business development activities for leading wind power developer, Vision Quest Windelectric, an independently operated division of TransAlta. From 2004 to 2005, Theresa served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Wind Energy Association, and from 2002 to 2006, served as a Director. In this capacity, Theresa led and participated in cross-functional industry teams to develop strategies and policy recommendations to support wind energy growth in Canada. Earlier in her career, Theresa spearheaded a successful green power program for a major utility. Theresa received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary.

Shafraaz Kaba Local architect passionate about urban design, art and architecture Shafraaz Kaba is an architect and partner in the firm Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta. He has also worked in design studios in London, England and Gilgit, Pakistan. Shafraaz is the founder of Media, Art and Design Exposed (M.A.D.E.) in Edmonton, a society which creates public programs that bring design, art and architecture to the public. In 2006, Shafraaz was named Vice-Chair of the Edmonton Design Committee, an urban design review panel for the City of Edmonton. Recently, Shafraaz has been involved with Edmonton’s Public Art Masterplan and is the Chair of the 2010 Banff Session committee, which will bring world-renowned architects to Banff to discuss current matters in design this April. In 2009, Shafraaz was recognized as one of Avenue Edmonton’s 40 Under 40 for his professional accomplishments and contributions to the community.

Shawna Pandya Entrepreneur working on new start-up leveraging smartphones for disaster response at NASA-Ames An Edmonton-grown export and currently based in Silicon Valley, Shawna Pandya is passionate about technology, innovation and social development. She is co-founder of CiviGuard Technologies, a start-up based at NASA-Ames in Silicon Valley that leverages smartphones for disaster response. As CMO for CiviGuard, Shawna handles the formation of new alliances, partnerships and the development of CiviTriage, a smartphone-based patient-triage-and-tracking system. In addition to medicine (University of Alberta), Shawna also holds backgrounds in entrepreneurship/innovation (Singularity University), space studies (MSc Space Studies, International Space University), and Neuroscience (BSc Hons, University of Alberta). Her published works include papers on telemedicine for the developing world, on neuroArm, the world’s first intra-operative, MR-compatible image-guided robotic arm for neurosurgery and a book chapter on space technology spin-offs for medical benefit. In her spare time, Shawna has launched Space Without Borders, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to leveraging space technologies for global development.

Grant Skinner is an internationally recognized leader in the field of rich interactive experiences. His body of work spans experimental interaction, applications, games, websites, installations, embedded devices, and mobile, with a recent focus on projects that span multiple environments. Grant fuses his experience with design, user experience, development, and business with a driving creativity to produce projects that push the boundaries of interactive technologies. While building his company gskinner.com into a leading interactive production shop, Grant has worked with a wide range of high calibre clients including AOL, BBC, Salesforce, Nissan, Adobe, GE, Atlantic Records, Comcast, EA, CNN, and DirectTV.

Sean Stewart Influential pioneer who defined the alternate reality entertainment genre worldwide Sean Stewart is an award-winning science fiction novelist, a groundbreaking figure in transmedia storytelling, and the most experienced and influential writer of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) in the world. Currently based in California, Sean has founded four genre defining companies including 42 Entertainment and Fourth Wall Studios. After graduating with honors from the University of Alberta, Sean published a line of critically acclaimed science fiction novels, including the World Fantasy Award-winning Galveston. In 2001, he was the lead writer for The Beast, the project for Spielberg’s A.I. that invented the ARG genre and was named Entertainment Weekly’s #1 website of the year. He was lead writer on the I Love Bees campaign for Microsoft’s Halo 2 for XBOX, still considered the biggest ARG in history, as well as Year Zero, the groundbreaking transmedia collaboration with rock ‘n roll legend Nine Inch Nails. He was also writer on The Dark Knight ARG (Warner Bros), Vanishing Point (launch campaign for Microsoft Vista), and Dead Man’s Tale (campaign for Pirates of the Caribbean 2). In publishing, he has continued to push the envelope of the traditional novel with the transmedia Cathy’s Book, a New York Times and international bestseller currently published in twenty countries and a dozen languages around the world.

Krystle Dos Santos is an award-winning soul and jazz singer-songwriter. As one of URB music magazine’s “next 1,000 artists to watch,” in 2009, Krystle is a fresh face on the Canadian music scene. Her unique blend of dance beats, funky grooves and soft jazzy soul have inspired comparisons to Sade, Joss Stone and Jill Scott. Released in July 2008, Dos Santos’ self-titled debut CD was awarded Urban Recording of the Year at the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards. Currently, Krystle is working on creating a new sound, dubbed “electro-soul”; combining electronic, urban beats, live instrumentation, soul vocals and an indie-pop vibe. Recently, Dos Santos has performed and collaborated with various Alberta artists including Dragon Fli Empire, members of Souljah Fyah, House DJ, Marzetti, and Politic Live. Her single “Shake Ya Body”, appeared on an episode of ABC’s Samantha Who? and has been released to commercial and campus radio. She is currently working on her sophomore concept album due out in summer 2010 to prepare for upcoming summer tours in Eastern and Central Canada as well as Music and Arts Festivals across the country.