That saying defined the TEDxWinnipeg atmosphere this year, demonstrating the momentum that one simple idea can produce when harnessed with the right enthusiasm. Whether it’s in the arts, economics, social innovation, Indigenous culture, business development, urban exploration or the plethora of topics that have come forth on the TEDxWinnipeg stage, the “forward think” mindset is the stimulus that can take one single idea and help it bloom into a way of life.
An innovative ideology was a clear linkage amongst the 14 presenters at this year’s event. These Manitobans brought forward their imaginative ways to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges including ways to provide a sense of home for refugee populations, improve access to energy around the world, achieve incredibly difficult personal goals, and break barriers related to age, gender and religion.
In perfect tech fashion, TEDxWinnipeg provided a digital viewing option of the event by hosting a Livestream feed, giving groups across the province the chance to take part. In case you missed it, the Livestream is also available for replay here.
Tatjana Brkic: Social Innovation in Business
Finding ways to profitably implement social innovation in business is a driving force for Tatjana Brkic. As an instructor at Red River College, Tatjana leads applied business research initiatives with her passions deeply rooted in finding ways to address social challenges for the small and medium-sized business world.
Social innovation includes working with new generations of businesspeople, and youth entrepreneurs today are thinking about work very differently from their predecessors. They are often more mindful and increasingly interested in businesses that are socially innovative. In turn, companies are not only becoming aware of the impact their business has on the community, but what impact the other companies they choose to buy from have, too. This business ecosystem has an astounding impact on the communities surrounding them.
Tatjana is evidence that a post-secondary instructor’s commitment to classroom innovation can make a dramatic difference, and this has earned her a prestigious honour from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).
Ryan Mayberry: The Future History of Art
Ryan Mayberry is saving the stories of art by helping artists, past and present, protect their creative pieces.
His aim — to simplify the process of documenting art — is a vision spurred from his observation that we can track the movement of goods around the world. Once a creation leaves a visual artist’s hands, they have very limited ability to protect their work, let alone have any real influence on how their artwork is used. Every work of art has a story behind it — and by adopting some simple tools into their process, artists can become the custodian of these stories, as Ryan detailed in his talk.
As the founder of ArtMoi, Ryan’s experience as an art dealer, software engineer and second-generation owner of Mayberry Fine Art have led him to save the stories that art can tell.
Andrea Kraj: Smart Cities Begin With You
“Powered” by a passion for community renewable energy, Andrea Kraj became an advocate for smart cities, smart grids, remote power systems, energy policy and sustainability. While working on her Ph.D. in Brazil, she witnessed power blackouts that impacted an entire city and population, and knew that something needed to change drastically.
She dreamed of a solution to leverage a community’s local resources to generate clean, renewable and cost-effective energy for everyone — even including remote islands and those areas using diesel generators to produce energy. Andrea explained how a connected grid is the future for us all, and that energy must be considered a long-term investment.
With 20% of the planet still without access to energy and remote locations paying up to 37 times higher for energy than urban centres, Andrea’s ideas can make a massive positive impact on the world. Her business, Core Renewable Energy, is aiming to become a world leader in solving some of the critical energy issues facing communities.
Alyson Shane: The Positive Power of Digital Communities
Growing up at a time when connecting was difficult, both online and offline, Alyson Shane found a new support network in the digital world. This network became a place of positive emotional support and opened her up to bright possibilities ahead. Now, she has leveraged those experiences to bring her connections closer every day by building a business around the constructive experiences and relationships developed online.
Referring to digital communities like DeviantArt and FanFiction.net, where Alyson encountered like-minds, she reflects on their importance to her personal and professional growth. “In a time where we spend so much of our time online, it’s only natural that we would start to form digital communities around our shared interests and experiences.” Running her own business called Starling Social, Alyson now specializes in social media management and copywriting (content marketing) designed to help clients tell their stories and connect with their customers.
Alyson reflected on why she became involved in TEDxWinnipeg and the importance of such events: “I’ve been a TEDxWinnipeg attendee for the last several years, and I have seen the importance of events like these for small and medium-sized businesses in the province. TEDxWinnipeg is not only a great opportunity to come up with innovative new ideas, but it’s also a terrific opportunity to meet like-minded, creative people. I’ve met new friends and clients at past TEDxWinnipeg events, and encourage you not only to apply and share your “idea worth spreading,” but also to attend and meet other like-minded individuals in our city and community.”
How TEDxWinnipeg breeds innovation
Involvement in TEDxWinnipeg is an investment in your own community, according to Nicole Jensen, Chair of TEDxWinnipeg. “For us, 2017 means growth. Growth means change. Change has meant larger promises, larger expectations, larger fears. It has meant that we take that giant leap out of our comfort zone and try something new. While this terrifies me on most levels, on others it gives us all hope and feeds excitement.”
Born out of the desire to support independent organizers and communities, TEDx events around the world strive to continue in the spirit of TED’s mission: “Ideas worth spreading.” As a volunteer-run non-profit organization, TEDxWinnipeg has been running this one-day annual event since February 2011. Now with 100 speakers having graced the TEDxWinnipeg stage since its inception, each one of these presentations has brought forth an idea worth spreading.
The brand’s energetic appeal can be witnessed across a spectrum of professions and communities that are forward thinking, socially connected and socially responsible. For supporting businesses, brand alignment with TEDxWinnipeg has also become a powerful tool to build awareness and reach that new talent pool of forward thinkers.
TEDxWinnipegSalon continues year-round
The TEDxWinnipeg conversations don’t stop once the stage lights have dimmed. With monthly meetups, the organization gathers to learn about new ideas from local innovators and community shakers — and you can take part.
Join the TEDxWinnipeg meetup to keep the community excitement and motivation going. Visit their meetup site link here. You can also follow TEDxWinnipeg on Twitter and keep an eye on TEDxWinnipeg.ca for future events and videos from past speakers.
A packed house at TEDxWinnipeg.
Speakers Steve Langston and Sonya Ballantyne.
Speaker Joel Carter on stage.
Speaker Joel Carter and his dad snap a selfie.
May Stapley and Marney Stapley hold the TEDx sign.