It all starts with ideas
As the ball gets dusted off and starts rolling on TEDxVictoria 5, the familiar questions I’ve been asking myself since the beginning start coming back to me: Do people even care about TEDxVictoria? Does TEDxVictoria matter? What does an event like this even accomplish, if anything? Isn’t it all just entertainment?
But unlike previous years, I now have answers based on experience that can answer all of those questions to my satisfaction – and even to my own excitement.
Five years ago now, while the first ever TEDxVictoria was in its planning stages we were lucky enough to have a speaker passed on to us from another TEDx event, TEDxMileZero. There was no way for them to make the schedule work with their event, and so the organizers were happy to connect us to him.
The meetings with this speaker went well, and were fascinating, but it wasn’t until our first rehearsal session when we were able to see the presentation for the first time that it started to dawn on us that this wasn’t just an idea worth spreading, it was important.
That talk went on to become the closing talk for the inaugural TEDxVictoria:
After being posted online, that talk really started to catch on.
In 2011, the Oil Sands/Tar Sands were still a relatively new issue to most people. The project had been underway for years, but the actual imagery of what was happening in Northern Alberta had not yet made its way into the mainstream.
The talk generated a lot of attention, and once that topic really started to take off it was posted to the TED main page where it has gone on to become the most viewed TEDxVictoria talk of all time.
We felt pretty good about ourselves as an organization, excited that a talk from our first event made it on to the TED main page, happy that our event was so successful (our first sellout event!), and we kind of left it at that – but that never stopped people from constantly asking us if this matters or what happens next, or where do these ideas go?
Then, in 2014, we hosted this talk:
Here we are only four years removed from Garth Lenz’s passionate talk about the oil sands, and we have a real example of the next generation doing something about it. Two teenagers who are not yet even old enough to buy themselves a drink have invented something that, lets face it, the world needs, and that hopefully we won’t have to use off our coasts here in BC – but I am damn sure we will be glad we have them.
It isn’t the solution to all our fossil fuel problems, but it is a start. I can’t think of anything more inspiring.
And it all started with an idea.