Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Trying For TEDx

I wasn't actually sure if I would blog about this experience, but I decided in the end I would because it is tied to an event definitely worth promoting. The funny thing is that I never even attended this event last year, missing it because I was in Vancouver, and I had to experience it vicariously through the tweets and texts of friends, and eventually through the YouTube videos. This year, though, I decided to audition for the event, and regardless of how my audition went I plan to attend, because I am quite excited about the entire concept. That event, that concept, that idea? The Fort McMurray TEDx on June 8th, 2013.

Maybe you aren't familiar with the so-called "TED" events, but it is an idea that has taken the world by storm. The entire concept is that these are events based around "ideas worth spreading". These ideas are shared by those who have a passion - for technology, entertainment, or design, and usually shared through a talk designed to inspire, provoke, and create change. Last year a group of local individuals brought TEDx (sort of a mini-TED event) to Fort McMurray - and the impact was profound.

I spoke to several people who attended TEDx Fort McMurray last year, and the impact the experience had on them was clear. And it wasn't just the photos of them all holding the adorable little red X that were floating around after the event, or the photos of them with the giant red X, either. It was that they had been exposed to a series of talks that were all unique and yet tied together by a common theme, a common theme that wove them into a cohesive whole. It was a day of ideas worth sharing, and those who heard those ideas then went on to share them with others who had not been able to attend, like me.

This year when they announced TEDx I gave the whole thing some serious consideration. I knew I would attend, but the real question was this - would I audition?

You see I am a bit afraid of public speaking. It is so easy for me to write, but to stand in front of an audience is difficult for me. But I also decided that I had an idea, and one that I think is truly worth sharing.

And that is how I ended up in front of a group of people who are determining who will deliver TEDx presentations this year. I won't share what I shared with them, and I won't say how it went except to say that it was an honour and pleasure to even have the opportunity to audition. Regardless of whether or not I am accepted to present I think the fact that I was able to do it at all is remarkable. In fact I believe that having a TEDx event here at all is pretty damn remarkable, because this is a community full of ideas worth sharing. One of my greatest joys in the course of this blog has been meeting people and having them share their thoughts and ideas with me. They have shared their histories, their stories, their dreams, and their aspirations. And every single time I have found something that has impacted me, and every single story and idea has changed me, even in some small way.

Perhaps that is why I am so excited about TEDx Fort McMurray. Whether or not I am chosen to present I will relish the entire experience, because it will be a life changing day. Those who attend will hear ideas that will inspire, provoke, and create change. They will hear ideas worth sharing, and those ideas may well change their life. To be honest simply the experience of auditioning to participate - thinking about my idea worth sharing, how I wanted to share it, and then sharing it in a small room with a few people - has already changed mine. And just for that I will be forever grateful.

Want to attend TEDx Fort McMurray 2013
"Shift in Thought"?


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