Speakers

TEDxUW will showcase leading thinkers and pioneers drawn from all four corners of uWaterloo, inspiring us with the depth of their ideas and challenging us to take charge of our reality – today.

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Ron Tite

Host of TEDxUW

An immensely popular and highly sought-after speaker, comic, actor, host and writer, Ron Tite’s unique and often quirky riffs on creativity, personal branding, social media and corporate strategy have helped keep companies ahead of the curve in world dominated by 140-character commentaries.

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Safwan Choudhury

Professor X

An engineer determined to make a difference, Safwan Choudhury wanted to do what was widely held to be impossible: build a fully-functional wheelchair that could be controlled by a person’s thoughts – all within 8-month time period, with a team of five full-time undergraduate engineering students and only $1500 in funding.

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Philip Beesley

Avant-garde Architect

An architect by profession but an artist by calling, Philip Beesley is a pioneer whose architectural breakthroughs have earned him international acclaim. Perhaps most well-known for his extensive contributions to architectural environments that mimic life processes, Philip envisions a building that keeps on adjusting, slowly, logically and in response to its surroundings – almost as if it’s conscious and alive.

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Chelsea Prescod

Social Advocate

An ardent community-builder, Chelsea Prescod has made it her life’s mission to encourage communities to extend and strengthen their social ties and embrace change as opportunities for renewal.

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Janna Cameron

Accessibility Virtuoso

A champion for accessible design in technology, Janna Cameron’s work has been focused on extending the reach of technology to a portion of the population has been been inadvertently sidelined.

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Wendi Adair

Negotiation Artist

Cross cultural communication, negotiation, behavioral adaptation, inclusivity, conflict management – to the ordinary ear these words may sound like a collection of banal seminar topics, but in the hands of Dr. Wendi Adair they transform into a window of opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the human psyche.

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Tanya (Toni) De Mello

Community Mobilizer

Whether acting as a United Nations Field Officer or as a local student volunteer, Tanya De Mello’s work has always been focused on building communities. Whether it’s through creating community service initiatives at universities, managing humanitarian aid donations in Senegal or assisting with refugee relocation planning, Tanya excels at bringing people together around shared ideas to build vibrant communities.

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John Baker

Education Reformist

One of the University of Waterloo’s top-notch success stories – John Baker is the epitome of a successful change-agent. With his nothing-ventured-nothing-gained philosophy, John’s passion for redefining the future of education has been buttressed by his pursuit of change as an entrepreneur.

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Maria Ly

Mobile Fitness Evangelist

A dynamic athlete-turned-entrepreneur, Maria is a vocal champion of the youth entrepreneurship culture. By combining her twin passions for physical fitness and technology, she has revolutionized the health and fitness movement by extending the reach of mobile technology into this fast-growing market. Gymnastics, yoga, rock climbing, mountaineering – you’d think that one person couldn’t have done it all.

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Krister Shalm

Quantum Magician

An experimental physicist by profession, Krister is interested in unlocking everyday applications for quantum physics. His challenge? To demonstrate that technologies based on the science of quantum physics have the potential to unleash the next technological revolution. And if that wasn’t enough, take into account that this is all from a person who’s well-known for dancing his PhD thesis and hosting “The Quantum Physics of Harry Potter”.

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Natalie MacNeil

World Conquerer

Natalie MacNeil is the Emmy Award winning co-founder of Imaginarius, a boutique firm which has produced award-winning digital media. A serial entrepreneur and innovator – she abides by a philosophy of “Live, Work, Create,” enabling her to showcase her talents for startups and innovation through an internationally-recognized blog for women.

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Larry Smith

Economist & Storyteller

Throughout his three-decade career here at the University of Waterloo, Larry Smith has inspired legions of students to take up the mantle of economics with his passionate and homespun tales of economic wizardry. A renowned story-teller, teacher and youth leadership champion, Larry has also coached and mentored countless numbers of students on start-up business management and career development strategies.

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Raynold Wonder Alorse

Youth Champion

A successful motivational speaker, entrepreneur and talent coach, Raynold’s story of hope, perseverance and hard work will inspire you to take action and “dream bigger, dare bigger, demand and serve better”.