The Flying Shingle
TEDx Gabriola inspires islanders
by Alina Cerminara
Monday, March 25, 2013

TEDx Gabriola Island, ‘Beyond Objectification into Empathy,’ delivered an inspirational day of speakers, videos and installations, focussed on igniting a discussion on how people see, use, act, and live empathically.
Gabriola Island is the first small island to organise a TEDx event, states the TED website. It says Gabriola’s event was independently and locally managed according to the 25-year-old ‘Technology Entertainment Design’ non-profit organisation’s commitment to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.
The driving force behind the Mar. 18 event was The Haven’s Executive Director, Rachel Davey, along with the support of volunteers and sponsors.
And thanks to their efforts, 100 audience members, all chosen by way of application and draw, spent the crisp sunny day at the Haven at the feet of ten local, national, and international speakers, Davey told The Shingle on Mar. 19.
The 18-minute lectures covered ideas starting at Gabriola’s very own Commons and continued across the planet. They were hosted by Gabriolan and senior Haven faculty member Linda Nicholls.
“It couldn’t have gone better than it did,” Davey said, while in the depths of wrapping the event. “The atmosphere in the room was so great … the audience, so generous. Everyone was happy to be there and seemed to be having a good time.”
If you were one of the 50 people on the waitlist who did not get a chance to attend the event, fear not, Davey said. Given the success of 2013’s TEDx, it’s possible it could become an annual event. “It was so good it seems to me it might be worth repeating” with a different theme and different speakers, said Davey.
Davey said that the TEDx license was approved in June 2012, and they had been planning ever since. Davey had wanted to propose hosting speakers, and when she stumbled upon TEDx, which was also a way to attract more attention, it fit perfectly, as TEDx guidelines were easy to follow. “I think (TED) liked the idea of it being done outside of big cities,” said Davey. “They have TEDx Tokyo, TEDx Paris, and now TEDx Gabriola Island. Funny,” she said.

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