Gisela McKay

President and Co-Founder, pixcode
Toronto, Canada

About Gisela

Bio

I'm a geek, I'm a foodie, and I'm an entrepreneur. I've been described as having the energy of a "chipmunk on crack" - which can be a problem when you have as many ideas as I have and an insufficient number of minions to help you carry them out ;-)

I am still learning the difference between "I can do anything" and "I can do everything".

I have been the driving force behind lots of things including the CanadaEventsCalendar, NaturalHealthcare.ca, Green Instead, and now my personal project with the working title the Genius Licence.

An idea worth spreading

Most of our problems with human-to-human interaction - justice, religion, commerce, racism, education, coworkers, whatever - stems from our need for validation.

The need to see our value and our values reflected in the people around us has caused unimaginable damage to humanity: our definition of "success" as "having more than"; our need to have others believe as we do.

I have observed that the label "genius" - mathematical, artistic, philosophical, whatever - shifts the nature and quality of interactions. People drop expectations of seeing themselves reflected in you and allow you to pursue your own path.

If there was one gift I could give to others, it would be this same licence to be who they are - this cocoon, bubble, quasi-force-field of acceptance and freedom that overrides race, religion, socio-economic and class barriers - that frees those who are labelled "genius" to pursue what makes them happy rather than what will validate them in the eyes of others.

I'm passionate about

Women entrepreneurs, useful technology, moving towards a just society from the underpinnings up; the Genius Licence (see my idea worth spreading to understand).

Talk to me about

- small business/entrepreneurship;
- wellness (natural health care, workplace wellness, preventative care);
- genius/liberation from the pursuit of validation.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

128787
Gisela McKay
Posted over 2 years ago
Are there any merits to the idea that Communism is "feminine"?
This completely ignores the fact that people are motivated by different factors. Once the basics are covered, what prompts people to "strive" varies. Let's take the work setting as an example, from personalities I encountered in the corporate world. Some people are motivated by titles - these suckers are awesome, because you can effectively keep coming up with newer and more impressive titles and a teeny pay raise to keep them. As long as they can tell their friends and family something that sounds impressive, they're yours. Some people are motivated by money - they're considerably less awesome because they're expensive. Often they also don't care about their title or their role in the hierarchy as long as they're being paid what they think they're worth. Which usually boils down to "more than you are paying anyone else". Some people like authority. These people like to micromanage and hover over your shoulder while you are working. They are best dealt with by scaring the crap out of them - coming to a tacit agreement that allows them maintain the illusion of authority in front of other people, but leaving you alone. There are others, but I am hopped up on cold meds that I suspect are full of alcohol, so I am going to take a nap now.
128787
Gisela McKay
Posted over 2 years ago
Why is breast cancer detection technology so primitive?
The cynic in me also goes with the "because there's too much money in the status quo" option. Then again, I know several women whose breast cancer was caught by ultrasound, not mammography - one of whom had to override her own doctor and check the "ultrasound" box herself when she was getting tested because he thought she was being a hypochondriac when she said she knew something was wrong.
128787
Gisela McKay
Posted over 2 years ago
Bring back "Recently Commented"!
The page is actually still there: http://www.ted.com/conversations/all/commented They took the button away -- but since it was all I ever used really, it was the default when I started typing "ted" in the address bar. Wasn't until I borrowed someone else' computer that I noticed it gone.
128787
Gisela McKay
Posted over 2 years ago
Are there any merits to the idea that Communism is "feminine"?
@Anja - I don't know. I think there have been several really interesting posts, often from people who have lived under communist regimes (even though we were talking about the theory of communism as opposed to the practice). We've heard about the physically demanding nature of the implementation - something that would never have occurred to me. I think there is something of value in letting people attempt to change your stance. As for whether these "important and complex economic theories" deserve better than to be treated this way, I used the word "pantheon" in describing the array of theories quite deliberately. That's exactly what we have done -- we've set them up as gods.Not only are they not unassailable, I think they need to be assailed regularly. @Seth - I don't know any man who would have had that particular discussion, but I also don't know too many women who wouldn't have backed down from that early on. Had it started on a different footing - actually, thinking more about it, I can think of a couple of males who would have had that argument (maybe minus the lesson in being a bigger bitch), but the escalation, definitely.
128787
Gisela McKay
Posted over 2 years ago
Are there any merits to the idea that Communism is "feminine"?
First problem I see with the idea? Unlike the masculine/feminine, yin/yang dichotomies, there is an entire pantheon of economic (or political) ideologies that in no way can be sorted and assigned to the categories. Even were we to expand the categories and tease out states and behaviours such as Two-spiritedness, male-to-female transgenderedness, etc. (and there is possibly an argument that could be made that in terms of social constructs those would differ from the standard two) where do we go with these unrelated constructs? Mercantilism: masculine. Trickle-down economics: ? (That one belongs to the asexual unicorns.) Second: At their core the Forms of 'masculine' and 'feminine' are untenable and undesirable states not something to pursue. The ultimate 'masculine' cannot exist within a society, and the ultimate 'feminine', as we have assigned it, would be passive to the point of immobile. These social constructs are posited as opposite ends of a spectrum, when even as described, they are more likely parallel dials on a mixing board. If they weren't, you couldn't achieve "passive aggressiveness". "Telling someone to share (with ones' self)" is actually "asking for more" is it not? Sitting and waiting quietly would be passive. Enforcing sharing, while maybe traditionally the role of the mother in a family, not particularly passive/receptive. In taking the role of enforcer, women (mothers, specifically) are often into 'masculine' territory. I suspect that the resentment that builds up toward someone with the power but is unlike the male child is part of why we get this odd need to differentiate - and more so, create hierarchies - about work/tasks. EDIT: Head cold. Forgot to a word.