x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Going Beyond Rethinking Education

This event occurred on
September 26, 2015
8:00am - 4:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
West Vancouver, British Columbia

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Kay Meek Centre for the Performing Arts
1700 Mathers Avenue
West Vancouver, British Columbia, V7V 2G7
Event type:
Education (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­West­Vancouver­E­D events


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

Allison McNeill

Allison served as the Canadian National Women's Basketball Team Head Coach for 12 years. She led Canada to 2 World Championship appearances as well as the 2012 London Olympic Games. Allison also coached at the University level for 20 years at Simon Fraser University and the University of Oregon. The Coaching Association of Canada awarded her the Geoff Gowan Award recognizing her lifetime contribution to coaching development in Canada. CAAWS – (Canadian Association for the Advance of Women in Sport) has three times named Allison as one of the 20 "Most influential Women in Sport in Canada"

Ari Neufeld

I love performance art. I've gotten a rush from it since I was a very small child. I don't think performance art should be limited to anything conventional. So I create an experience by juggling acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, ukelele and piano while dancing on an amplified wooden box with ethnic percussive beads and bells strapped to my lower body. My keynote instrument is my voice, it is the instrument that I challenge and push the most. And when I'm not singing, I'm attempting to share an insight about life that is equal parts profound and hilarious.

Dave Redekopp

A winner of provincial and national awards in career development, Dave has devoted over 25 years to the development of better career development and workplace concepts and practices. His work has addressed a wide arrange of issues, from helping at-risk teens manage their career paths to working with executives to make their companies more career-friendly. His passion for career development pervades his work, which includes teaching, facilitation, public speaking, product development and research. President of the Life-Role Development Group Ltd., a national career development firm, Dave holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Alberta.

Duncan Knight

Duncan Knight is an elementary educator currently teaching at Irwin Park in West Vancouver. He is passionate about connecting with students using unconventional methods, humour, as well as technology. He has a Masters in Technology from the University of British Columbia and a beautiful family in Squamish.

Greg Cormier

I have been teaching for 15 years including 2 years in England and the remainder in West Vancouver and Vancouver. I am also a Red Seal Carpenter and this is one of the experiences that brought me to teaching and especially the variety of shop courses that I am passionate about. My Master of Arts research was focused on dual-credit programs offered to students in high school and now I am teaching using my passion, experience and skill set with a broad range of students who share an interest, motivation and satisfaction in learning through and with our hands.

Igor Gantsevich

Igor Gantsevich’s near decade as an elite athlete and national fencing team member culminated in 2008 when he won a bronze team medal at an International Grand Prix – the first of its kind in Canadian history. He finished his career on a high note with a bronze medal in men’s team épée at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Moving from an athlete role, Igor is becoming a major force in the development of fencing in Canada and the world. He is currently the president of Dynamo Fencing Club – one of Canada’s top clubs, a board member of the Canadian Fencing Federation and is an executive committee member of the Pan American Fencing Club organization. Over the past year Igor has brought fencing to over 10,000 children across the lower mainland of British Columbia, and as a result he now instructs over 500 full time students on a weekly basis.

Jeff Hemmett

With experience in online, K-12, and higher education, Jeff has observed through many lenses the significance of an inspired educator. In linking this observation with his passion for triple-bottom-line business, Jeff hopes to play a part in redefining success in both education, and entrepreneurship. In his spare time, if Jeff isn’t playing a sport, you can probably find him quoting Ron Burgundy, or reading a leather-bound book.

Jim Christopher

Dr. Jim Christopher is the Head of Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School and Maplewood Alternative High School, partner independent schools for children and young adults with learning differences in North Vancouver. A former teacher, Principal and Superintendent of Special Education in the public system in Ontario, he has been actively involved for decades in the drive to differentiate learning experiences to meet the needs of all learners. Prior to moving to North Vancouver in 2012, with his wife and two sons, Jim spent four years as head of a Pre-K to grade 10 Montessori and IB/MYP school in Bermuda.

Johnathan Bi

Johnathan Bi is the IT executive of the West Vancouver Schools student district council. As a student who has been in different education systems, Johnathan knows the value of opportunity, and has dedicated over 700+ hours of coding to produce two very well-perceived apps: a school agenda app being used daily by hundreds of students and a charity wallpaper app built to raise awareness for autism.

Khurram Virani

Khurram is the co-founder and Head of Education at Lighthouse Labs, where he has been disrupting the way people learn to code. After spending 10 years as a developer and entrepreneur, he saw a problematic divide in technology between the way people learn and the way they work. By founding Lighthouse Labs and The HTML500, Canada's largest coding bootcamp and learn-to-code event respectively, he brought tech best practices into education to empower 100's of people with today's most valuable career skills - and taught them faster than ever before.

Kristi Blakeway

Every one of us has a story worth hearing. When we empower others to tell their story, we awaken the heart and mind. Kristi Blakeway is a principal from Maple Ridge, BC and founder of Beyond HELLO (www.BeyondHELLO.org), a social project that encourages people to engage in real dialogue. Kristi was recently named Vancouver’s Woman of Distinction by the YWCA for her work with students connecting the community. Over the last six years, her students have helped over 500 homeless people re-connect with family and friends through greeting cards, phone calls and face to face reunions. Kristi is a dynamic speaker who will encourage us all to Go Beyond.

Lane Merrifield

Lane Merrifield is co-founder and CEO of FreshGrade. He was also co-founder of Club Penguin and former executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. As co-founder of Club Penguin, Lane played an integral role in its phenomenal growth and continued success as one of the largest digital brands for children. This success led to a partnership with the Walt Disney Company, which acquired Club Penguin for $350M in August 2007. Lane has since left his role at Disney to return to his entrepreneurial roots. Inspired to focus on the challenges facing teachers in the 21st century classroom, Lane co-founded FreshGrade.

Macy Meldrum

"Macy is a thirteen-year old student at West Vancouver Secondary School. This past June, she graduated from Ridgeview Elementary, where she spent eight years of her life making the best of every opportunity that was available to her at school. Outside of school, Macy is a member of the 4th West Vancouver Pathfinders, the Pacific Spirit Children's Choir, West Vancouver Soccer Club, West Vancouver Field Hockey Club, BCO Volleyball Club and the West Vancouver Basketball Club where she is also a Junior Coach.

Mark Ballard

Mark Ballard is the principle of Ballard 360 Real Estate, dedicated to excellence in industry practice and customer service. Mark is an award winning realtor with over 30 years of experience and expertise in the real estate industry. As an active member of the community, Mark serves on the Board of the West Vancouver Foundation and is a member of the West Vancouver and North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. Mark is a committed patron of several of Vancouver’s vibrant arts and cultural organizations.

Sarah Garr

Relationships form an essential foundation for a caring, vibrant and innovative school community. In order to best support our students' social, emotional and academic growth, we must challenge ourselves to expand our definition of success to encompass a wider range of skill sets and abilities. Each student has a unique story and it is our responsibility to learn these stories. We must create an environment that supports and celebrates the diversity of all students. As a secondary Vice Principal in the Richmond school district, I am privileged to work alongside colleagues, students and families to do just that.

Sean Nosek

Sean Nosek is Director of Instruction, Learning & Innovation with West Vancouver Schools. He was co-chair of DisruptED Vancouver 2014, and was identified by The Learning Partnership in 2014 as one of Canada’s Outstanding PrincipalsTM. Sean is excited by integrative thinking and non-linear approaches to learning. He regularly champions “The Art of Wandering” and believes passionately in adventure. A former literature teacher, Sean is inspired by great works and great ideas. He enjoys being physically active, cutting through alleyways, listening to vinyl and contemplating life’s big questions. You can follow his thinking on Zen for a Crazy World.

Starleigh Grass

Starleigh Grass, Tsilhqot'in, is currently the Senior Policy Analyst for the First Nations Education Steering Committee. Her duties include sitting on the Province of BC's Curriculum Advisory Committee, Advisory Group on Provincial Assessment, and Competencies Consulting Group. As the mother of a child currently in public school, she is committed to increasing the education system's capacity to improve outcomes for Aboriginal learners.

Susan Harris MacKay

Susan Harris MacKay is the Director of Teaching and Learning at Portland Children's Museum where she provides leadership to the Museum Center for Learning and Opal School. She began her work as a public school teacher because she believed that inviting young children to share their ideas had the power to change the world. 20 years later, she is no less passionate, even more convinced, and feels privileged to have the frequent opportunity to work with other educators committed to supporting children to launch their ideas, and also to communicating and making visible the tremendous worth in those ideas, not only to the world but to the children themselves.

Walter Mustapich

Walter Mustapich is a Vice Principal in the North Vancouver School District. Walter grew up in East Van and returned to his roots when he collaborated with Jim Crescenzo to create the West Coast Boys Club Network. The goal of the Network is to reach as many at-risk young men in an effort to mentor them into becoming 'good men'. Just three years ago they were awarded charitable status and now work with more than 250 boys in 7 chapters.

Will Richardson

"A parent of two teen-agers, Will Richardson has spent the last dozen years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education. Will has authored four books (with two more on the way), including ""Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information are Everywhere"" (September, 2012) published by TED books and based on his 2013 TEDx talk in Melbourne, Australia. ""Why School?"" is now the #1 best-selling TED book ever. A former public school educator of 22 years, Will is also co-founder of Modern Learner Media and co-publisher of ModernLearners.com which is a site dedicated to helping educational leaders and policy makers develop new contexts for new conversations around education. Will lives in rural New Jersey with his wife Wendy and his kids Tess and Tucker."

Organizing team


Vancouver Bc, Canada
  • Cari Wilson
  • Garth Thomson
  • Chris Parslow
  • Jo-Anne McKee