TED, which stands for "Technology, Entertainment and Design," was founded in 1984 and is devoted to the proliferation of good ideas, innovation and critical thinking. Every year, TED hosts two major conferences (the TED Conference in California in the spring and the TEDGlobal conference in the UK in the summer). TEDx events are independently organized TED events, which allow local thinkers and invited guests to get together and share ideas.
This year's TEDxVancouver theme was "The Frontier - A living boundary with the unknown."
At iQmetrix, innovation is one of our key values -- we are constantly trying to push the boundaries of our software products and the benefits they offer users. We also value speed and agility, lifestyle, character, community and the environment. Many of the topics discussed on Saturday touch on these areas, which is why we identify with TEDxVan and have sponsored the event for the past two years.
Ten members of our Vancouver office staff attended TEDxVan 2011. Below are some of their highlights:
- Speaker: Jer Throp on Data Visualization
An artist, educator and former geneticist from Vancouver, Throp spoke about data visualization. His work has been featured by The New York Times, The Guardian, Scientific American, The New Yorker and the CBC.
"Throp spoke about his curiosity for information and data," says Anne Weiler, VP of Marketing at iQmetrix. "He looks for ways to make data accessible to a wider audience, using visual designs. 'Placing data in a human context provides meaning and builds empathy,' he explained, describing how he placed 9-11 memorial names in relation to other people -- colleagues, relatives, etc. -- rather than in alphabetical order." Sai Nayagar, XQ Development MAanager at iQmetrix adds, "He is doing some amazing work and I really enjoyed his presentation."
We've actually blogged on this topic before, citing the work of TED speaker Aaron Koblin.
- Speaker: Seth Cooper on Gaming and Scientific Research
Cooper, Creative Director for the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington spoke about his work on Foldit, an online multiplayer game he co-created to use gaming to solve complex scientific problems. "Turning the gaming community into a workforce for science is genius!" says Samantha Rivera, Business Analyst at iQmetrix. "It's great to see a combination of technology and people being used to solve these complicated problems, in this case protein structures," adds Joe Moore, an iQmetrix Software Developer.
- Speaker: Nolan Watson on Sustainable Charities
Nolan Watson, is an accomplished Canadian business leader and humanitarian. "Watson’s talk regarding 'Compassion Kills' brought attention to the world’s need for sustainable charitable causes, something I totally believe in," says Krystal Ho, Executive Assistant at iQmetrix. "My parents support a child through World Vision and last night, while visiting for Sunday dinner I spoke to them about Nolan’s idea and how we need to investigate more into where exactly their money is going -- more specifically, if it is towards education." Chris Nicol, an iQmetrix UI/UX Architect, adds, "His main point is that we must create an opportunity to break the cycle of people's dependence on charity."
And a few comments on TEDxVan 2011, in general:
- Jacquie Scarlett, Interactive Retail TAG Manager, iQmetrix:
"The day was a great experience. I had the opportunity to hear some pretty amazing and talented people talk and share their ideas. Best part? All the great discussions that took place with co-workers and new contacts during and after the event."
- Tom Daggett, Software Developer in Test, iQmetrix:
"Overall, there was a good mix of presenters and topics, and the event brought together a lot of interesting people. Another highlight was discussing the talks with other attendees and to hear their impressions and ideas. I liked the mix of video and live presentations as well."
- Collin Prior, UX Architect/Business Analyst, iQmetrix:
"The highlight of the event was the TED sessions themselves. I loved hearing the speakers viewpoints on things."
- Daniel Chan, Software Developer in Test, iQmetrix:
"It was surely a feast of ideas about the current state of humanity. The Internet has made it possible for a number of these TED ideas to find their audience without going through the traditional mass media channels like books, movies, news networks, etc.
"Unlike other conferences I have been to which are mostly created for specialists, I really enjoyed the multidisciplinary nature of the event. It is like a symphony of ideas. Overall, I loved it."