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C.T.OVERDRIVE: The TEDxYYC Connor Turner Overdrive | c.t.overdrive

The TEDxYYC

TEDxYYC 2011 Thursday March 31, 2011

Tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this) is the 2011 rendition of TEDxYYC.

TEDxYYC 2011

For those familiar with the ol’ctoverdrive, you’ll know that last year I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural TEDxYYC at Karo’s Design warehouse. And while I know there is some minor controversy with the 100 person limit and also the price of the event, I am a massive proponent of the TEDxYYC program.

Last year I saw some fantastic talks; featuring some of the best minds that Calgary has to offer. From talks on suburbanization from Chris Turner to Ben Chapman’s inspiration speech (which has been featured on the main TEDxYYC site a few times); it was an inspiring day of discussion, thought provoking innovation and some great networking. I don’t think anyone who attended last year’s event came away feeling empty handed. In fact, it almost feels as those who were able to attend where able to take the vibe of innovation and creativity with them into their own life. I know for me the TEDxYYC talk was impetus for the yycApps project and also my recent decision to volunteer with Junior Achievement DC. I know of a couple more people who took what they saw that day and became even more motivated to improve their lives and their community.

So with that, I’m actually a little disappointed that I won’t be able to attend this year. But I’ll have to opportunity of watching in the comfort of my tiny DC apartment via their online streaming channel. If you’ve got some time tomorrow, you should come along for the ride.

Categories: the-tedxyyc, The-Calgary-Vibe, The Blogosphere

TEDxYYC: Take-Aways Tuesday March 2, 2010

Alright, so I’ve had a few days to digest Friday and let everything that happened sink in. Now, it may take several more months before the true ramifications of TEDxYYC begin to surface for all that attended. But as we wait for those gears to spin here’s my initial feelings on the first TEDxYYC.

cto & TEDxYYC

First and foremost, TEDxYYC was a fabulous event. To the committee that put it on, you did a fantastic job. It was professionally organized and the attention to detail was impeccable. From the general vibe to the gorgeous art work from Kid Bello; it was a one of a kind event for this city. So thank you for letting me participate, I’m extremely grateful.

Anyways, I digress. Much will be said on blogs about the eight speakers at TEDxYYC and other details surrounding the day, so I’ll leave that up to them. What I want to talk about is the overall impact of the event. There’s no better way to describe what TEDxYYC was truly about then to leverage, my furry little thespian friend Wil Knoll, who summed the vibe of the event in these words.

Each one of the speakers today struck a different chord with a different attendee. And that’s why this was a beautiful day.

And he’s absolutely right. (and he yes, actually talks like that.. I’m kidding buddy)

You’ll probably hear about the astonishing demonstration of 18 year old wunderkid Eden Full and her solar-powered bamboo sticks of power or the passionate talk from Ben Chapman about the importance of the Arts. Or you’ll hear about John Manzo’s intriguing look at Calgary’s 3rd wave coffee culture and what it means to the growth of culture in the city. Or you’ll hear the new urbanists all wax poetic about Chris Turner’s (epic name and initials by the way) analysis of our crumbling urban lifestyle.

Each one of these talks struck a chord with a different attendee and that was the beauty of TEDxYYC and the take-away.

But the one talk that struck a chord with me was Rick Castiglione’s.

Calgarians will know Rick from the glory days of 2&7. Many Calgarians will also wonder, like I did, what happened to Rick. He used to grace our evening news every night for 15 years and then he was gone. Gone like a puff of smoke.

Well, it turns out the Rick has been doing fine. Just before the corporate conglomerates got a hold of our treasured networks, he decided to do something different. To go back to the roots of story telling. Instead of toil away at 12 second soundbites, Rick has spent the past few years teaching the next wave of journalists and also telling stories from around the world. From Africa to Belize to South America to remote reservations in our own backyard; Rick has been telling stories through personally (and sometimes privately) funded documentaries.

For a foolish serial entrepreneur like myself, with more great ideas than anything, Rick’s decision to follow his passion was the perfect elixir at the perfect time. Someone who on the outside looked like they had it made in the shade, was able to walk away and follow their passions. For someone like myself, if he, at the height of their career was able to do this, then so can I.

For me that was my take-away.

For everyone else in attendance, there were different take-aways.

Stories are still alive and the ability to do something you care about is still alive. Each of these speakers is able to survive and excel in something. But it’s something they believe in. From Lorrie Matheson to Eden Full, we can all follow our passions.

We just have to decide to do it.

That right there was the beauty of TEDxYYC and I have a feeling it’ll be the launching pad for further passions and even better ideas.

If you’re interested in the TEDxYYC event you can watch some of the talks on BNETtv’s site, including Ben Chapman’s enthralling talk (which is embedded below).

(You can also watch an additional interview with Rick below)

Categories: The-Calgary-Vibe, the-tedxyyc,