November 13, 2011

TEDxVancouver 2011 x The Frontier x UBC Chan Centre

2011 TEDxVancouver: The Frontier conference at UBC's The Chan Centre for Performing Arts on November 12, 2011.

TEDxVancouver 2011 | UBC Chan Centre

Seemingly everyone who is anyone woke up early on Saturday morning and jam-packed the Chan Centre fo a day of knowledge and "Ideas worth spreading". My second and the third annual TEDxVancouver conference was bigger and better than last year's effort in most ways.

TEDxVancouver 2011 | UBC Chan Centre

One of my favourite talks was from entrepreneur and humanitarian Nolan Watson. His story of effective charity and humanitarian work was heartwarming. His thoughtful thesis of treating symptoms instead of effectively solving problems was inspiring. We must find small, sustainable solutions instead of funding a continual cycle of death and tragedy.

TEDxVancouver 2011 | UBC Chan Centre

Senator and retired general Roméo Dallaire brought a lot of weight and fire with a broad talk about activism, advocacy, and community participation. He spoke with an incredible authority and passion for his work detailed in Shake Hands with the Devil.

TEDxVancouver 2011 | UBC Chan Centre

A fan favourite was designer and New York Times data artist in residence Jer Thorp. His eloquent speech on design principles and understanding information as dry as data and history through visuals was imminently fascinating and entertaining. His eye-popping, three-dimensional data visualization graphics based on mundane subject matter were mind blowing.

TEDxVancouver 2011 | UBC Chan Centre

I thought the musical interludes by singer/songwriter Billy the Kid were great. She was charming with her amusingly minimalist song introductions. The lovely Lisa Johnson from CBC News hosted, transitioning seamlessly between speakers and talks with a few intellectual jokes.

Bard on the Beach artistic director Christopher Gaze performed a hilarious summary of Shakespeare's work with such passion and flair. His theatrics were delightful as he advocated the bard's work and its deep influence in culture.

TEDxVancouver 2011 | UBC Chan Centre

There were two pretty heart wrenching talks. The first was by El Salvadorian refugee Jose Figueroa who faces (unfair) deportation, pleading his case and spreading a message of hope and community.

Later, best friends Stephen Slen and Aaron Coret's discussed their winning invention. The Landing Pad is used so boarders can safely practice tricks, thought up after Coret's tragic snowboarding accident that left him quadriplegic.

Vancouver Is Awesome was a media sponsor and actually had a hand in choosing one of the speakers, Emily Carr University instructor Kara Pecknold, a specialist in human-centred design. Her experiences using design to communicate with different cultures and build communities was enlightening.

Television producer, technologist, and general geek Victor Lucas, teased a presentation about the emergence of 3D video. Instead, he recited a heartfelt message to his unborn daughter about the three virtues of not "being a dick". It was a great way to close the day with a lot of humour and emotion.

Doubling from last year, one thousand people set the theatre at capacity. At lunch and during break, it was nearly impossible to navigate the lobby with people everywhere standing about and eating. It was very difficult to chat and network despite running into someone you knew at every turn.

The Chan Centre is a stage and performance venue and not a conference or convention centre. I know the organizers experienced some growing pains and last minute changes this year with expansion, but were able to avoid any major issues.

I always say, any TED talk is all about the speakers. If the speakers are good, the day will be good. Although I had a few issues with some of the organization, venue, and crowds of people, it was a great day filled with amazing stories and people, bringing our community together. I was thoroughly impressed by the overall high quality of speakers. I commend the organizers for all their hard work.

Photo | Jeremy Lim / Maurice Li

3 reactions:

Rick Chung said...

hey rick! mind if i repost your pic on my facebook page? will put up a link to ya and all that...let me know if it's ok...thanks! - billy the kid

Rick Chung said...

Of course!

Rick Chung said...

great summary post and nice stache! how have you been?

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