media release

TEDxSFU speakers to share bright ideas

October 27, 2011

Michael Cheng, 604.897.9896,
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

Michael Cheng
Photos on Flickr

An extraordinary collection of gifted storytellers will give the talks of their lives in 18 minutes or less on Saturday, Nov. 26 during the first ever TEDxSFU, to be held at Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus and broadcast live via streaming video (at for the larger community.

TEDxSFU, which is a licensed, independently organized spinoff of the international Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference, is meant to give imaginative minds a receptive setting in which to spread their great ideas.

Speakers will immerse the event’s 100 invited attendees in lively conversations around the theme of community engagement. Among them (see website for a complete list):

  • John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games
  • Jim Chu, Vancouver Police Chief Constable
  • Julio Montaner, director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
  • Ta'kaIya Blaney, 10-year-old North Vancouver Sliammon First Nation singer and environmental activist
  • Sam Thiara, SFU manager of student engagement and recruitment
  • Colleen Hardwick, Vancouver film producer, urban geographer and Internet entrepreneur
  • Richard Loat, SFU communication student and founder of Five Hole For Food

“Community engagement can be interpreted in many different ways and we are so thrilled to have leaders from our own backyard offering their unique perspectives on this theme to the world,” says Michael Cheng, TEDxSFU founder and licensee.

Cheng, 22-year-old fourth-year student in SFU Surrey’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology, began working on the concept three years ago after attending a similar conference. He gradually created a team with community contacts that have led to a wide-ranging and distinguished panel of speakers.

There are only 100 seats available at the event and applications are being accepted until Nov. 6 at:

Invitations will be granted at the discretion of the TEDxSFU team based on a broad set of criteria, ensuring a diverse audience and a rich exchange of ideas. The general public can tune in via the TEDxSFU website.

The original TED Conference started in California in the mid-1980s, dedicated purely to “ideas worth spreading,” with speakers given only 18 minutes to convey their thoughts.


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