TEDx Ryerson UofT

TEDx comes to U of T and Ryerson

Following on the heels of the 2nd TEDxToronto conference in early October and another event at York University earlier this month, TEDx events will be happening at Ryerson (Nov. 27) and U of T (Dec. 6). Unlike the bi-annual TED conferences, which are hard to get into and cost a pretty penny, TEDx events are locally organized events "that bring people together to share a TED-like experience" without the price tag and the need to get on a plane (the big TED conferences take place in Long Beach, California and Oxford, UK ).

Although the purpose of TED and TEDx get togethers is to spread and cultivate "ideas worth sharing" in general, like most conferences, individual events are organized around a central theme. For TedX Ryerson the organizing principle is the rather ambitious "Inspiring Your Future." If that sounds a bit over-the-top, it should. The whole point of an event like this is to share innovative and challenging ideas that inspire the participants.

To attend TEDx events, one must submit an application that seeks to establish the relative interest -- and, really, the interestingness -- of potential audience members. The good news that comes with this is that the event themselves are free, but the bad news is that there's limited availability. Unfortunately, the application process for TEDx Ryerson has already closed, but one can still apply for the event at U of T (follow link for the application form). Though not technically a deadline, applications submitted before Friday will be given priority.

The theme of TEDx Hart House is "The Future of Food," and will include talks by Jason Qu, Lauren Baker, Jeffrey Crump and Bettina Schorman. Obviously a much tighter focus than the event at Ryerson, the key topics under discussion during the standard format 18-minute talks will be local food movements and sustainability, two-tiered food systems and food sharing.

Although I tend to like the TED concept because of the diversity and range of topics covered -- which the U of T event doesn't really offer -- I suspect that food is one of those subjects that's of interest to a particularly broad spectrum of individuals. I would thus expect this more specifically-oriented event will offer an illuminating experience for those hyper-interested in food-related issues and those who have yet to put much thought into such things.

Photo by David Hoang in the TEDxRyersonU Flickr stream.


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