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“Fort McMurray, this is TEDx. TEDx, this is Fort McMurray.” That was the position of the Organizing Committee as we brought the inaugural TEDx event of “Sharing Our Potential” to the region in March 2012. Eleven presenters hit the stage last year and gave the “talk of their lives” to a very limited, but enthusiastic crowd of 100. While not all audience members knew what TED or TEDx was at the beginning of the day, they certainly had a flavour for it when the curtains closed!

Talks last year ranged from 14-year old Maria Fustic, who wowed the crowd with her tale of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Malaria Bites program, all the way to Kevin Scoble, RMWB Director of Environmental Services who presented a ground-breaking, zero-waste initiative where our region sees opportunity in truly using the waste this region produces as a resource.

This year, I am extremely proud of the effort the organizing committee is putting forth, and I am excited for our upcoming “Shift in Thought” event on Saturday, June 8th. I’m happy to say we’ll be at the same venue as last year, the uncompromising Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts. I’m also thrilled that this year we are no longer limited by TED to supply only 100 tickets - we can open this event up to a larger audience and expand the experience to many more engaged, curious, and creative residents.

But how do you get a ticket? It is traditional in the world of TEDx across the globe to release tickets via application. This gives potential attendees an opportunity to showcase their commitment to the event, and their passion for sharing ideas. If you haven’t already applied, I encourage you to run, not walk, but run safely to your nearest Internet browser and apply for a ticket online at Tickets are $50; however, bursaries are available to those who cannot afford the full cost.

But applications aren’t just for attendees, oh no! Our presenters for TEDxFortMcMurray have been through a curated, yet somewhat grueling process and the big day hasn’t even arrived yet! All interested presenters also had to apply, and were then required to pitch their presentation to a six-member selection committee, which over the course of three Saturdays and 24 hours of volunteer time listened, asked questions, and eventually had to make the tough decisions as to who would make it through to the big day. After the successful presenters were chosen, they were paired up with a presenter coach: a dedicated TEDx volunteer who will work with them over the course of two months to support, trim, and empower the presentations so that by the time June 8th arrives, every presenter is ready to give the “talk of their lives”.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I encourage everyone reading this article (yes, that means you) to visit our website for more information: Apply to attend on June 8th, watch some of the HD videos from last year’s amazing presenters, and learn more about what it is we’re doing. Come and experience something different and unique within our region; come and experience TEDxFortMcMurray.

Above left: Kevin Scoble at TEDxFortMcMurray

Above right: Speakers at TEDxFortMcMurray 2012

Standing, left to right - Julie Funk, Tim Reid, Russell Thomas, Malik Badar Aman, Mark Elliott, Anas Eljamal, Sheldon Germain. Seated, left to right - Reinalie Jorolan, Maria Fustic, Kevin Scoble


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