Todd Babiak is the author of four best-selling novels: Choke Hold, The Garneau Block, The Book of Stanley and, most recently, Toby: A Man. Todd’s novels have been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize. Choke Hold won the Henry Kreisel Award for best first book and The Garneau Block won the City of Edmonton book prize. Todd has also won awards for journalism and screenwriting. He writes for film and television and he is a columnist for the Edmonton Journal. Todd is the co-founder of Story Engine, a company that helps corporations, organizations, governments and individuals build their brands, visions and strategies using story.
Minister Faust is a life-long story-teller. The author of several internationally-acclaimed novels, Minister Faust has published scores of articles in newspapers and magazines, hosted and associate-produced a national lifestyle magazine television show, been a celebrity judge on two seasons of The 3-Day Novel Contest, hosted and produced his own news and music radio shows for over 20 years, and spoken to audiences in the tens of thousands. Even after decades of interviewing people, Minister Faust is more passionate than ever about engaging people’s natural story-telling wishes and powers, using carefully-crafted questions to hear their most remarkable tales and revelations. He’s looking forward to the release of his new novel “The Alchemists of Kush” and his book “The Cure for Death by Small-Talk” later this summer
Aaryn Flynn is the Studio General Manager of BioWare in Edmonton & Montreal, Canada, one of the world’s most acclaimed video game studios. An employee of BioWare for almost 11 years, Aaryn has contributed to almost a dozen award-winning games including Baldur’s Gate 2, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age, before taking on the Studio GM role in 2009. The studios Aaryn currently manages have won six “Canada’s Top 100 Employer” awards in their collective history. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Computing Science in 2000. His hobbies include running, watching sports, and (of course) playing computer games.
Based in New York, Veer is the co-founder and CEO of DailyFeats.com, a new startup that’s helping people do good things. It guides them in doing small but significant actions (or “feats”) that reflect their values and contribute to their life’s goals. Along the way, they earn points, meet a helpful community, and save money on real-life expenses, motivating them to go do good – every day. Veer is director and co-founder of HumanityCalls.org, a fundraising tournament website designed to bring together nonprofits, companies (such as eBay), and individuals focused on addressing global causes such as the environment, health, education, poverty and human rights. Previously, Veer was the CEO and co-founder of Control-F1, an industry leader in support automation. Under his leadership, the Edmonton-based company grew to over 50 employees, over 100 customers worldwide and was acquired by CA, one of the world’s largest software companies. Veer has invested in several new ventures and was named as one of Maclean’s Magazine’s “Top 25 Under 30″.
Laura McIlveen has a fantastic job. She gets to imagine and create all day long. As a chemical engineer at Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, an industrial research institute, she does research and product development in the area of green material alternatives for building products, pulp, textiles and automotives. She gets to work with Alberta based and international companies to design new products from natural materials. She sits on the management team of the Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre – a collaborative network that ties together the biomaterials research arms in the province. In a past life, she worked for Weyerhaeuser pulp mill in Grande Prairie and Archer Daniels Midland canola crushing plant in Lloydminister. She is ecstatic to talk at TEDxEdmonton about the possibilities of natural fibres in new, innovative products.
Based in London, Sheetal is a champion of microfinance both in developing and developed countries. Sheetal is the founder of Kuuja.com (a new social enterprise that acts as a marketplace for microfinance recipients to sell their products and services online thereby scaling their businesses and becoming bankable), and Shanti Microfinance (a social enterprise and UK Charity that provides access to technology and capital for entrepreneurs in slums and villages in India). Sheetal is also the UK Deal Maker (by appointment) for the UK Trade and Investment’s Global Entrepreneur Programme and advises MetaCert, a company that specialises in content classification and protects children from inappropriate content on the web. Previously, Sheetal was Director VC Relations at Microsoft and has received several awards including: Asian Women of Achievement Award (Prince Charles and Cherie Blair), “One to Watch” in Asian Woman Magazine’s Power 100 list, Success Magazine’s Top 5 Most Powerful Asian Women in the UK, and an Alumni Award of Excellence from the University of Alberta.
As the founder of Live Local Alberta, Jessie has a vision for Alberta as a diverse, vibrant and sustainable region. Live Local Alberta is dedicated to educating consumers on the benefit of shopping, eating and living locally and to giving small business owners strength in numbers. Growing up on a farm has instilled in Jessie a fierce passion for community. Jessie believes strong, sustainable communities are the direct result of citizen participation and has worked to educate our citizens on the importance of the local economy, its relation to their community, and the power they hold to change it. Jessie believes we should consider their role as citizens a priority, and participate in the democratic process. This small shift from ‘consumers’ to ‘citizens’ would radically affect the regions economic outlook and sustainability. A self-proclaimed Foodie, Jessie, with chef husband Darcy, own The Blue Pear restaurant in Edmonton.