x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Way Forward

This event occurred on
November 6, 2021
Vancouver, British Columbia

We’re all on a journey moving forward towards the future and always in search of the right way. Our lives are full of lessons and inescapable change, and our world keeps evolving in ways we may not always anticipate. As we are preparing for yet another change, we asked ourselves, how do we move forward from here? What have we learned and what do we still need to learn?

Our theme and the diverse backgrounds of our speakers will inspire talks that help Illuminate the way forward and open our eyes to the possibilities of where we need to be.

Langara College
100 W 49th Ave
Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Y 2Z6
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Langara­College events


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

Anthony Virdo

Student Engagement Officer
Early in his adult life Tony suffered from depression and panic attacks to the point of fainting due to anxiety. Curious and introverted by nature, Tony searched inward for clarity over many years to better understand his behaviors and emotions to their maximum depth in the hopes of overcoming them. Part of this journey was to understand himself through studying psychology. He attended Langara College and SFU, graduating from SFU in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree. Tony also practiced socializing to test his insights and identify his growth which came in time. A placard at SFU summarized Tony’s journey best: “A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” -Khalil Gibran. It is hard to recognize the Tony today with his former self. The lessons learned through his process have become core to his life which he passionately shares, and Tony brings this same process of growth to his coaching style as a Student Engagement Officer at Langara College.

CJ Calvert

Professional speaker and author
CJ Calvert is a corporate speaker and author of Bouncing Back Through COVID-19: Overcoming Burnout a Year into the Pandemic, and Living an Exceptional LIFE. He has authored dozens of wellness seminars for Lifeworks, Canada’s largest EAP, that are delivered to thousands of employees daily across North America. For the last 20 years, CJ has spoken before over 5,000 business audiences across North America, sharing his story of overcoming professional burnout, helping people create and implement powerful strategies at home and work to live an exceptional life. CJ speaks on a near-daily basis before world-class organizations such as IBM, BMO, and Sick Kids Hospital. As the 2020 pandemic turned our lives upside down, CJ worked with organizations to help their staff manage pandemic burnout. In his spare time, he is an award-winning amateur bodybuilder, enjoys symphony composition, and playing the piano. He makes his home outside of Toronto with his amazing wife and son.

Colin Mills

Geographer, Educator and Artist
Colin is a Geographer, Educator and Artist working in Vancouver. As an instructor of urban and social geography Colin has focussed his career on helping students see cities, societies and the world from new perspectives. A theme through all of his teaching is seeing the interconnectedness of human and natural processes, or what he describes as “what lies between”. Colin is co-creator and coordinator of the Diploma in Applied Social Science and Humanities at Langara College. DASSH is a cross-disciplinary diploma which integrates a foundation in the social sciences and humanities with practical and applied skills and experiences. Artistically Colin has a background in photographing performance artists, and in 2013 he presented “Suspension” a show of abstract photography at Truth and Beauty Gallery in Vancouver. Colin is currently creating an image series which explores the scale and complexity of urban infrastructure.

Debra Sparrow

Musqueam weaver and multidisciplinary artist
Debra Sparrow was born and raised on the Musqueam Indian Reserve. She’s self-taught in Salish design, weaving and jewellery-making, and has been deeply involved with the revival of the Musqueam weaving tradition for more than 30 years. Her artwork is exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, YVR, the Royal BC Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, the Burke Museum in Seattle, and the Smithsonian. In 2008, she received the BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art. She also designed the logo for the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. In 2018, Debra was instrumental in creating the “Blanketing the City” mural series—a part of the Vancouver Mural Festival. For it, she created three giant murals that showcase Musqueam weaving patterns and acknowledge the visual culture of the people whose unceded territory viewers are on. She continues to create from her home in Musqueam.

Spencer Sheinin

Entrepreneurial accountant + Speaker
Spencer Sheinin, CPA, CA, has a unique background with over 15 years as an entrepreneur combined with extensive financial experience as a CPA, CA and investment banker. He’s the Founder and CEO of Shift Financial Insights, providing ridiculously simple accounting and financial insights for business on the rise and is the bestselling author of "Entreprenumbers: The Surprisingly Simple Path to Financial Clarity. As a serial entrepreneur, he owned businesses in manufacturing, construction, cold storage and Real Estate. Spencer is a former instructor for the Chartered Professional Accountants of B.C. and a guest speaker at UBC. He’s an active member of the Entrepreneurs Organization, currently serving on the Global Finance Committee and Leadership Director for Canada. He’s passionate about endurance sports and has completed several marathons, several more ultra-marathons (as far as 162 km), Iron man, distance cycling events, and most recently he completed his first marathon distance swim.

Organizing team




  • Ashima Rana
  • Camila Itchikawa
  • Diana Malynovska
    Team member
  • Doaa Thabet
  • Hieu Linh Vo
  • Manisha Kashyap
  • Marianna Rocha
    Team member
  • Milad Torfi
  • Patricia Beatrice Alonzo