x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Spark!

This event occurred on
November 16, 2013
1:00pm - 6:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Montreal, QC

The event is targeted towards Youth from 11-17 years old from all over Montreal. Topics that will be covered will include environmental, food sustainability, engineering, conservationism, gaming, philanthropy, design, astrophysics, food, consciousness, belief in oneself!

L'Ermitage at College de Montreal
3510 Ch de la Cote des Neiges
Montreal, QC
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Youth@­Montreal events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Jeff Litton

In the words of Jacques Cousteau, “People protect what they love.” Jeff works to use film and photography to inspire people to care about the planet. Being an environmental filmmaker enables Jeff to combine his love for capturing beauty with his drive to protect the environment. He works with environmental organizations like the International League of Conservation Photographers on special media projects to affect political policy in different countries. Born and raised in Grass Valley, California, he now works around the world to film and share the message of conservation. He’s spent 4 years filming aboard the National Geographic expedition ships. His film projects can also be found on Google Earth, Japanese national television, and environmental film festivals along the pacific coast. One of his current projects is a production partnered with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and environmental prosecutors of Latin America to stop illegal shark fishing. With camera in hand, he sets out to inspire people to protect the planet.

Shobhita Soor

Shobhita Soor is currently completing her law degrees (BCL/LLB) and her MBA at McGill University. In the past, she has worked in mental health, developmental research and financial services. Currently, she is working on developping Aspire Food Group, a social enterprise dedicated to addressing food insecurity through entomophagy, the human consumption of insects.

Normand Laprise

Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Normand Laprise born in Kamouraska, Québec has become over the years a member of the international elite of chefs recognized by critics around the world. He has redefined the standards of gastronomy by creating new inventive and modern cuisine. Co-owner of Toqué!, one of North America’s top restaurants, Laprise is obsessed by the freshness of products. He developed a passion for local produce and searched for suppliers and farmers with whom he developed special relationships. His philosophy and approach has been followed by many and has generated growing accolades including the recent James Beard Foundation Award for his book Toqué! Creators of a new Québec Gastronomy as well as Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Québec, Honoris Causa Diploma from the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec and voted 2012 Chef of the Year by Maclean’s magazine. He is a member of the jury on the French CBC television series LES CHEFS! and is invited as guest chef at prominent establishments around the world. In 2010, he is the only Québec chef invited to the main stage of Star Chefs International Congress in New York. The same year he was honorary patron of the International Cookbook Fair in Périgueux, France. In 2011 he was invited to the Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival and in 2012 was at the International Gourmet Festival of Portugal and the Semana Mesa in Sao Paulo, Brasil. For twenty years Chef Laprise has been a mentor to young chefs. The tasting menu which changes daily has become a laboratory for creativity and with chef Laprise’s involvement within the brigade he is shaping the identity of a truly Québec gastronomy.

Etienne Vendette

As a professional illusionist having a successful career through his art, he has worked with Cirque du Soleil, presented over 2500 shows in South Korea, Japan, France, Spain, and for over 15 years in Canada. He has performed at several festivals, including Montreal’s world-renowned Just For Laughs Festival. For 10 years, he has combined magic and motivation to present unique and engaging motivational performances.

Luca Patuelli

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli was born on July 28, 1984 in Montreal, Quebec with Arthrogryposis, a birth defect affecting the bone structure, joint movement, and muscle growth in his legs. As a result, Luca has been walking with crutches from a very young age. He has been dancing (B-boying) since he was 15-years-old and has made a major impact in the Worldwide Breakdance (B-boy) Community. Luca is the founder and creator of the ILL-Abilities™ Crew, the first and only international B-boy crew comprised of the worlds best “ILL-Abled” dancers. The purpose of the ILL-Abilities™ Crew is to show the world that if we are creative and adapt ourselves to any situation than anything is possible, with the idea, No Excuses, No Limits! Luca has competed in some of the world’s biggest events and has been featured on many international media sources, including Americas Got Talent, Much Music, MBC Korea, CBC, TF1, NBC Today Show and much more. Luca also performs around the world as a Motivational Speaker, teaching his audience that life is all about positive attitude. In 2010, Luca was honoured with his biggest career accomplishment, so far, by headlining and co-directing the “One Inspires All” dance segment at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. Recently, Luca was featured on hit TV Show “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” where he made it through to the 3rd round of Finals week making history as first dancer with a disability making it that far on national TV. Luca has also had some cameo appearances in some feature films including: “Kickin it Old School” (2007), “Sur Le Rythme” (2011), “Cochon de Gaza” (2011). Luca is also a graduate with a degree in Marketing from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal. Luca has no intentions of slowing down and plans on taking his career to higher levels everyday while proving to the world “It’s about taking the bad and making it good” and “No Excuses, No Limits”. For more information on Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli check out his website or check out his crazy videos on Youtube.

Zoe Yujnovich

Zoë Yujnovich has been an employee of Rio Tinto for 18 years and is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC). Her career started as an engineer in an aluminium smelter and has since spanned a diverse range of roles from working on a sustainable development community project in Salt Lake City, U.S.A. to building an electronic marketplace for mining purchasing transactions, to divesting an iron ore business in Brazil. Her roots in engineering drive her passion today in leading the large expansion and growth of the iron ore business in Canada where significant transformations are under way in the highly complex processing facilities and cultural evolution of approximately 2,500 employees. Zoë is the mother of three and along with her husband strives to create a home life through which work-life balance can be achieved. She leverages her own personal experiences to reflect and share how to advance women in the mining industry and encourage the diversity agenda. She is currently the Chair of the Mining Association of Canada (appointed 2013), a member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council (since 2012), an Advisory Board Member to the McGill Faculty of business (since 2012) and a McGill co-lecturer (since 2012).

Nicolas Darveau-Garneau

Mr. Nicolas Darveau-Garneau (“Nick”) is the Managing Director of Google Québec, leading Google’s business efforts in the province and, together with Google’s lead engineer in Québec, Mr. Shibl Mourad, helping to drive product innovation and customization for the Québec market. Nick was born in Chicoutimi, Québec and grew up in Montréal where he attended school at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf. Nick has been an Internet entrepreneur, investor, and analyst since 1995. He was part of the founding team of in Seattle; was the co-founder of 3 Internet companies in New York and San Francisco, including which he sold in 2001; and continues to be an active angel investor in Silicon Valley. Nick was also a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. in Montréal and a senior equity analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, a top ranked Wall Street firm. Mr. Darveau-Garneau graduated with a Bachelors in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Valerie Bourdeau

Valérie Bourdeau is first and foremost a person of the Internet. With advanced degrees in Communications and Sociology and a stint as an entertainment writer for Cineplex, she somehow landed in a dream job in the gaming industry. She now works for Eidos Montréal, combining her passion for games and her eclectic skill set to manage the online platforms for two classic game franchises: Deus Ex and Thief. Earlier this year, she co-founded WIGI MTL, the Montreal Chapter of Women in Games International. WIGI promotes diversity in video game development, publishing, media, education and workplaces, based on a fundamental belief that increased equality and camaraderie among genders can lead to better games for everyone.

Cedric de Saint-Rome

Cedric de Saint-Rome is a 14-year-old Montreal composer and musician (drums, classical and jazz piano, percussion, guitar) whose works range in style from classical piano compositions (having been selected at age 10 to represent Quebec in a national youth composition competition) through mellow R&B beats and sound design/original compositions for youth theatre, to heavy, distorted riff-based guitar tracks in odd time signatures; as well as dynamic, driving DJ remixes and original electronic dance music productions. Canadian by birth, Cedric’s multinational background (counting Finnish, Swedish, French, and Haitian among his recent ancestries) contributes a multi-platform melodic and rhythmic sensitivity to his music, which resonates with audiences from North American teens to European classical music buffs. His Royal Conservatory examinations and awards in classical piano competitions would probably come as a surprise those who follow him as DJ Housefly. Having recently decided to re-enter school after almost 6 years of homeschooling, Cedric is taking advantage of the occasion to learn a new instrument, the saxophone. Music bridges gaps in human understanding, and Cedric draws motivation from unique opportunities like the annual KoSA International Percussion Workshops to immerse himself in the inspiring world of compassionate musicians – learning, sharing, and creating.

Melissa Mongiat

Melissa Mongiat is co-founder, with Mouna Andraos, of the design studio Daily tous les Jours. DTLJ focuses on participation – empowering people to have a place in the stories that are told around them. They create collective experiences. They come from the fields of interaction design and narrative environments. They research new ways to interact and tell stories, bringing magic to everyday places, behaviours and objects, inviting the public to become active contributors in the process and the outcome. Their projects take many forms: urban interventions and planning, exhibitions, products, spatial design, events, software applications, film. Their work has won numerous international recognitions including prizes from Core 77 Design Festival, the SXSW Festival and a CyberLion in Cannes. In 2010, they were awarded the Design Montreal Phyllis Lambert award, and recently, they won Best in Show at the 2013 Interaction Awards. Melissa Mongiat has an MA in Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. Prior to DTLJ, her work and research on participatory design were presented notably at Montréal and Saint-Étienne Biennale, London Royal College of Art, the Banff New Media Institute and the Instituto di Diseno Europeo in Barcelona. She was selected by Wallpaper Magazine as one of the world’s ten breakthrough designers.

Betty Esperanza

Betty Esperanza is an artist, humanitarian and Godmother of Skateboards For Hope. Her passions are focused on health and wellness, human relations, photography, short films, entrepreneurial projects, creation and development of sustainable activities and anything to do with skateboards. Betty’s love affair with Cuba for the last 15 years is where the inspiration to create sustainable community projects using recycled skateboards was born. The essence of her concept to empower youth has now sparked a pilot project collaborating with First Nations Foundations which she hopes will develop sustainable community projects operated by youth all over Quebec. Although she leaves the skateboarding up to the new generation, her youthful outlook fuels her energies into empowering children to be self reliant, gain self confidence, practice positivity and collaborate as much as possible. Betty concentrates her efforts on providing support to children living in poverty. She has undertaken a mission to stop the cycle of poverty using skateboards as a tool. Skateboards are often associated with drugs, laziness and apathy. This is the farthest from the truth. Anyone who has ever tried to skateboard can attest to the fact that it takes patience, perseverance and focus to achieve tricks and stability and many years of dedication. Betty’s favorite mantra: Living life uninterrupted… Shred taboos – give hope to kids! Recycle-Reuse-Revolutionize Skateboards For Hope!

Stephan Ouaknine

Stephan Ouaknine is founder and Managing Partner of Inerjys. A proven entrepreneur and investor, Stephan has been a visionary leader across multiple technology sectors, from clean technology to telecommunications. His career has spanned three high-tech ventures, creating significant shareholder value with three successful exits. Stephan founded Inerjys with the insight that new deployment approaches and proven technologies could overcome the challenges of the cleantech sector and power a better tomorrow. Prior to Inerjys, Stephan founded Blueslice Networks, a leading provider of evolved Subscriber Data Management (eSDM) solutions for telecom carriers. Stephan led Blueslice from its foundation in 2001 until its acquisition in 2010 by Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC). At the time of its acquisition, Blueslice was the global leader in cross-platform eSDM solutions deployed in tier 1 accounts in over 25 countries. Stephan’s other successes include Emblaze (LSE: BLZ), a next-generation mobile multimedia company which reached a $6 billion valuation during his tenure, and Airslide Systems, a leader in next generation signalling which merged with Cantata Technology and was acquired by Dialogic (NASDAQ: DLGC). Stephan is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the TED community, and a recipient of the Annual Honoree Award from the Canadian Technion Society. He is frequently invited to share thoughts on entrepreneurship, investing and the clean energy sector at global events.

Matt Dobbs

Matt Dobbs is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and associate member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University. He holds a Canada Research Chair and is a Senior Fellow in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Cosmology and Gravity program. Prof. Dobbs earned a Ph.D. (2002) in experimental Particle Physics from the University of Victoria, was awarded an Owen Chamberlain Fellowship at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 2002, and earned a Sloan Fellowship in 2009. The aim of his research is to improve our understanding of the fundamental constituents of the universe – including its origin, history, and fate – providing new insight into the early universe, where the laws of particle physics and cosmology intersect. His research group at McGill specializes in the design, construction, and operation of novel instrumentation and experiments to explore the early universe. Prof. Dobbs has journeyed to the ends of the earth to deploy his instruments from the best observing locations, including the geographic South Pole and aboard stratospheric balloons.

Chris Tse

Armé de connaissances, de sa créativité rayonnante et de son positivisme à toute épreuve, le conférencier Chris Tse a toujours cherché à faire une différence dans la vie des jeunes. Son amour pour les mots et sa passion pour les droits humanitaires ont fait voir le monde à Chris en temps que poète, conférencier et journaliste. Son adolescence l’ayant conduit dans les camps de travailleurs immigrants du Mexique, Chris a pu constater en personne la pauvreté dévastatrice à laquelle tant de gens doivent faire face à tous les jours. Il a partagé son discours défendant les enjeux sociaux en Amérique du Sud, en Europe, en Asie, en Afrique et aux États-Unis. Après avoir complété ses études, Chris se retrouva journaliste au sein de l’organisme « Journalists for Human Rights » au Ghana dénonçant les abus aux droits humains et suivant de près le progrès des projets d’objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement de l’ACDI. Il a découvert son talent pour les prestations de création parlée (spoken word performance) lors de ses études à l’université Carleton. Capitaine de l’équipe « Ottawa Capital Slam », Chris participa au championnat national du festival de la création parlée en 2010 et remporta la deuxième place à la coupe du monde de slam en France en 2011. Il a aussi écrit un livre de poèmes et produit un EP (Extended Play), tous les deux intitulés « An Ode to My Afro », qu’il a par la suite interprété sur les scènes de Vancouver à Paris en passant par Kumasi. Ses œuvres furent diffusées par CBC, CTV et dans de nombreuses publications à travers le pays. De nos jours, la passion de Chris a fait de lui l’un des conférenciers des plus dynamiques et inoubliables.

Dub Fx

Blood, sweat & busking is how Dub Fx built his respected audience. Taking to the street 5 years ago with a Loop Station, a few coins and his talent, a friend along the way posted his street performances on Youtube. Instantly people have been enthralled by his story, nature & his unique way of creating music. Today, Dub Fx is headlining major festivals all over the world, releasing a 2nd studio album thru a pledge campaign, making new Youtube videos, staying independent & playing on your local street corner.

Chris Tse

Armed with knowledge, brimming with creativity and possessed of a relentlessly positive spirit, inspirational speaker Chris Tse has always been compelled to make a difference in the lives of young people. A deep love of words and passion for human rights has led Chris around the world as a poet, speaker and journalist. As a teen, Chris spent time in Mexico in migrant worker camps, witnessing firsthand the devastating poverty that so many people around the world face every day. Chris has also spent time in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the U.S., using his spoken word as a channel for social justice issues and, after graduation, worked for Journalists for Human Rights in Ghana, reporting on human rights abuses and the progress of CIDA-sponsored millennium development goal projects. As a student at Carleton University, Chris discovered his gift for spoken word performance. After captaining the Ottawa Capital Slam team to a national championship at the 2010 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, Chris went on to place second at the 2011 Poetry Slam World Cup in France. He has produced a book of poetry and an EP, both entitled An Ode to My Afro, and performed on stages from Vancouver to Paris to Kumasi. His work has appeared on CBC, CTV and in numerous newspapers across the country. Today, Chris is an inspirational speaker for Me to We, with an unwavering desire to spread his message in the most dynamic and unforgettable manner.

Organizing team


Montreal Quebec, Canada


Montreal, Canada
  • Zoe Sakellaropoulo
    Production Designer and Director
  • Jennifer Davis
    Event Director
  • Jonathan Durand
    AV Director
  • Vincent Panaye
    Web Strategist
  • Sophie Battat
    Technology Coordinator
  • Julia London
    Technolgoy Coordinator Assistant
  • Assia Longlade
  • Natasha Yang
    Video Creator, Desktop Publishing, Reporter, Timer
  • Michaela Capolicchio
  • Emma Hasson
  • Jessica Lu
    Stage Manager
  • Elise Battat
    Stage Manager Assistant
  • Marie-Josee Nadeau
    Event Coordinator
  • Sarah Battat
    Organizing Committee
  • Riley Handy-Argento
    Video Creator
  • Spencer Greenwood
  • Marie-Gabrielle Dussault