On Sunday February 3rd, 2019, 500 delegates, speakers, sponsors and volunteers gathered at the Isabel Bader Centre for the annual TEDxQueensU conference. The TEDx brand is a local, self-organized affiliate of the TED conference. By bringing together curious minds within communities, TEDx promotes the discussion of remarkable ideas. Established in 2010, TEDxQueensU is attended by students and members of the Kingston community. Through a mix of TEDx talks, performances and interactive activities, delegates are able to push the limits of their imagination and ignite their dynamic thinking!
In the past, TEDxQueensU has explored themes such as “The Edge” (2018), “Piecing Together” (2015) and “Pioneers” (2012). This year, the conference was built around the theme of “Fast Forward.” This theme encouraged delegates to consider the possibilities of the future. Moreover, it challenged them to contemplate how today’s innovations will shape tomorrow’s world.
The day was split up into three speaker blocks (with breaks for discussion in between), in which a total of 12 talks were delivered. Each talk was different from the last and every speaker had a unique perspective on the theme of the day. Some highlights included talks from Tracy Schmitt, Erin Miller and Shari Hugh. Tracy is a four-way amputee who gave an inspiring and thoughtful talk about overcoming obstacles and pursuing the impossible. Erin is a professional coach who discussed the negative impacts of social media on romance and relationship. Shari is a director from the Smith School of Business who described her experience “living off the grid” for seven years.
Alongside the talks were incredible performances by the Queen’s competitive dance team, All The Queen’s Men (Queens’ original all-male a cappella group) and musician Erez Zobary. Every performance was extremely well done and provided second-to-none entertainment.
Overall, TEDxQueensU 2019 was an overwhelming success. Every aspect of the day roused new ideas, discussions and questions. As a delegate, I left feeling completely empowered and invigorated. I cannot wait to see what next year brings!