Miss the inaugural TEDxOCADU? The sold-out event, held January 19 in the auditorium at 100 McCaul, can be viewed as a series of visual recaps on theTEDxOCADU website. Sketchnote artist Sacha Chua summarized each speaker’s talk in hand-drawn synopses, while Patricia Kambitsch captured the talks as graphic recordings. Videos of the talks will be added soon.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, the independently organized TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) event was curated by Medina Abdelkader, an OCAD U MDes candidate in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, together with a hard-working team of 25 other coordinators.
“It was phenomenal to see everything come together the way it did,” says Abdelkader. “I’m so inspired by this group of people – the speakers, performers, emcees, visual recorders, organizers – who dedicated hours and hours of their time to put this together."
TEDxOCADU featured talks by Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s President, along with: Eric Boyd, Zahra Ebrahim, Trevor Haldenby, Alex Leitch, David Lewis-Peart, Mike Lovas, Andrew Lovett-Barron, Arianne Shaffer, Lukas Stark, Lindy Wilkins and Britt Wray. Abdelkader’s team worked with the speakers, workshopping their talks well in advance to prepare. “The amount of work the speakers put in to build their talks was nothing short of incredible,” she says
This year’s theme was “simplexity,” the delicate tango between simplicity and complexity representing the vulnerabilities and strengths born from increasingly diverse circumstances. Speakers were selected for proposals of big ideas with the potential to change the world. According to Abdelkader, these ideas reflect a shared human experience and resonate with audiences.
Delegates also had to prove themselves by applying to attend. To choose, Abdelkader’s team blacked out names and based decisions on thoughtful, meaningful answers. It came down to what each person said, not who they were, or their position in the university.
Along with the talks, the event featured performances by Melanon (musicians Lodewijk Vos and Joseph Murray together with singer Little Scream) and spoken word artist Quentin Vercetty.
TED is an international non-profit organization that started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago. It invites the world’s leading thinkers to speak for 18 minutes and broadcasts the talks free at TED.com.
The TEDxOCADU team is already discussing how to build on their successes (and lessons learned) in coordinating another event for next year.