Angela’s Favourite TED Talk


Talk: Changing Education Paradigms by Ken Robinson

Why: Ken Robinson’s TED talk “Changing Education Paradigms” is one of my favourites.

There are many different types of learning and many different types of intelligence. Unfortunately, as Robinson notes, our current system doesn’t always encourage people to work with their strengths, and thus limits them from achieving their full potential – perhaps achieving something the world has yet to conceive.

Through my years in high school, I often found myself thinking that my time would be better spent doing other tasks, or learning more about subjects that I genuinely wanted to pursue instead of solely those in the assigned curriculum. Fortunately for me, I was still able to pursue my interests outside of school and later on in life, but things don’t work out like this for everyone.

In fact, I’ve seen many people become lost after high school because they weren’t prepared to make a decision on how to move forward. They were stuck in the conveyor belt mentality, waiting to be told where to go next. This is an unfortunate reality facing youth and—with the job market being as competitive as it is—a troubling one.

I think that different people, with different specialties, working together is key to driving innovation. Though I think there are pros and cons to the current public school system, the reality is that everyone has a different set of strengths and our society could benefit greatly by taking advantage of these differences.


About Angela Stairs (Social Media)

Angela has been trained in the art of the communication, with a particular agility on social media. She believes that different points of view make the world a more vibrant place and is always open to discovering a journey through a new perspective.

Currently Media Relations Specialist at JS Communications, she is an adaptable storyteller with experience in writing and editing for newspapers, magazines, and online publications, as well as developing targeted messaging for communications and marketing projects in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

Deborah’s Favourite TED Talk


Talk: TEDxFlanders – Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld


Why: A World Champion Skydiver’s Story of Survival and What It Taught Him About Fear, Adversity, and Success!

This is not only a story of survival, it is an inspirational story of following your dreams, overcoming obstacles and achieving success.  Dan B.C., as he is known in the skydiving circles, delivers an excellent talk about facing hardships and misfortunes and how to overcome them to achieve success. His philosophy is if you truly want it bad enough, you can achieve it.

We all have something we are passionate about, whether it is flying, traveling or writing. It is our strength and determination in pursuing that passion that defines us. As the saying goes, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he/she has overcome.

I know Dan personally and have jumped and trained with him in Perris Valley, CA on the Woman’s World Record, so I have a unique attachment to this particular TED talk. It’s truly an amazing story of what can be achieved if you put your mind to it, and how this determination can apply to our everyday lives.

Find out more about Deborah in the Team section of the website.


Marise’s Favourite TED Talk


Talk: “Your body language shapes who you are” by Amy Cuddy


Why: Aside from using humour and scientific evidence (which happen to be two of my favourite things) to back her claims about body language and its effect on life outcomes, Amy Cuddy’s TED talk mostly appealed to me because it was just at the right place at the right time.

When this talk started to circulate the Internet, I had recently surpassed the confusing-yet-terrifying-yet-exciting milestone in my life known as “graduating university”. I felt like I was at a crossroads in my life and I wasn’t quite sure which way to turn. Carleton’s Journalism School had armed me with all these excellent skills, but was I ready to apply them in the big bad world of business?

The essence of this talk, in my opinion, is that new chapters in life will always be a bit scary. Whether it’s a new job, a new role, moving to a new city, making the switch from public sector to private sector, many will often hesitate and wonder whether they are cut out for the switch.

As an esteemed social psychologist at Harvard with quite the impressive resume, Cuddy’s most important advice is that you need to “fake it until you become it”. Not to downplay the importance of hard work, Cuddy uses touching anecdotes and exciting facts to reach this conclusion.

This talk gave me the confidence I needed to pursue new job opportunities, and it still remains in the back of my mind anytime I’m looking to make a career or life move. It’s a must-watch!

About Marise Varanda (Volunteer Extraordinaire)

A natural curiosity and a knack for storytelling led Marise Varanda straight into an early career of print and broadcast journalism. Now a Communications Specialist for JS Communications, Marise manages public relations strategies, social media accounts and advocacy campaigns on behalf of clients in the life sciences, automotive, petroleum, technology, and not-for-profit sectors.

Worldwide TEDx Statistics Worth Sharing



TEDx image with stats 2015

TEDxKanata – The Burning Question


As March 26th approaches, and I continue to discuss our upcoming TEDx event with anyone who will listen.  The burning question I am repeatedly asked seems to be Why?

Why are you doing this? Why do you want to bring TEDx to Kanata?

The answer for me is quite simple.  Why not?  Why wouldn’t we want to provide a stage for innovators and thought leaders to share their great ideas with our community?  Why wouldn’t we want to provide a forum of discussion around new, great ideas right here in Kanata.   It all just makes sense to me.

Our City is ripe with entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders.  Imagine the power of strengthening those networks and relationships and ideas.

It just makes sense.  The opportunities are endless.

So my question for you is – Why wouldn’t you attend?


Jenna Sudds

Curator – TEDxKanata

Roxanna’s Favourite TED talk


Talk: Shawn Achor TEDxBloomington – The happy secret to better work.


Why: When asked to write about my favourite TED talk, I thought this would be easy. I was wrong! I enjoy so many that I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one. After spending some time going through my list I decided to pick one that matches our TEDxKanata theme of “Driving Innovation.” Shawn Achor a speaker at TEDxBloomington speaks to his audience about “The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance.” A true and proven fact that when training yourself to think more positively you are healthier, happier and you have the ability to reach your business success. Shawn’s talk motivated me and reminds me to avoid the lows and find the positive in my personal and business life. I hope you find it just as insightful and entertaining as I did.

About Roxanna Grecco ( Sponsorship, Event Day Lead )

Sometimes jobs are tailor-made for people… With Roxanna Grecco she was tailor-made for her job, and she loves it!

With over 20 years of business, group insurance and pension experience there are not many people in Canada who are more qualified to head up and be the President of a Private Group Benefit and Pension Firm.

Roxanna started with Baird Benefits Plus in February 2011 and she has never looked back. Her work ethic and interpersonal skills have catapulted the firm to industry leading status. Outside the office you could find Roxanna on the school council, managing her son’s hockey team, skiing down a mountain with her family or thoroughly enjoying an evening of golf with the Women’s Golf Society at the Marshes Golf Course.

TEDxKanata – The Journey Begins


When I think of Kanata, I think of innovation. I think about all the incredible companies located here that are constantly creating, and innovating and pushing the limits of what is possible. There are many ideas worth sharing in the Kanata business community. For that very reason, bringing a TEDx event to Kanata seems like the perfect fit. This event is an opportunity to bring together thought leaders in a forum perfectly set up to share ideas, discuss and innovate.

Obtaining a TEDx license is no easy feat. I was slightly naive going into the process of what this really entailed. Suffice it to say, a few long months after I applied for a TEDxKanata license – the email arrived. We were successful.

Then the hard work began! I am very fortunate to have an incredible group of volunteers step up who have formed our TEDxKanata Committee. These individuals are all incredible business leaders who see the value, and share the excitement at bringing TEDxKanata to our community.

Over the next two months leading up to the event, I will continue to share with you details about the journey. Most recently I had the pleasure of meeting with one of our TEDx speakers, Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen. Not often does one get to meet with an astronaut – let alone guide them through producing a TEDx talk!

Jenna and Jeremy

Stay tuned for more updates as the event unfolds. In the meantime, be sure to check back often to the website.

The audience is will be limited to 100 thought leaders. Please  apply for your ticket today. It will be an incredible evening – full of ideas worth sharing. Hope to see you there.

Jenna Sudds, Executive Director, Kanata North BIA