George Kourounis is a renowned global adventurer, storm chaser, explorer and television presenter. Based in Toronto, his efforts to document nature’s worst weather conditions have taken him all over the globe, into places most normal people are fleeing from. Whether it’s a tornado outbreak in Kansas, a monster hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, forest fires in British Columbia, or even an erupting volcano, he’s usually in the middle of the action with his camera rolling. His efforts have been seen around the world on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Explorer, BBC-TV, CNN and of course, his own adventure TV program Angry Planet which has been broadcast in over 100 countries. The program airs on OLN, City TV, The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, Halogen TV & others. He started chasing tornadoes and other storms almost 15 years ago and has continued to expand his explorations to include all types of extreme natural phenomena.
Amy Leask is living proof that you really can do something useful with a degree (or two) in philosophy. A former educator, she spends much of her time helping thinkers of all ages to ask big questions. Amy is the author of ThinkAboutIt: Philosophy For Kids and According to Phil: A Young Thinker’s Guide To Robots, and is delighted to share ideas in print, in teacher resource materials, and in interactive apps. She’s also co-founder of Enable Training and Consulting in Milton, Ontario. Her work can be seen at http://www.KidsThinkAboutIt.com and http://www.EnableTC.com
A two-time national team poetry slam finalist and the championship runner-up at the 2012 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam, Toronto writer-poet Greg Frankson is one of Canada’s top spoken word artists. Ritallin has been working in schools, community settings, showcases, festivals and slams from coast to coast for nearly a decade. Greg has published a poetry collection and three chapbooks, released three spoken word recordings and had his commentaries and poems included in anthologies, newspapers and journals on three continents. He also co-founded several spoken word events in Ottawa and Toronto. Greg is a past National Director of Spoken Word Canada, and has served for the last five years as the Poet Laureate for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership, based in New Zealand. As Creative Director of Cytopoetics, Greg is an accomplished event organizer, facilitator, arts educator, creative services consultant, emcee and professional speaker.
Ben Sainsbury is a 3D virtual reality, and award winning documentary film producer who has a Masters in Professional Writing Degree from the University of Southern California. He produces virtual reality and interactive dynamic training experiences for the medtech, commercial real estate, and industrial markets. He will be speaking about “how virtual reality technology that was once used to recruit and train soldiers to become better warriors is now being used to treat Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD).”
Jerry Zhang is an entrepreneur, a wannabe bigshot, and last but not least, a grade 11 student. Recently, he was honoured as one of PROFIT Magazine’s 30 Most Fabulous Canadian Entrepreneurs, sharing the honour with the likes of Jim Balsillie, Steve Nash, and the Dragons of Dragons’ Den. He figured the advantage that this generation of youth have over adults is that they’ve been immersed in the digital age for their whole lives and spend hours each day on social media. Many people see these facts as gaping flaws but he saw them as differentiating factors. He will be that overexcited teenager speaking of ambition, narrating stories of opportunity, and encouraging social collaboration.