J. Walter Thompson Canada
J. Walter Thompson Canada Reports From Tedx Toronto / J. Walter Thompson Canada
On October 22, 2015, the J. Walter Thompson Intelligence team attended Tedx Toronto, Canada’s largest Tedx event. In its seventh year in Toronto, the theme thresholds drove the conference, drawing in a series of speakers with innovative ideas and thought provoking notions.
TEDx conferences are as much about technology, entertainment, design, as they are about telling stories. Each speaker began their talk by giving the audience a synopsis of their life story; speaking about personal experiences, and what brought them to the TEDx stage. This story telling exercise caught the attention of the audience and created a deeper connection in the room.
Although thresholds were the theme of the conference, every speaker touched on personalization. Andrew Peek, Talli Osborne, Valerie Scott, Jordan Axani, and Nina Arsenault, to name a few – spoke deeply about personal experience and the way individuals experience the expanding world around them.
There was also a common thread of reimagining how things currently work and challenging the status quo.
Tarek Ibrahim, founder of Airvinci, took the audience through the process of designing realistic personal flying machines, from concept to construction, all within nine months. “I love the freedom of flight and having no connection with the ground,” said Ibrahim. He has created an inconceivable, "only in the movies” concept, to something that is now tangible and possible for the very near future.
Personalization can also be applied to the medical industry, and Dr. Molly Schoichet’s plans to turn it into a reality. She reflected on how antiquated the current healthcare practice is in the future. Uncovering the work her and her team have been doing and the significant strides they are making when it comes to regenerative medicine, Schoichet highlighted the fact that personalized, more impactful medicine is on the horizon – resulting in custom solutions for each patient.
Sohaib Zahid, co-founder and CEO of Vanhawks, frustrated with sitting in a steel box and shouting at others, wanted to make a change. He believes that we can use the power of connectivity to change the way we commute and give commuters an alternative mode of transportation, through the connected Vanhawks bicycle. By integrating technologies, we already use, to facilitate bike commuting and focusing on the user experience, Sohaib sees a more efficient future amongst “the digital kids”.
As the conference came to a close, it was clear that technology, design, culture, and politics are progressing at never-before-seen rates. With that, comes an incredible tension and opportunity in recognizing the individual stories that unfold in an always-changing setting.