On Sun. Nov 25th, the TEDxRU conference was held in the new Mattamy Athletic Centre. In many ways, this was one pretty cool event – a full day of esteemed speakers from various fields speaking to about 500 attendees (students, staff, faculty, and community members)…all on top the ice of the hockey rink. Definitely an experience. I once had a teacher from high school who would open a window in the middle of a Toronto winter day because he said it would keep us alert. If that’s the case, then there definitely wasn’t any need for caffeine at this conference!
The theme of the conference was “ACT: Be the action that provokes a reaction…” Among the fourteen-some speakers, the most memorable for me were:
1) Nam Kiwanuka, former Much Music VJ and Malaria Bites Campaign ambassador, who talked about her life growing up in a refugee camp in Kenya and immigrating to Canada.
2) Mitchell Kosny and Arne Kislenko (professors of urban & regional planning and history, respectively), for their candid talks about leadership and change management
3) President Levy and Teriano Lesancha (first person in her Massai village to complete a post-secondary education degree), on travelling to Teriano’s village to officiate a special convocation ceremony and the positive impact of her story in raising support for education in her community.
All in all, the day was valuable and unique learning experience. Participants hopefully left with much food for thought and inspiration to act on their passions and influence change. I was happy to share the experience with colleagues and some of our student staff, and was happy to see that some of our residents were also in attendance. Looking forward to next year’s conference!
Dan Cantiller, Academic Link Facilitator