x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Deconstruct

This event occurred on
March 10, 2018
Toronto, Ontario

To deconstruct is to strip away layers of abstraction to uncover the essence of a concept. By deconstructing complex phenomena into their fundamental ideas, we discover how universal and relatable these concepts are. Deconstruction reveals how the ideas at the cores of such diverse fields as artificial intelligence, music, medicine, and others are in fact more related than they seem. At our 2018 conference, the TEDxUofT community will come together to share, deconstruct, and internalize ideas, and walk away with new, broader perspectives.

St. Lawrence Theatre
27 Front Street E.
Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1B4
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dan Dolderman

Environmental Psychologist
Dr. Dan Dolderman is a Psychologist who teaches at the University of Toronto. His work focuses on the intersection between individual-level well-being and collective-level challenges, particularly climate change. Given the short window of action that remains on climate change, and the deep reorganization of society that is required to effectively address the challenge, this is an unprecedented opportunity for society as a whole to evolve; helping to catalyze this evolution by harnessing, and enhancing, the social capital inherent in our already-existing friendship and other social networks, is the key focus of his work.

Helen Kontozopoulos

Computer Scientist
Helen co-founded the University of Toronto's Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab “DCSIL” in 2015, an incubator and accelerator for early-stage startups in Canada. DCSIL’s startups focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, AR/VR and cybersecurity technologies, Helen works with these teams on their strategy, growth, industry relationships, and UX areas of their ventures. She is directing efforts at DCSIL to foster innovation and commercialization through entrepreneurship programs, curating talent development, supporting tech transfer and increasing industry collaborations. She is a lecturer at the University of Toronto, in the Department of Computer Science (St.George campus) and Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences (Scarborough Campus), where she teaches product development, UX, lean startup methodologies, rapid prototyping, entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth strategy.

Jay Pooley

Production designer & Architect
Trained as an architect and finished as a carpenter, Jay Pooley is a production designer who knows how to build a dream. Defined by rigorous conceptualization and backed by a fearless technical prowess, Jay has begun to redraw the edge of what can be captured in a moving image. Educated in Halifax, Los Angeles and New York City, mentors include Brian MacKay-Lyons, Barton Myers, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Jay studied scenography followed by a Master of Architecture, both at Dalhousie University where he received the Governor’s Medal. Jay is currently an Instructor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture.

Jeremy Wang

Engineer, Entrepreneur
Jeremy Wang is the Chief Technology Officer and R&D Founder of The Sky Guys, a leading Canadian drone operator and manufacturer for safety-critical industrial and government applications. Jeremy’s foray into aerospace engineering began in high school as a research assistant on computer vision collision avoidance. He has since spent the past five years in technical and leadership roles in design teams, universities, and accelerators, serving more than 10 drone, rocket, and satellite projects and helping raise upwards of $40M in funding along the way. In 2016, Jeremy was selected as one of Canada’s Next 36 highest potential young entrepreneurs, and in 2018, he was named one of Tomorrow’s Aerospace Engineering Leaders by Aviation Week and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.

John Vervaeke

Cognitive Scientist
Dr. Vervaeke has been teaching at the University of Toronto since 1994. He currently teaches in the Cognitive Science program, the Psychology department, and the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program. He has won and been nominated for several teaching awards including the 2001 Students’ Administrative Council and Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students Teaching Award for the Humanities, and the 2012 Ranjini Ghosh Excellence in Teaching Award. His most recent publications include Relevance Realization the Emerging Framework in Cognitive Science (2012) with Tim Lillicrap and Blake Richards, and a forthcoming chapter entitled Relevance, Meaning, and the Cognitive Science of Wisdom with Leo Ferraro. His research interests are relevance realization, insight problem solving, general intelligence, consciousness, mindfulness, rationality, and wisdom.

Khaled Almilaji

Doctor, activist
Syrian Doctor

Kona Williams

Forensic Pathologist
Kona Williams (born ca 1978) is a forensic pathologist, the first First Nations person in that profession in Canada.[1] The daughter of Gordon Williams, a Cree from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, and Karen Jacobs-Williams, a Mohawk from Kahnawake, she was born in Ottawa. She studied medicine at the University of Ottawa, received her M.D. in 2009, and spent five more years as an anatomical pathology resident there. She continued with a post-graduate fellowship in the department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the University of Toronto. In 2016, she was hired by the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, which provides pathology services for the Ontario police forces

Matt Russo

Astronomer & Educator
A planetarium operator at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics and an astronomy professor at Seneca College, Matt recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics where he developed models to help understand the inner workings of planet-forming disks. In May 2017, Matt launched a project called SYSTEM Sounds which converts the rhythm and harmony of astronomy into music and sound. Their first target was the recently discovered TRAPPIST-1 system which hosts 7 Earth-sized planets, some with the potential to support life. The extraordinary pattern of resonances in TRAPPIST-1 leads to a remarkably musical result. Their work was featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, on BBC Radio 6, and on CBC's Quirks and Quarks.

Sabrina Cruz

Sabrina Cruz is the creator behind the Youtube channel NerdyAndQuirky. Her subscribers are treated to a mix of pop and nerd culture commentary, comedic life accounts, and her awesome "Cool History" series. You can find more of her online work at Crash Course Kids, Snarled, and Vidcon. Lastly, Sabrina is a Schulich Leader at UofT, where she studies Math.

Sasha Weiditch

Sasha is a PhD Candidate, science communicator and digital content creator. Her research focuses on studying how proteins can regulate the mechanism of bacteriophage assembly. Bacteriophage are viruses that are specific to bacteria, meaning that if we can find a way to use them effectively, phage can work to kill bad bacteria that harm human health. Sasha uses techniques to look at the intricate workings of a molecule: how a protein folds, what it binds to, the temperature it works at and so much more are tiny details that can have a large impact. Sasha is aware of the challenges that women face in pursuing scientific careers. Thus, through her social media pages, she shares her passion for engaging in and advocating for Women in STEM. Her goal is to promote science to girls, by sharing her experiences and engaging with excellent female scientists (PhDenomenal PhDemales) which demonstrate that science is cool and science is for everyone!

Syrus Marcus Ware

Artist & Activist
Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. For 12 years, he was the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program. Syrus is currently a facilitator/designer for the Cultural Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council & The Banff Centre). He is the inaugural artist-in-residence for Daniels Spectrum (2016/2017). Syrus is also a core-team member of Black Lives Matter Toronto. As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression. Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race. His work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Gladstone Hotel, ASpace Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, SPIN Gallery and other galleries across Canada.

Ulrich Krull

Biological and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Krull is a professor of analytical chemistry at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). He holds the endowed AstraZeneca Chair in Biotechnology. He presently serves as Vice-President of the University of Toronto, and as the Principal of the UTM campus. He has also held the positions of Dean of Science, Vice-Principal: Research, and Vice-Principal: Special Initiatives. His research work explores biosensors, bioassays, microfluidics and nanomaterials, to create technology with applications in clinical/medical, forensic, agricultural and environmental areas.

Organizing team




Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Abbas Godhrawala
  • Aida Mohammad
  • Anjeola Salami
  • Annie Xu
  • Annie Long
  • Audrey Huang
  • Benjamin Levy
  • Emily Sau
  • Eric Chen
  • Farah Michel
  • Kristy Cheung
  • Linwen Huang
  • Marissa Uli
  • Noel Yuen
  • Pedro Lima
  • Pierre Roquet
    Post production
  • Raluca Petrut
  • Talha Naeem