This year’s TEDxOttawa conference is focused on Creative Actions. I wanted to write a blog post that defined the term, but I didn’t get very far.
I started out with something about how action and creativity exist in a symbiotic relationship and how creativity can be a powerful catalyst for social, systematic and behavioural change. But that sounded pretty dull and academic.
Then I decided I would highlight what some of best TED speakers have said about creativity.
Tim Brown talks eloquently about the relationship between play and creativity; Stefan Sagmeister says that taking time off is a fundamental part of revitalizing of the creative spirit; Amy Tan explains that how creativity evolves; Neil Turok speaks on the importance of unlocking Africa’s creative potential; and Sir Ken Robinson makes a strong case for why we must develop an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. But none of these talks actually defined creative action.
Then I thought of writing a post about the top five ways that someone could boost their creative potential. About how exercise releases endorphins, how socialization generates new ideas and how travel broadens the mind. But that seemed too trite.
Then I took a walk.
Hours later (on a full stomach and with a clear head) I’ve come to several conclusions about creative action I thought were worth sharing. The first is that creativity is both rational and emotional. We often talk about “feeling” creative or being in a creative “mood”. And yet we know that the process of creation requires a great deal of thinking and logic too. Yet perhaps rather than seeing creativity as a right or left brain function it may be more helpful to understand creative moments as experiences and indeed far more beautiful and inspiring because of such fact.
Second, I believe that creative action doesn’t have to be a grand epiphany. The lightbulb doesn’t just come on one day, nor does the universe suddenly decide to reveals itself. Creativity can come from insignificant moments and banal conversations as much as from life-altering insights.
Third, creative action does not require greatness. It’s easy to listen to great TED and TEDx speakers, as well as other world leaders, and think that they possess something we don’t. In fact, creative action is far more often a result of perseverance, dedication, desire and luck than it is of anything else.
And finally, I’ve realized that creative action is rooted in our everyday lives. Whether its cooking a meal, finding a job, being romantic or writing a blog post creative action is central part of how we live and indeed, how we want to live!
- David Venn
TEDxOttawa is rolling up in approximately 9 weeks! I have lived in Ottawa my whole life and I know for a FACT – events like this do not come to Ottawa very often! If you are anything like me, you’re an average Ottawan and have mastered the following: hanging with friends and fam, the museums, Parliament, downtown shopping, Gatineau park, skiing, rafting, canal -beaver tails-hot choco, movies, NAC, camping and cottaging, site seeing, Haunted Walk, Comedy Club, OSSC sports, trips down south, road trips to TO and MTL, jam-packed Canada Day fireworks, Tulip Festival, Casino Du Lac-Leamy, Zaphod’s, BluesFest, RCMP Musical Ride, OFW, Wine and Food Show, Ottawa Sens games, Barrymore’s and of course patio season at the Heart and Crown and The Royal Oak! These are all exciting and irreplaceable experiences and fortes that make me truly an Ottawa citizen… however, what makes me truly unique and stand out from the rest is that I am one of the lucky ones that will be attending a TEDx event!
Not many can say that and if you are not truly familiar with TED, now is your time. Don’t follow the heard, get ahead while you still can and be one of the lucky one’s to add this event to your irreplaceable list of life experiences! Staying in tune with the 9 week countdown of this incredible event, I am going to call out the 9 things that I think are super cool, exciting, awesome, thrilling, captivating and FABOULOUS about TEDx!!
1- This is an event like none other to come to Ottawa!
2- It is being hosted at Algonquin College!
3- It is an exclusive event - you must apply to be in attendance!
4- Everything about this event is so cool I get to put an exclamation mark at the end of each super awesome event statement!
5- TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently – by us, the community and for us, as a community!
6- There are no commercial, political, governmental elements to any TEDx events – meaning - TEDx is bias free!!
7- There will be celebrated and hailed TEDTalks and TedVideos featured at the event which will bring dialogue, inspiration and intellectual stimulation!
8- Ted is a non-profit. Ted brings together enthusiasm, remarkable people, education, talent, fascinating thinkers, passion, curiosity and ideas worth spreading!
9- This TEDx event is making the world a better place by bringing ideas, innovation and technology to enhance our everyday conversations and putting Ottawa on the map – marking our presence and our minds at the forefront of a truly life changing, free thinking, evolving global movement! You’ll be sorry if you miss it, your friends and colleagues will be jealous of you and you’ll have a life-changing experience to brag about…
Welcome to TEDxOttawa: Creative Actions. Hope to see you at the show!
- Cheryl Goss
Someone came up to me the other day and asked, “what is TEDxOttawa?” The only response that I could honestly think of was to say, “Only the best event this year.” I may be a little bias because I am one of the people organizing it but if everyone knew how much time and effort goes into an event like this they would say the same thing.
It truly is something to be proud of to say that you are working on a TEDx event but what makes it even better is that you are doing it for not only yourself but for the amazing innovators of Ottawa. As you probably already know our theme for this event is Creative Actions. Something that we believe is a very powerful theme that will make attendees think outside of the box but also grow as business professionals in a world that creativity is sometimes frowned upon because of rules and need to “stick to the norm.”
I would like to challenge each and every one of you to do a creative action of some type everyday, if it is for your career, school or personal life, to know what it feels like to be powerful and strong as the words creative actions portrays.
So, have you done a creative action today? Come and join us for an amazing time on October 22nd, 2011 and discover a group of amazing people’s creative actions.
-Amy Chamberlain (@amy_chamberlain)
As summer starts to fade away and fall rapidly approaches, our anticipation for TEDxOttawa continues to grow. With less than three months to go before the event, everyone has been keeping busy spreading the word and getting things organized. Speakers have been posted and applicants have applied! Now all that’s left to do is wait… and let the rest of us handle all the nitty-gritty details.
When I was first approached about being involved with this project I thought that it would be an excellent opportunity for me to get my creative juices flowing, and that I just may meet some cool people along the way. I have now accomplished not only that, but have been introduced to a whole new community of people who are working together to spread knowledge and encourage creative actions.
I am currently completing my first degree at Carleton University, and I am constantly reminded of the importance of education and the benefits of being well educated. But to me education doesn’t have to come from sitting in a 300+ classroom jotting down words as a professor drones on about binary or the different characteristics of a prehistoric time. The best kind of education comes from people who love what they do and wish to share it with those who are willing to listen. And this is why I am so excited to be part of TEDxOttawa: Creative Actions. Not only are speakers coming to tell Ottawa about how they have successfully created something for themselves, but their audience will be waiting eagerly to hear how they did it.
Help us spread the word, and join in as we wait in anticipation for October 22nd, 2011, only 76 days to go! I can already feel the creative juices flowing…
- Siobhan Doody (@sdoody1)
The backbone to many non-profit organizations and events such as TEDxOttawa often rely on large amounts of dedicated volunteers to oversee multiple activities and tasks. Many people often overlook the benefit gained by both the volunteers as well as the organizations who hire volunteers. I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to look at the many benefits both parties can gain with volunteerism.
I have been honored to be invited to participate as a volunteer in the planning of TEDxOttawa with this large group of friendly and determined people with a simple goal, to spread the word of our event and to show Ottawa all the amazing and creative people that are living withing our community.
It has come to my attention during my short time working on this event so far that the importance of a good group of volunteers can make or break an event. The importance of volunteers is evident especially when you look at the risk vs reward of doing so. As we all have found out here at TEDxOttawa with our dedicated group, no mountain is too high and no river too wide.
Some organizations have much bigger risks with hiring volunteers then others such as an organization that deals with children. In this situations the screening of candidates becomes very important and the hiring process very similar to that of a paid employee. As a good example, TEDxOttawa limited its risks by finding many recent graduates that were eager to learn and to be active within Ottawa. In addition many TEDxOttawa volunteers already connected through past networking and social events.
Reward on the other hand strongly impacts both the volunteers themselves as well as the hiring organization, and this is what makes it such a great concept. For the person acting as a volunteer there are countless rewards to gain from volunteering. Some examples to demonstrate the rewarding life of a volunteer can include getting priceless experience and knowledge as well as putting yourself in a great situation to meet people and network.
There are also huge rewards for organizations such as usually having a very low costs to have a large team of enthusiastic participants. Employers can also use the hiring of volunteer as a screening or interview process for future hiring. Having a large number of different people can also lead to interesting new ideas and points of view. There are countless other examples of how both organizations and people like you and me can benefit from volunteers and as you can see, when you consider risk vs. reward in this scenario, reward wins by a long shot.
TEDxOttawa has given the opportunity to many of us to participate and help with hosting this great event. We are all having a great time working at bringing you the best TEDxOttawa yet and are anxiously awaiting the big date on October 22nd.
Don’t forget to give the volunteers in your community some love and we all hope to see many of you at TEDxOttawa: Creative Actions!
Sylvain Dubois (@sylvain4)
I’ll start off by saying that I’m a bit of a Social Media junkie. I fought long and hard for days to get my Google+ invite and when I finally did, I was extremely stoked, to say the least. When the opportunity to be involved with TEDxOttawa as a Social Media TEDxer came up, you better believe it was broadcasted to Facebook and Twitter pretty darn quick.
So what’s the deal with Social Media these days anyway? To me, it feels like there are 3 types of Social Media personas:
The beauty of Social Media IS the different type of interactions and people that you’re going to meet! No matter which persona you are, there is always someone else out there who shares your views, passions or beliefs; someone you can really connect with.
Helping out with the Social Media for TEDxOttawa has even further opened my eyes to the possibilities of these social networks. I’ve connected with people I never thought I would thanks to a simple tweet. We filled our speakers’ quota for the October 22nd event faster than ever imagined and the amount of people applying to join us at the event is truly phenomenal. Much thanks to Social Media and Crowdsourcing.
What’s Crowdsourcing got to do with it?
The concept of crowdsourcing it truly amazing, it relies on people wanting to share their knowledge, expertise and opinions, just for the sake of contributing to something, anything. I feel like crowdsourcing is a Creative Action all on its own. I mean, who would have thought that by simply asking people for feedback, that they would actually just want to share it, completely free?
Through many conversations on Facebook and Twitter, TEDxOttawa has made some wonderful connections that are going to make a real difference in this year’s event. We’ve gotten the opportunity to meet with the amazing people at Algonquin College, who are right on the ball when it comes to TED and the Social Media game! Plus, the feedback from all of our great followers has helped us learn about some truly incredible things happening right here in Ottawa. It’s because of all of these great people, who have volunteered their time and feedback that TEDxOttawa is going to be a show to remember.
What a Team!
I can’t end this post without saying that the TEDxOttawa team this year never ceases to amaze me. Maybe it’s the common trend of social media enthusiasts and Algonquin graduates, but I can’t help but feel right at home! The people who are working hard to make this event possible have a wealth of talent, knowledge and creativity, and truly believe in this great concept of TED talks.
All in all, the TEDxOttawa experience is one that will open new doors for the team but also for all of you. We’re not putting Ottawa on the map, its already there, Ottawa IS cool and we’re going to prove it October 22nd, 2011. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of it all, apply to join us at TEDxOttawa! Stay cool Ottawa. Stay cool.
- Lauren Newby (@lor_24)
We have officially filled our speaker quota! Are we surprised? Not really. Now, while we are not quite ready to share with all of you the creative and talented individuals that have so generously applied to be apart of this amazing TEDx experience, we assure you with utmost certainty that this year’s TEDxOttawa event will leave you far from disappointed. With creative actions brings creative people and more than our fair share of interesting stories!
Having recently graduated from Algonquin College’s Advertising program, I’m stoked to be part of this year’s event. Throughout my three years at the college, I cannot think of a single class that did not somehow incorporate TED into the lesson plan. While TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting world-changing ideas,TEDx allows for individuals and groups to hold local events throughout various cities around the world, which in turn allows for people like myself and everyone else involved, to put together this year’s local event, Creative Action. It’s a lifetime experience, which I can honestly say is100% worth the time and effort involved.
The willingness of Ottawans to network has been a huge part of the success thus far. It’s all about the people you know, friends of friends, social networking and so on that make something like this possible.
Whether it’s for attracting sponsors, gaining speakers (already a huge accomplishment!) or “spreading the word” for what’s in store,TEDxOttawa has been able to reach out to numerous fascinating people more than ever before. As the summer continues to fly by, so will the hints as for what’s in store.
Keep in mind the first deadline for purchasing tickets is fast approaching – only two weeks away! So ask yourself, what are you waiting for? With creative actions brings creative people… and there’s absolutely nothing boring about that! Sign up by July 31st and secure your spot.
If you were to gather the TEDxOttawa planning committee in one room, there would be some obvious similarities between each member, which you could identify instantly. You would see a group of people that radiate enthusiasm, have their smartphones by their side, and are fairly loud due to all the conversations taking place. However, what you wouldn’t know by observation is another commonality many share; the majority of the group are Algonquin College alumni.
While this may seem a trivial coincidence to some, we consider it a great testimonial to Algonquin College and the caliber of graduates they produce. Algonquin College alumni have a reputation for being active members of the Ottawa community, a trait that Algonquin encourages upon enrollment and many continue long after graduation; and the TEDxOttawa planning committee is no exception.
Algonquin’s commitment to prepare students for career success with the pursuit of knowledge, personal growth and development doesn’t stop once you’ve completed your classroom dues. The College strives to maintain continued interest and support to alumni. And to that end, Algonquin College has proven they practice what they preach. We are pleased to announce that the TEDxOttawa event will be held at the Algonquin College campus. We can’t think of a better venue to showcase some of Ottawa’s most unique success stories.
We can’t thank Algonquin enough for their support and encouragement. Algonquin College recognizes the importance of fostering success through creative actions within the Ottawa community… but the question is, will you? TEDxOttawa is an outstanding opportunity to promote your business to the who’s who of Ottawa.
If you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring this exciting event, we have many opportunities to showcase your business or organization. Our planning committee has developed great sponsorship packages and want to hear from you!
Please contact John Beaupre at Sponsorship@TEDxOttawa.com
Thank you for your continued interest in the upcoming TEDxOttawa event.
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming soon!
Are you ready Ottawa?! Only four months to go until Ottawa’s biggest collaborative event of the year! A month into planning, the TEDxOttawa committee are working their butts off to bring you the most unique, innovative event Ottawa has seen since Adrian Wu at Fashion Week.
A self-organized event that brings people together to share a TED-like experience, the organizers of TEDxOttawa: Creative Action are brainstorming BIG ideas that will bring marketing and public relations to an all new level of amazing and speakers who will make Al Gore look like an amateur.
We are continuing to partner with people and companies who have made a difference in the Ottawa and surrounding area, as well as individuals who have one-of-a-kind, lifetime stories they would like to share with the world. If your idea, business or project can move a crowd, please share with us by going to our website at www.tedxottawa.com.
This event could not have been made possible without our volunteers. From marketing and communications enthusiasts, to designers and web developers, to social butterflies and go-getters, TEDxOttawa is made up of talented Ottawans who joined forces to make a difference in their careers and aspirations.
You can follow TEDx Ottawa on Twitter, Facebook, and on our website for more information, and please feel free to partner with our team, share your amazing ideas and/or join us for the best TEDx event Ottawa has ever seen.
Thank you Canada for 144 years of our home and native land, and cheers too many more in our Nation’s Capital.
- Samantha Hartley