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TEDxStanleyPark: Ideas To Action (Review)

This year on May 23rd at the Artsclub Granville Island Stage 13 speakers and 2 presenters came together to show us all the power of ideas, and showcase some of Vancouver’s greatest individuals at TedxStanleyPark.

What is TED and TEDx exactly?

TED, which began in 1984, is an annual conference that brings together international speakers to share ideas in diverse disciplines in technology, entertainment and design (TED) and includes topics in science, motivation, social issues, health and wellness and the economy, to name a few.

TEDx is a program of smaller self-organized events with a mandate to cover similar topics but with local speakers allowing for more intimate and meaningful connection with local businesses, sponsors, and members of the population. There may be more than one in any particular city. The first TEDx in Vancouver was held in 2009. TEDxStanleyPark was founded in 2012, and in the years following has seen its success grow annually.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was one of many in the audience to cry during some of the speakers presentations. This is not to say that I am a little baby, and overly emotional. It goes to show how powerful the presentations were and how the speakers were able to give a dose of reality to everyone in that room, and really inspire all of those who were also watching online.

Now of course other speakers did the exact same through, laughter and thought provoking presentations that showed this collection of presenters and performers were truly inspirational. With all their ideas being offered to us, it is up to us to now put them into action.

Here is a list of the speakers who offered all us with truly awe inspiring presentations.

Brad Gorski

Most have us have at one point thought that it would be okay to text while we are driving especially if it is just a short distance to your house and the route is one that you have taken on numerous occasions. Brad was driving a short distance back home when he blew a red light and was crushed by a semi-truck. Instances like his show us the extreme dangers of texting distracted and Brad is a living example of the consequences that one has to live with. Brad shows us all the perseverance and determination all of us should live with when faced with any challenge in life but also that we should take all the necessary precautions to avoid unfortunate accidents

Daphne Brahmam

Daphne is a Vancouver-based journalist and author. A columnist for the Vancouver Sun since 2000, she has won numerous awards including a National Newspaper Award and a Jack Webster Award. She talked about how the word “citizen” is a term we never hear today and the impact it has on society and each of us individually. She explains how the word “taxpayer” is used more commonly today to describe the everyday citizen which takes away from the importance of every individual towards the “common good”

David knapp-Fisher

How would you react to the news that you only have a few years to show your child parts of the world before he can no longer be capable of going so. Even worse you are on a strict budget that will see you making tough decisions for the next few years. Are you willing to sacrifice your favorite beer, and have Kraft dinner for the foreseeable future? If not are you willing to accept the terrible feeling of regret for the rest of your life? As Mr. Fisher says “the pain of regret far outweighs the pain of discipline” David was able to endure the pain of discipline for his 3 great passions: family, world travel and sharing his story

Grace Pastine

Physician assisted suicide has long been a debate that has been going on across Canada and is a highly sensitive topic for many who bravely speak up about it for the sake of their loved ones. For many Canadians, the pain of living with a serious illness is far too great for them to bear and they would rather die with dignity peacefully. Grace Pastine is a lawyer and the Litigation Director for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting civil liberties and human rights. She shared her story of a lady she met, and unfortunately was unable to live to see the day that physician assisted suicide became legal in Canada

Homayoun Najjaran

In today’s world many see drones being used in negative, destructive ways that promotes destruction, insecurity, and fear. Recently drones were used in airstrikes in place such as Afghanistan, Syria, and Pakistan with mixed results. An Associate Professor at the University Of British Columbia, Dr. Najjaran has extensively researched aerial, ground and underwater vehicles, and believes that the ground breaking technological advancements made in drone technology can revolutionize civilian operations

Jacky Yenga

Sitting all day long can become quite uncomfortable and draining, but this presenter definitely got everyone up and active! The Spirit of the Village circles around the themes of family, and dance that is not widely implemented in the western world. Jacky offers great insight and firsthand experience as how accepting all friends and acquaintances as family make us all closer to one another, while the art of dance creates joy, and happiness in our daily lives. Many of instead worry about materialistic things and forget about the spiritual side of life. Jacky is originally from Cameroon, and is an inspiring speaker who hopes to spread the opportunities that wisdom, friendship, and sense of community brings to all

John Nieuwenburg

This was definitely one of those talks that hit home with everyone sitting in the audience. At one point or another everyone has been affected by a mental illness in some capacity. Whether it be themselves, a closed loved one, or a co-worker. It is something that touches us all, but is heavily stigmatized and looked down upon. We often associate suicide with being a coward but for those who are dealing with a mental illness and think about suicide, it is the hope of easing their pain that drives them. John Nieuwenburg shared his own personal experience and how we as a society must remove the stigma attached to suicide and mental illness.

Marta Guarna, PhD

I hate bees! They are so annoying and such a nuisance! That is a typical response for many when you mention bees, but what would the world be like without bees? Apples costing us $1 today could become much more expensive and unaffordable to many. The most important thing that bees do is pollinate. Pollination is needed for plants to reproduce, and so many plants depend on bees or other insects as pollinators. Dr. Marta Guarna is a scientist working on translational research in honey bee and human health projects in Vancouver, Canada, and offers viewers great insight in the challenge facing famers.

Matt Young

In our daily busy lives, exercise, and healthy eating habits are often tossed away and forgotten about, but what many do not realize how big of a gamble they are taking on their lives. Childhood obesity is becoming an increasingly bigger problem and yet all the wrong steps are being taken. Founder of Innovative Fitness, Matt Young goes in depth as to how the proper steps can be taken in the school, home, and in society to ensure childhood obesity becomes a thing of the past

Peter Legge, O.B.C., LL.D. (HON.), D.Tech., CSP, CPAE, HoF

The mind is a fascinating aspect of the human body that is so powerful when used properly that individuals can overcome great obstacles and achieve things that they thought was never possible before. For many though they fail to do so. Peter Legge in his presentation offers his secret as to why only 5% of us achieve the success we are looking for. At the end of this talk, you will definitely be thinking and using that great brain of yours to accomplish all in life that you thought before was never possible. Peter Legge is Chariman and CEO of Canada Wide Media Limited.

Rumana Monzur

Did you know that nearly 1 in 4 women have experienced violence by a spouse or boyfriend? Or that 7 million children live in which partner violence occurred? Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Rumana was blinded in 2011. The cause was domestic violence. Rumana’s talk is about how she survived, moved on and gained light despite her darkness. Her talk shows us all how when we believe all is lost, we find new ways to enjoy life and all it has to offer.

Dr. Teesha Morgan

Talk about spicing things up a little bit. Dr. Teesha Morgan tackles the myths and facts behind masturbation in her presentation. Teesha is a Sex Therapist and Couples Counsellor, author, sexual educator and co-founder of The Westland Academy of Clinical Sex Therapy. During her presentation Teesha stresses the importance and ability to be able to love yourself and how that is possible through masturbation. Drawing a comparison from her talk Dr. Morgan explains that just like a athlete practices before a game, individuals should see masturbation as practice before becoming intimate with your partner.

Zale Zavier

THE PLANET IS DETERIORATING I REPEAT THE PLANET IS DETERIORATING! It is no secret today that we as a species as consuming at alarmingly high rates, and the planet doesn’t have the resources to keep up with our ever increasing consumption rates. People are often fooled into believing that they should simply have a good life, and continuously buy more. Unfortunately for us mother nature, the one who has given us all that we have in this world is suffering for it. Mr. Zavier’s mission is to bring back integrity into business and educate those in the business world on how to protect mother nature. He is the President, CEO and founder of WhoZaGood Inc. – North America’s first corporate integrity rating machine. He is also a transformational coach, meditation and consciousness teacher. His talks teaches us all the importance of living with integrity and living life within a mean.

Review by: Hamed Amiri

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