x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Designing Tomorrow

This event occurred on
February 9, 2019
Toronto, Ontario

TEDxDonMills is a community-centric TEDx event. It is a platform, a stage, a venue for dialogue, ideas, and passions; it is a catalyst for change, action, and inspiration. On Saturday, February 9, 2019, we bring our first event at the world renowned Aga Khan Museum with the theme of Designing Tomorrow.

If we look at our world today we can see that we find ourselves in the midst of rapid change and development. This can be seen in, but is not limited to, our technological and scientific advancements, demographic and generational changes, shifts in societies and what is expected of them, and so on.

Designing Tomorrow acknowledges that our tomorrow is a direct reflection and response of our present, and as we move through this journey of the human condition, each one of us has a hand in what that future will look like. As Jason Silva shared in his 2012 TED Global talk, “what imagination does is it allows us to conceive of delightful future possibilities, pick the most amazing one and pull the present forward to meet it.”

The conception of this amazing tomorrow is only possible when we are able to bring together various people, perspectives, voices and paths to explore what their ideal future looks like. What better place to hold this conversation than in one of the most multicultural cities in the world. With greater awareness we can see that ideas, beliefs, innovations and art do not take hold in a vacuum, but rather we need one another to move forward.

Visit us on or follow TEDxDonMills on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

Aga Khan Museum
77 Wynford Drive
Toronto, Ontario, M3C 1K1
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Don­Mills events


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

Adam Nanjee

Adam is an avid technologist, futurist, innovator and presently Managing Director for Canada at Microsoft for Startups. As an executive and leader at various technology startups and Fortune 500 companies, Adam founded and built Canada's first dedicated financial technology and innovations startup vertical at MaRS Discovery District. Adam has traveled the globe scouting the top cities, talent pools and companies who will lead in innovation, and has been involved in government innovation missions around the world, including Hong Kong, Brazil, Israel, London and Portugal.

Alan Smithson

Alan is a virtual and augmented reality expert, author, inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, investor, inventor and proud dad. He is the CEO of MetaVRse a VR/AR company. Alan's personal mission is, “To inspire and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs to think and act in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible way”. His talk will reshape how you achieve success in a mind-blowing way.

Alastair Luft

Alastair is a 20-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and author of The Battle Within, a novel about a Canadian soldier struggling to come to terms with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Over the course of his military career, which includes nearly 3 years of service in Afghanistan, Alastair gained first-hand experience with violence, hardship, and resilience, and these ideas have formed the foundation of his creative work. Alastair’s talk will challenge us to reconsider what it means to be a warrior.

Ayaan Esmail

Ayaan is a 14-year-old genomics and nanotechnology enthusiast, as well as a young cancer researcher and pharmacogeneticist. He is a The Knowledge Society (TKS) Innovator with a passion for and an unwavering dedication to the advancement of research in the field of medicine and its intersection with technology. His talk is impactful to the community and our future and will inspire and educate.

Caroline Riseboro

Caroline is the President and CEO of Plan International Canada and Canada’s Most Powerful Woman Top 100 Award Winner 2017 & 2018. She has been an active community member and a member of several non-profit boards. As the youngest person to ever lead a major Canadian charity, Caroline is a passionate advocate for gender equality and is recognized for her commitment to tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues. Her talk will feature a relevant topic for today both locally and globally.

Farah Nasser

Farah is an award-winning journalist and anchor on Global News. She has been covering relevant and significant stories for nearly two decades and now brings a personal yet widely relatable story to the TEDxDonMills stage. Farah will challenge us to think differently through the lens of pluralism and the power of gaining knowledge about others.

Kehkashan Basu

Kehkashan is an 18-year-old Founder President of global youth sustainability organisation, Green Hope Foundation, which engages and empowers children and youth using education for sustainable development as a transformative tool. Her work on children's rights, gender equality, environmental conservation and sustainability has directly impacted over 15,000 children and youth across 20 countries. She is the recipient of 2016 International Children's Peace Prize and a United Nations Human Rights Champion, as well as one of Canada's Top 25 Women of Influence and Toronto's Top 8 Women Changemakers. Kehkeshan's talk will push you to act on an important topic facing our global community.

Lawrence Eta

Lawrence is the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the City of Toronto, a non-profit board member, and an immigrant to Canada after living in four other countries across three continents. He has a compelling perspective on redefining what community means to all of us.

Mandy Rennehan

Mandy, the Blue-Collar CEO™, is refreshing and (respectfully) uncensored. She is a top entrepreneur and recipient of numerous awards including the Toronto Region Board of Trade Business Leader of the Year, Growth 500 Excellence in Innovation, WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women – Hall of Fame and Top 25 Woman of Influence. She brings a fresh perspective to designing for tomorrow, challenging current perceptions of the future.

Navid Nathoo

Navid is the co-founder of The Knowledge Society (TKS), a human accelerator that aims to develop the potential of young innovators to successfully impact tomorrow’s world by exposing them to problem-solving across varying disciplines of technology. He has also been a founder and CEO of a cloud security company and been involved in leading start-up organizations and accelerators. He will bring you a topic that will have you thinking about humans and education in a whole new way.

Nouman Ashraf

Nouman is an Assistant Professor at Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and has held a variety of impactful roles such as the Director of the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office at University of Toronto. His accomplishments include extending the Rotman School's imprint in the area of Not for Profit and Public Sector organizational governance and leadership. Nouman lives in the Don Mills community and is committed to its continued growth and success. His talk will dive deep into one of his passions and research areas that is widely relatable and important to organizations and communities today.

Paula Kwan

Paula is the Director of Civic Innovation at the City of Toronto with grant funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Prior to her role in public service, Paula’s experience provided her with a front row seat to innovation in Toronto and Silicon Valley with a number of successful startups in the software industry. Now, at the intersection of civic innovation and public service, and a global dialogue on Smart Cities, her talk will bring a different perspective to this topic of growing importance in designing tomorrow.

Organizing team


Toronto, ON, Canada