x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Small Town, Big Ideas

This event occurred on
February 13, 2014
1:00pm - 8:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Chatham, Ontario

Every day we are presented with new ideas that are changing how we work, how we raise our families, the communities we live in, and the way we perceive the world around us. Advances in technology and in thinking are causing massive change in the world.

These ideas are born from the minds of innovative people from all walks of life. Many of these world-changing ideas come from people in the most unlikely of places. Small towns. For an idea to be good, to be life-changing, doesn’t require being surrounded by a critical mass of people. Great ideas find a way to spread in spite of their surroundings. They connect people regardless of where they originate and grow to global scale. They can come from an artist, an engineer, a doctor, or a politician. They can start with a mother, a daughter, or a friend.

Quite often, the best ideas originate from a small town. Disconnected from the hustle of the metropolis, a small town provides the benefit of filtering out the noise. Ideas that could be drowned out in the noise of the crowd and never see the light of day are given the ability to be nurtured and flourish before being unleashed on the world.

Where these great ideas begin is not important. Where they end up is incredible.

John D Bradley Convention Centre
565 Richmond Street
Chatham, Ontario, N7M 1R2
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Andrew Faas

Andrew Faas is the author of The Bully’s Trap, and an expert on how organizations can develop and establish psychologically safe workplaces and environments for workers. His first book The Bully’s Trap looks at the impacts of workplace bullying, and provides answers about how it can be prevented and stopped.

Anthony Cheam

My name is Anthony Cheam and I’m a Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Motivational Speaker. I started out my career 14 years ago as a Personal Trainer who was inspired to help those achieve optimal fitness. I know how amazingly beneficial it is to be physically fit and I wanted to share that with other people through the wisdom and experience I have gained. I really am passionate about this area of life as it gives me so much joy, confidence and energy. To this day, I continue to guide and train many individuals and groups to maximizing gains in their exercise routines.

Bob Kerr

Bob has farmed on the edge of Chatham since 1971. The family business was started by his father, Lawrence Kerr in 1934. He is a graduate of the University of Guelph, BSc(Agr), 1968; and the Harvard Business School, MBA, 1970. He is the past president of the Ontario Cattlemens’ Association, 1993 and Agriculture Innovator of the Year, 2004.

Brian Aspinall

Geek. Dork. Teacher. Coach. Entrepreneur. Speaker. During the day I am an elementary school teacher currently teaching grade 8. I am also the technology coach within the school. My latest web project is edmettle, a social network and feedback management tool for teachers and students. I am also busy working on nkwiry - a social bookmarking site for schools.It allows students to explore, learn, gather & share resources with everyone in the class, no student sign up required!

Brian French

By day Brian is the humble Communications Training Supervisor with Chatham-Kent 911 / Police & Fire Communications Centre. By night he is a fearless digital media producer, video editor, and frequent insomniac. He is desperately trying to convince his friends that he knows something about user interface design for database applications but they don't believe him and probably never will. In a previous life Brian was employed by CTV News as a Graphic Designer and then a Videographer covering Southwestern Ontario. He splits his time between his family cottage inside Rondeau Provincial Park and his house in Chatham (which looks like a well-stocked Apple Store). Brian is thrilled to be invited to speak at TEDx this year.

David Kranenburg

Dave was raised in a military family traversing Canada every two years as a child. It’s how he honed his skills at marching to a different beat, which he later perfected at the University of Guelph. After six years of dabbling in everything, his marching was rewarded with a BSc in Zoology and a BA in Criminal Justice and Public Policy. So naturally he took this wealth of knowledge to work for a food charity, Meal Exchange. Before he knew a thing about budgets and grant proposals he found himself in Montreal for a series of meetings between social entrepreneurs called “Applied dissemination and sustaining social innovation.” He was hooked, and continued traversing the country, now to bang the drum of social innovation on university campuses. He has served as advisor, mentor, treasurer and supporter for food, technology, youth, environment and international development start-ups across the country, and is happy that his nomadic life has come to a stop in Toronto at CSI.

Elizabeth Sunnen

Elizabeth Downey-Sunnen spent her life searching for kindness in others only to find kindness begins within. This search has lead her to far off lands, teaching in France, the United States and Canada from Kindergarten to AP and all points in between. She has her masters in Education and spends her time between the classroom, her incredibly strong husband, their amazingly brilliant children and their eager-to-learn-but-not-as-bright pets. You can read her parenting blog at Does Coffee Come in 'Bucket' Size? or just hang out with her on Facebook or Instagram.

Jason Hall

Jason Hall, of Detroit, Michigan, co-founded possibly the largest weekly bike ride in the US. Apple noticed too! Jason and Slow Roll were featured in a Recent Apple iPad ad.

Jennifer Kranenburg

Bio pending.

Jennifer Pate

Bio pending.

Kerry Taylor

I started Squawkfox in 2008 as a financially fun newsletter for friends and have since been voted Canada’s Top Money Blogger by The Globe and Mail readership. Much of my traffic is from the United States, but I have readers around the world. I currently live in Toronto, Ontario where I just moved from an organic farm in rural British Columbia. I’ve also called Vancouver and Ottawa home. Carl is my husband. Chloe is my 2 year old daughter. Pivo is my dog. Our family budget is awesome.

Michael Schatte

Schatte is something of a unique phenomenon. From a very early age, he developed a passion for a wide variety of musical styles including blues, rock, pop, bluegrass, traditional Irish and Scottish music and others. This broad musical appreciation combined with his instrumental versatility (in addition to the guitar, Schatte plays mandolin, violin, and a host of other instruments on his albums) allows him to cross conventional genre boundaries with remarkable ease. A respected and fiery guitarist, Schatte has been compared to world-class players decades his senior.

Paul Spence

Raised on a family farm in Chatham Kent, Paul Spence attended public and high school in Ridgetown. He left for University of Guelph to study agriculture never to return to Chatham Kent. While he lived and worked in Guelph area for 10 years after graduating from university he came kicking and screaming back to Chatham Kent roughly 10 years ago and now resides here with his wife Sara, who immigrated from Ecuador, and their two children, Joah and Vivien.

Roseanne Baker

Bio pending.

Shawn Rhodes

Shawn Rhodes is an internationally-recognized business strategy professional. and one of the top 20 public speakers in the world, according to Toastmasters International. He works with companies to engage their people, ignite employee passion and turn that into profit. He’s also an award-winning war correspondent, achieving the highest recognition from the United States Marine Corps for combat reporting. Responsible for creating communication campaigns from the most dangerous places on Earth, Shawn advised leadership in the Department Of Defense on communication strategy from more than two dozen countries. As a business strategy professional, Shawn works with organizations around the world.

Will Trigo Ebere

Will Trigo Ebere is an 11 year old soprano. Will is fluent in English, French, and Portuguese. His working languages include Italian, Latin, and German. Will’s passion for opera has taken him to Toronto to perform in La Boheme, the Canadian premiere of Dvorzak's Jakobin, and the lead in Amahl and the Night Visitors.Will has been fortunate to have performed at many art shows and fundraisers from Windsor to the historic Distillery District in Toronto. Will is very grateful to have performed on two occasions with The Tenors; most recently at Caesars Windsor while filming their PBS special. Will began voice lessons at the age of 8 and is currently studying under soprano Erin Armstrong.

Organizing team


  • Peter Martin
    Event Organizer
  • John Lyons
    Event Organizer