Ctrl-Alt-Delete: York University brings TEDx to Glendon

York University will host a TEDxYorkU event at Glendon on Saturday, Nov. 6. Based on the popular TED Conference, TEDxYorkU invites speakers to share their important visions for the future and involves audience participants in sharing ideas, addressing new perspectives and spreading inspiration.

York University community members are invited to apply to be an audience participant for a limited number of available seats. Applications are due Friday, Oct. 22 and can be found online at the TEDxYorkU website.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to the concept of “ideas worth spreading”. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago to bring together the worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. Past TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Richard Branson, Isabel Allende and Gordon Brown, among many other luminaries.

In the spirit of “ideas worth spreading”, TED has created TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At TEDxYorkU, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including at York University, are self-organized.

TEDxYorkU will explore the theme of “Ctrl-Alt-Delete”, the ubiquitous computer command also called the “three finger salute”. Speakers and participants will be asked to ”reboot” their way of thinking as the event aims to explore how starting over is often the best way to discover something new. Dynamic presentations will be made by academic, business, political and community leaders, all connected to York University, who have each hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete in their own way to create change and make the world a better place. TEDxYorkU is supported by York University Alumni, Student Community & Leadership Development, the Division of the Vice-President Research & Innovation and Glendon.

TEDxYorkU speakers announced so far include:

Paul Alofs (MBA ’83) (left) is a business success story as former president of HMV Music and, later, BMG Music. In 1999, he became president of Strategic Business Units of MP3.com and helped lead the company through one of the largest initial public offerings in Internet history. After leaving MP3.com, Alofs had a “life-altering experience” while taking care of his mother, who passed away from breast cancer in 2002, and he became a key leader in the Canadian nonprofit sector. He is currently the president and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, and recently served as the Board Chair of Covenant House. As a York alumnus, Alofs won the 2007 Redefine the Possible Bryden Award.

York alumnus Dalton Higgins (BA ’95) (right) is a music programmer, pop culture critic, author, broadcaster and journalist. He is also Canada’s foremost expert on hip hop culture. His latest book is Hip Hop World, published by Groundwood Books/House of Anansi. As a print journalist, Higgins is a Canadian National Magazine Award recipient, and his articles have appeared in print and online mediums in the United States (Vibe, the SourceUrb, amazon.com) and Canada (Saturday Night, Now MagazineToronto StarQuill & Quire and many others). Higgins has hosted his own TV show, and has appeared on numerous Canadian television programs. His fourth book Fatherhood 4.0: iDad Applications Across Cultures spots trends across a newer generation of media-savvy, hip hoppy, multi-culti, Digital Dads influenced by everything from George Lopez and Bill Cosby to the Osbournes and Barack Obama.

Helen Papagiannis (right) is an artist, designer and researcher specializing in augmented reality (AR). Hailed as being among the top 10 forces currently shaping the AR industry, Papagiannis has been working with AR since 2005, exploring the creative possibilities and theoretical implications for this exciting emerging technology. Recently, Papagiannis’ interactive artworks were featured in an exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre (see YFile, May 28). She is presently completing her doctorate in communication and culture at York University and is a senior research associate at the Augmented Reality Lab in York’s Department of Film in the Faculty of Fine Arts. Prior to her graduate studies, Papagiannis was a member of the Bruce Mau Design studio, where she was project lead on Massive Change: The Future of Global Design.

Poonam Puri (left) is one of Canada’s most respected scholars and commentators on issues of corporate law, securities law, corporate governance, and corporate and white-collar crime. Appointed to York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1997 at the age of 25, and a 2005 recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 award, Puri is a prolific scholar who was appointed as one of two research directors of the Canadian Ministry of Finance’s Expert Panel on Securities Regulation, which is seeking input on the best way to develop and implement a model Common Securities Act for Canada. Most recently, Puri received the Walter L. Gordon Research Fellowship for 2010-2011 (see YFile, May 6).

With more speakers to be announced, buzz about the Nov. 6 event is growing on campus. Student volunteer groups are also promoting the event through “salon” events that discuss innovative ideas and view TEDTalks videos. Applications to be an audience participant and more information can be found online at TEDxYorkU. Follow TEDxYorkU at twitter.com/tedxyorku and on Facebook at facebook.com/TEDxYorkU.