Perspective: What TED Won’t Tell You About TEDxUW

DSC_0396I’m writing to you guys in a hurried frenzy during my short stop at home before leaving for the TEDxUW afterparty. There’s a pot of coffee brewing to take away my headache because after a day like that, there’s no way to not succumb to the wealth and size of what my brain took in. But I’m going to try anyway.

To be clear, this is not a summary of TEDxUW. There was a live feed for that and no doubt within a few days there will be a series of new talks uploaded to Ted’s website that you can watch in good quality.

But I want to share my experience with you. To share the side of TEDxUW you will have otherwise not seen. This will be a short list, and this post will most likely be updated a million times (I’ll post a count at the bottom) to reflect the fact that I have ten minutes to write this before I’m off to celebrate with the TEDxUW team and the speakers and everyone for their awesomeness.

  1. The magic was in between the talks. Yes, the talks were great (!!) and yes, I was moved to silent tears when Michael Bociurkiw [ed. note: 100 Cups of Coffee interview with Michael can be found here] shared that the nature of his work meant he had to learn of the loss of his mother alone in a room in Sudan. But as the day progressed and we had time to hang out between Ted Talks (because you can’t go all day without a few breaks) we realized that the power of TEDxUW – and any TED event for that matter – is in the time between the talks. It’s when the really valuable conversations happened.
  2. There were no lines. Between talks there were conversational breaks. And by that I mean all the boundaries between speakers, speakers’ parents, organizers, delegates, guests, performers did not exist. I had the pleasure of speaking with a few CEOs, disruptive leaders, brilliant minds, and most importantly, my fellow classmates.
  3. Inclusivity was the new black. Maybe it’s because we just had a phenomenal group of people there or because TEDxUW’s theme was collaboration or just because I don’t know, but everybody was incredibly welcoming. I can’t tell you how many conversations I came in on as a stranger and felt like a part of the family. And I mean that literally because I had a few colourfully meaningful conversations with speakers’ spouses and parents.
  4. Friendship happened. I don’t think anybody walking around campus will hesitate to say “hey didn’t I see you at TEDxUW?”
  5. The collaborations that came from it were oh. my. god. I personally walked out of the event with a handful of contact cards that I will cherish and treasure and make count. I dare you to imagine how awesome this is going to be. [ed. note: so far collaborations include an interview with Sabrina Rubli, Jagneet Singh, Michael Bociurkiw, Dave Farrow]

I don’t have much more time right now but know that there will be followup posts, comments on the talks from an insider’s perspective, and so so much more. In the meantime, enjoy the photos! Oh, and also, if you’re curious about TEDxUW just know that I have PAGES of notes on the day and the talks that I’d be happy to share. All you have to do is message me through Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Whatever and I’ll be happy to meet you for coffee and a chat. #ImSerious


Paris, you were on our minds and conversations. You have a place in this post and my heart.

Arran Stephens, Nature Path's CEO, sharing some of his delicious product.

Arran Stephens, Nature Path’s CEO, sharing some of his delicious product.

This is what I meant by no lines. There were literally none because when Nature's Path's CEO tells you "you can't have just one" then you're going to much your heart out.

This is what I meant by no lines. There were literally none because when Nature’s Path’s CEO tells you “you can’t have just one” then you’re going to munch your heart out.


Ishani, who was on the guest experience team, probably came up with this brilliant polaroid schtick. Um, amazing. So much fun.


Jagneet Singh (speaker, middle, phenomenal) and the amazing people. Thanks, Faiz.


Very blogger of me, yes, but it speaks to the hard work of the organizers though. Everything down to the tee.

Yes. Yes there were therapy dogs.

Yes. Yes there were therapy dogs. Cue the cuddles.


Some of my notes. I’m serious though, if you message me we will set up a coffee sit-down (100 Cups of Coffee style) and chat about it.



That’s all for now everyone. Thanks for tuning in and I hope to talk to you soon! I’m off.


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