x = independently organized TED event

Theme: What in the World?

This event occurred on
November 11, 2010
3:30am - 4:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Toronto, ON

The conference will address the theme "What in the World" with over 20 speakers and performers. The audience of 500 will be equally divided between regular TEDsters and young people in the last two years of the International Baccalaureate, a curriculum shared by 3000 schools around the world. IB aims to educate students with a global view and a predisposition to action, ideals shared by TED. The students are coming from Bangalore to Bratislava and on the day prior to the conference will compete for the right to make a 10-minute presentation to the conference.

Ontario Science Centre
770 Don Mills Road
Corner Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto, ON
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Mark Terry

Mark Terry’s film career has taken him around the globe. When Terry combined his 20-year documentary filmmaking career with a recent polar expedition documenting the impacts of climate change, the result was The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning, the only film invited by the United Nations to be shown to world leaders at the Copenhagen climate change conference. The film has since won numerous international film awards. Mark’s love of our polar extremes began with trips to Alaska and the Arctic 15 years ago, where the majestic beauty of the landscapes inspired him to get involved in environmental research. His latest film shows us the little-known environmental changes happening in Antarctica that will impact the world in a few short years. Mark’s filmmaking has taken him from Antarctica to Hong Kong to Hollywood to Kosovo. His directorial debut, We Stand on Guard, was filmed live in Kosovo with Canadian soldiers serving there, starring Gordon Pinsent and chronicling 100 years of Canadian military history. Mark has also been a producer of live theatre, TV and feature films, a magazine publisher, journalist, director, and writer. He is one of only 166 Canadian members of the prestigious Explorers' Club, a 106-year-old organization comprising the world's greatest explorers.

RHSA Dance Company

Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, in the heart of Toronto, brings us an extraordinary dance troupe – the RHSA Dance Company. A vibrant non-semestered school in the heart of the city, Rosedale Heights School of the Arts combines high academic standards with an emphasis on the arts, giving students the knowledge and skills to succeed in the new millennium. A high percentage of graduating students go to the university or community college of their choice, many receiving scholarships. When Rosedale Heights School of the Arts appeared as one of Canada’s Top Ten Schools, the RHSA Dance Company was featured. Their performance credits range from The Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival to The Amethyst Awards at the Winter Garden Theatre, from Breakfast Television to the Teachers Matter on TVO. They’ve danced at the Riverdale Shares Christmas at the Danforth Music Hall, The Season of Peace at Metro Hall, White Ribbon VOX, Planet Parent, The CODE Conference, The Transformations Conference - York University, and WCA Girl Jam. As well as many performances in the Toronto area, the troupe has toured in New York City, New Orleans and Chicago.

Tom Wujec

Tom Wujec works at the nexus of digital technology, team creativity, design thinking and visual collaboration, studying how we share and absorb information. He has examined how design thinking can help us address the world’s big problems and how advances in technology have enabled design feats previously unattainable. Tom’s an innovative practitioner of visualization – using design and technology to help groups solve problems and understand ideas. He has delivered creativity workshops for audiences as varied as CEOs and kindergarteners, and is the author of three books on creative thinking. Tom holds the enviable position of Fellow at Autodesk, where he has brought to market several groundbreaking applications for the world’s leader in 2D and 3D design software, including Maya, which won an Academy Award for its contribution to the film industry. He started his career working as a designer in museum, and other cultural institutions, and worked at Alias, the Toronto firm world renowned for its graphics magic.

Frank Russo

Frank Russo works at the intersection of Music, Mind and Technology. He makes music accessible to deaf people, through the Emoti-Chair, a sensory substitution device. Frank is a cognitive scientist, musician, and armchair engineer. With an educational background spanning music cognition and hearing science, he is deeply interested in supporting communication of emotion in the context of music and beyond. As Director of the SMART (Science of Music, Auditory Research and Technology) Lab at Ryerson University, Frank and his colleagues have developed a chair that uses vibrotactile stimulation to bring music to deaf individuals. Research shows that deaf individuals have a physiological response to music that bears similarity to that of hearing individuals despite not having access to auditory stimulation.

Rob McEwen

Innovative leadership requires insight to think beyond the conventional, courage to grasp the opportunity, and charisma to lead others to follow. Rob McEwen, a member of the Order of Canada, epitomizes all these characteristics. Rob has enjoyed an illustrious business career transforming Goldcorp from a failing gold mining company to an astonishing $10 billion market cap. But what is most remarkable is how he did it – through open collaboration, enabled by the power of the web. His use of open collaboration to solve tough problems remains a pioneering milestone in the use of social media. Innovative leadership doesn’t stop at the corporate office for Rob. He is making his mark as a philanthropist now, most notably by establishing the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, confirming Canada’s leadership in stem cell research.

Bob Richards

Bob Richards is an evangelist for the “New Space” movement. He is a founder of the International Space University, Singularity University and a Google Lunar X Prize competitor. After his engineering degree from Ryerson, Bob studied space science at Cornell, where he became special assistant to Carl Sagan. In 1987, he co-founded the International Space University, today a global institution with a central campus in Strasbourg, France. More recently, he co-founded Singularity University, an institution dedicated to preparing humanity for accelerating technological change, based at NASA Research Park in California. Bob is a space evangelist for the “New Space” movement and has been a catalyst for a number of commercial space ventures. He is founder of Odyssey Moon Limited, a commercial lunar transportation company and the first official contender in the $30M Google Lunar X Prize.

Gwen Colman

Gwen Colman is the Youth Program Director at GPIAtlantic in Halifax. GPIAtlantic advocates the application of a new way to measure a nation’s wellbeing called the Genuine Progress Index, augmenting the narrow and one-dimensional measure of GDP. What if we could measure something as intangible as a nation’s Gross National Happiness? A term coined by the King of Bhutan in 1972, this is precisely what the Genuine Progress Index (GPI) purports to do. Gwen Colman and GPIAtlantic have been applying the GPI in Bhutan and elsewhere around the world to measure a nation’s quality of life, sustainability, and wellbeing, giving a country a much truer picture of its genuine progress. GPIAtlantic was formally established as a non-profit society in early 1997 for the purpose of constructing a Genuine Progress Index. Gwen now focuses her energy on the engagement of youth in helping nations create genuine progress through the GPI Youth Program, developed for the Rethinking Development Conference. This program was the inspiration for a world-wide youth movement which today spans 18 countries and is a youth-led force for positive change.

Joel Gottlieb

Students say Joel Gottlieb is one of those teachers who made a difference in their lives. “You have allowed me to grow beyond my assumed limits to a place where I can write my own future.” That’s what one of Joel Gottlieb’s students wrote to him in his yearbook. Do you remember a teacher who changed the course of your life? In 34 years of working with people and ideas, Joel has learned that the key to communicating great ideas lies in a dynamic relationship between teacher and learner. When teachers leave their egos behind and create an exciting environment that is a safe place to take risks, learning is not just inevitable, it is transformative. Joel believes that the optimum teaching environment is a nexus of emotion and curiosity. Joel will reflect on how such magic can happen in a teacher-student relationship.

York School Flute Choir

One of the York School’s award-winning ensembles is its Flute Choir, a group of nine talented musicians from grades 9 through 12. The York School’s music program is a vibrant part of its well-rounded International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, which combines a strong program of arts, academics and athletics from JK through grade 12. The Flute Choir has performed to rave reviews in the school and in the community, and has won the Gold Award at the Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto and the Silver Award at the Ontario Band Association Chamber Festival. One of the goals of The York School’s music program is to foster a life-long love of music. It truly lives up to the school’s motto, “Experience Teaches”, because Johann Sebastian Bach never sounded so good!

Kieran Murphy

Kieran Murphy is an internationally-recognized interventional neuroradiologist, inventor of medical devices (over 50 patents/filings), and medical researcher and author of 150 academic papers and several text books. Interventional neuroradiologists use imaging to guide treatment (for example, for strokes) in order to minimize the invasiveness of the procedure. He is Medical Director of International Health and Technology Strategy at the University Health Network and Vice Chair of Radiology at the University of Toronto. Kieran’s passion is inventing simple medical devices that are globally relevant. Born in Ireland, Kieran’s career has taken him around the world. He’s trained in Albany, Michigan, and Geneva, and led the Interventional neuro team at Johns Hopkins where he was on call in East Baltimore every night for 5 years and every second night for 5 more years. He has worked and taught extensively in India, Nepal, Africa and South America. Kieran is an avid amateur race car driver. His motto is “I’d rather be ashes than dust”. He says his two children are his best inventions.  

Cawthra Chamber Choir

The Cawthra Park S.S. Chamber Choir was awarded first place in the Youth Choir category of the CBC National Choral Competition in May 2008. Led by TED devotee Bob Anderson, the choir is an auditioned group of 45 extraordinary singers drawn from Cawthra’s 385-voice concert choir, The Ritz. Bob says the choir will delight your ears with a high-energy satiric jab at prejudice. Bring it on! Cawthra Park S.S. in Mississauga hosts one of two Regional Arts Programs in the Peel District School Board. At Cawthra, they believe that all who participate in the arts develop self-esteem, confidence in communication and a keen sense of social and cultural awareness – all characteristics that strengthen students’ choices, in whatever walk of life. About 320 music students participate in 12 instrumental and vocal ensembles under the direction of six music teachers.

Ben Gulak

Ben Gulak’s UNO electric unicycle vaulted him from a regular teenage inventor onto the cover of “Popular Science” magazine with his Top 10 Invention of the Year. It was on a trip to China that Ben first appreciated just how bad pollution from vehicles could be. This inspired Ben to develop the oh-so-cool UNO electric unicycle for eco-friendly urban transportation. He charmed the intimidating curmudgeons on Dragon’s Den into investing in his dream. He made the front page of Popular Science as one of the Top 10 Inventions of the Year. He represented Canada at the International Science and Engineering Fair, and he won the prestigious National Collegiate of Inventors and Innovators Alliance Award. He was named a TED Fellow. Not bad for a teenager! Ben’s second invention, the DTV Shredder, is “a miniature tank you ride like a skateboard”. With the Shredder you can make the entire outdoors your terrain park. Or you can use it to save lives as a military medical evacuation vehicle. Ben’s bringing the Shredder to TEDx!

Alex Sarian

Alex Sarian develops creative solutions for cultural and arts education management. He is a passionate advocate of the powerful cross-disciplinary impact of culture, education and the arts. Born in Toronto, Alex is an IB graduate of St. Andrews School in Buenos Aires, and currently lives in New York. Alex believes there are many advantages to exploring education through the arts. He is an arts education professional dedicated to cultural and educational programming. Alex uses his own artistic experience as a performer on stage and film, as a composer for theatre, and on the production side of the theatre to infuse a student-centred approach to creative education. Alex has worked in New York, Puerto Rico, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and Buenos Aires, so he is confident his approach crosses cultural boundaries. Lately, he has been reflecting on how his IB education helped him on his path to cross-cultural learning.

Juliana Rotich

Juliana is a co-founder of Ushahidi, crowd-sourcing software to support citizen journalism in crisis situations. When post-election violence hit Kenya in 2008, it was hard for reliable information to get published. And so Ushahidi was born. Juliana and the other co-founders of Ushahidi quickly built a system to enable citizens to contribute information from mobile phones and PCs. Ushahidi compiled the information and published it on the web. Ushahidi is now available as open source software and has been used in many crisis situations, including the earthquakes in Haiti and Chili, the conflict in Palestine and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Juliana fervently believes technology can help Africa achieve its full potential. She sees Ushahidi as an exemplar of the enormous possibilities for technology to contribute to Africa’s development. As a technologist and an African, she hopes to be part of that process. Juliana is a Senior TED Fellow.


Lishai is a poet historian and spoken word artist. She weaves together storytelling, emotion and truth, seeking to reclaim history from a woman’s perspective. She broke onto the slam poetry scene in Toronto in 2010 at the annual “Women of the World” Toronto qualifier. Since then, she has made a name for herself on the slam circuit with her explosive and powerful poetry, most recently representing Toronto in the “Rustbelt Regional Slam” in Michigan. Her poetry is a blend of philosophical inquiry and historical insight, coupled with passionate delivery and a distant echo of a voice long lost, whispering ... “I’m still here.”  

Pat Senson

A producer for the award-winning CBC radio program Quirks and Quarks, Pat emerged from behind the scenes in 2010 with his fascinating and cheeky book Nasty, Brutish and Short: The Quirks and Quarks Guide to Animal Sex and Other Weird Behaviour. The book is a hilarious and informative romp through the animal kingdom, visiting a variety of species with bizarre behaviours, especially in fulfilling their mating rituals. Such behaviours shed light on the big questions of evolution. Pat Senson is a highly regarded science journalist. For nine seasons he was a producer with CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, where his documentary work received many awards. His science stories can currently be heard every week on CBC Radio. Pat is not just a science guy, though. He is an actor in amateur theatre and is currently training to become a lawyer.

Etobicoke School of the Arts Jazz Choir

JAMME is an auditioned jazz choir in the Music Theatre department at Etobicoke School of the Arts. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Etobicoke School of the Arts is one of the oldest self-contained and publicly-funded arts high schools in Canada. JAMME performs and competes in school, in the community and nationally. They have garnered an invitation to the MusicFest Canada Nationals competition 5 years running, most recently earning a Gold Standard Award. Some favourite performances include the IAPA conference and Jazz for Herbie, an event that raises money for the Toronto Sick Kids’ Hospital’s Herbie Fund. ESA draws students from across Toronto and outside the board’s boundaries. Students audition for a place in one of the 6 arts programs – dance, drama, music, music theatre, visual arts and most recently, film. Sit back and enjoy one of ESA’s singing sensations – JAMME!  

Greg Wells

Greg Wells is a scientist specializing in extreme human physiology. He vaulted to fame as a sports analyst during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics for his riveting explanations of the physiology behind the amazing performances of the Olympic athletes. Greg’s work focuses on elite athletes striving to achieve international medal performances and on children with chronic diseases. Although these may seem diametrically opposed at first glance, the inner workings of the human body are the same in both cases and the learning from one can be applied to benefit the other. As an exercise physiologist, Greg practises with the Canadian Sport Centre as Director of Sport Science. He teaches at the University of Toronto and is a researcher at The Hospital for Sick Children in Physiology and Experimental Medicine and at the Toronto General Hospital’s Department of Anaesthesia. Greg mesmerized Canadians during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with his on-camera sport science and sport medicine analysis. He brings his vast experience and knowledge of physiology to general audiences to help improve personal performance and health in everyday life and in challenging situations.

Anita McGahan

Anita McGahan is Associate Dean of the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto and also holds prestigious academic appointments at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital. She studies corporate strategy, and “wicked problems” like global health and the migration of human population to cities. Recognized for excellence in teaching, Anita inspires her business students to think beyond the corporate bottom line and exhorts them to apply their talents and knowledge to the world's important problems. She’s come to believe that professional education needs to be drastically revamped. A Renaissance woman with a global outlook, Anita focuses on the study of “wicked problems”– problems that are difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory and changing requirements. She’s turned her analytical, inquiring eye on global health, business model innovation, the end of oil, and even private military companies. Anita is Associate Dean and holds Rotman Chair of Management at the Rotman School and is cross-appointed at the Munk School of Public Affairs at University of Toronto. She's a Senior Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard University and Chief Economist in the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

David Silverberg

Poetry might once have been relegated to dusty tomes on untouched library shelves. However, poetry has now been taken to the people, with a cohort of creative, enthusiastic, and outspoken spoken-word performers. David Silverberg is the Artistic Director, founder and host of Toronto Poetry Slam (a monthly spoken word competition) and editor of Canada’s first spoken word anthology, Mic Check. David has been a leader in Canada’s spoken word community since 2001. David has given performances across Canada and has been a featured performer and lecturer at the Influency Poetry Salon series at the University of Toronto. He runs spoken word workshops for high school students across Ontario. His most recent book of poetry is Bags of Wires.

Ray Zahab

In 2006, Ray and two other runners set out on an epic expedition to cross the Sahara Desert on foot. One hundred and eleven days and 7,500 kilometres later, they completed their grueling journey after running an average of 70 kilometres a day. It was an inspiring journey for a former pack a day smoker turned runner! National Geographic tracked their journey online, and the documentary “Running the Sahara”, produced by Matt Damon, raised awareness of the drinking water crisis in Northern Africa. Two years later, Ray and two other Canadians broke the world speed record for an unsupported trek to the South Pole on foot and snowshoes only. No skis! Students joined online, communicating with the team daily, as part of Ray’s organization impossible2Possible, whose goal is to inspire and educate youth through adventure learning. Ray’s latest trip, to the depths of the Amazon, will just be complete as he joins us at TEDxIBYork. Ray doesn’t see himself as anything special physically, rather Ray believes that we all have the ability to achieve anything we set our minds to and in fact, the impossible is possible.

Organizing team


Toronto, Canada
  • Andy Keith
  • Adil Dhalla
    Marketing & Web Site
  • Becca Pace
  • Justin Medved
  • David Hamilton
    IB Student Co-orination
  • Karl Leung
    Technical Producer
  • David Hillman
  • Beth Mell
  • Jane Minett
    Program Committee
  • Daniela Keren
    Volunteer Co-ordinator
  • Chris Fraser
    Committee at large