Beedie alumni join VANOC, VPD CEOs to share ideas at TEDxSFU

Oct 26, 2011

Sam Thiara, Student Engagement Manager at SFU’s Beedie School of Business, is slated to speak at the upcoming TEDxSFU, the first event of its kind hosted at Simon Fraser University. Thiara, who is also an alumnus of the business school, will be joined by fellow BBA alumnus Shawn Smith, who is co-founder of Global Agents for Change and an instructor of social entrepreneurship at the Beedie School.

The TEDxSFU organizing committee is also pleased to announce that John Furlong, CEO, Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and Vancouver Police Department Chief Jim Chu will be speaking at the inaugural event on Saturday November 26, 2011.

Mr. Furlong and Chief Chu will join the extraordinary collection of gifted storytellers to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TEDxSFU is an independently organized event licensed by TED.

Hosted at Westminster Savings Theatre at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus, speakers will immerse attendees in lively conversations surrounding the main theme of the event, Community Engagement. Throughout the day attendees will have the opportunity to network, connect and collaborate with one another.

“Community engagement can be interpreted in many different ways and we are so thrilled to have two renowned leaders from our own backyard offering their unique perspectives on this theme to the world.” said Michael Cheng, TEDxSFU Founder and Licensee.

The speaker lineup will also feature other leading thinkers in the realm of community engagement, including Colleen Hardwick, Founder and CEO of and 10-year old Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Sliammon First Nation.

There will be a limited number of event tickets available and applications are currently being accepted. For those unable to attend in person, TEDxSFU will also be streamed live via LiveStream.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world- changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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