HatchUp Magazine and Media

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It's a wonderful thing to see an idea come to fruition, and we're very pleased to be partnering with HatchUp Magazine as it launches into the Calgary marketplace (and beyond) to explore the intersections between business, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle. As they describe themselves, it's a magazine for the community, from the community.

Being community-based and community-minded ourselves, it was a great and natural collaboration with the magazine team and the wonderful folks behind the idea at HatchUp Media. We're pleased to be a recurring guest columnist on the ideas front, and really encourage our community to embrace this new voice in our midst. Who knows? Maybe you'll be appearing in it or writing for it at some point, too!


Canada and social progress

As TEDx organizers, we're big proponents of making evidence-based decisions. As Canadians, we take our quality of life seriously -- it is one of the things that helps define us as a nation, together with the principle that we need need to keep developing those standards for all Canadians.

When it comes to something so seemingly nebulous like "social progress", it can be daunting to try and nail down how to measure that in a meaningful way. It's essential that we do so, however, so that we can hold useful discussions about how to move the needle as a country, or as a region or city within our larger national structure.

Through a great friend of ours (thanks, Camille!) we recently were introduced to the amazing folks at the Social Progress Imperative. Haven't heard of it? Neither had we, but we're eternally grateful for having been introduced. Philosophically, we're very aligned. As they describe their mission:

We dream of a world in which people come first. A world where families are safe, healthy and free. Economic development is important, but strong economies alone do not guarantee strong societies. If people lack the most basic human necessities, the building blocks to improve their quality of life, a healthy environment and the opportunity to reach their full potential, a society is failing no matter what the economic numbers say.

The Social Progress Index is a new way to define the success of our societies. It is a comprehensive measure of real quality of life, independent of economic indicators.  

So, where does Canada rank? Right now, we score in the top 10 globally, coming in at a respectable 7th place internationally. As a country, that might not reflect our self-perception of how we're doing, but take a closer look at our scorecard results and let us know what you think:

can scorecard 600

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As Calgarians, we're also very fortunate to have the forward-thinking work of the Calgary Foundation to draw upon, with their annual Vital Signs survey of how we rank our city's current status on a number of dimensions that fit with the categories in the Social Progress Index. Together, we think these two frameworks make for powerful tools to frame our societal discussions on how we're doing, and where we want to make improvements.

Want to see how we're doing at the moment?

Make sure to RSVP for the upcoming Vital City event on October 13 at lunchtime with Eva Friesen, President and CEO, and Murray Laverty, Board Chair, as they present the Calgary Foundation's Report to Community, and guests Marichu Antonio and Elder Casey Eagle Speaker reflect on community change.

Above all, we encourage you to engage in discussion around the social progress frameworks both of these initiatives represent, especially as you interact with your local candidates for municipal elections. And, join us for upcoming events this Fall where we dig deeper on several of these categories with though-provoking talks and dynamic discussions with other participants. Stay tuned for more in our Events section, and on our social channels!


Platform Calgary

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The Platform Innovation Centre, located in the heart of Calgary's East Village neighbourhood, is a hub dedicated to supporting startups and entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey.

The Innovation Centre provides a single point of access to resources, supports, programming and events to help startups successfully launch and grow their business. And, based on its location beside City Hall, the Central Library, and Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre — the Platform Innovation Centre will help create connections for local innovators, driving new economic growth and job creation in Calgary.

As a programming partner, TEDxCalgary is pleased to be getting ready to help Platform generate new ideas and tell the stories of some of the emerging innovators from the space whose ideas are worth spreading.


TEDxCalgaryLive 2021

As a TEDx organizing team, we're very pleased to be presenting a selection of curated content from 2021's flagship TEDMonterey event, "The Case for Optimism".

Join us on September 21, 2021 for an evening of amazing talks curated by our team, and engage with other participants in lively discussions about what you've watched. We are anticipating that there may be some options for in-person attendance on a limited basis, as well as streaming of the talks and online discussions via our virtual event platform if you're not comfortable to attend in person, or just prefer to join us from the comfort of your own place!




Evidence matters to us as TEDx organizers, and the overwhelming evidence is that vaccination for COVID directly impacts the spread of the virus and protects your health.

If you're wanting to attend in person, we require that you accept the condition of being fully vaccinated (meaning a minimum of two doses of a Health Canada-approved vaccine), and that you are able to demonstrate proof of this at the time of attending. You may use documentation provided by Alberta Health Services, including the online app, or through a recognized vaccine passport from another provincial jurisdiction (yes, we think that we should have that here, too!).

If you're not medically able to be vaccinated (which we accept is a factor), or choose not to be for whatever reason (which we can't fully understand, to be completely honest), you are very welcome to attend the event online.

Further, while we would love to be able to interact at an in-person event without any further barriers, we STONGLY recommend that all in-person participants stay masked wherever possible. This is another important part of fighting the spread of COVID variants, even if you're fully vaccinated.


At the intersection of ideas

As we plan for our 2021 events, we continue to find that we sit at the intersection of so many great ideas and too little time to pursue them all!

Of course, that's probably an enviable place to be. We'd all be in a much poorer place as a species if good ideas were highly scarce. At the same time, it also makes it more important for us to continually curate the ideas that are best suited to our current time and place in history. Especially as we start to emerge from the pent-up nature of the pandemic, we anticipate that people will be even hungrier for the types of ideas that help us make sense of the next step. We have lots to recover from, and a vast number of choices to make as we attempt to move forward as societies in a post-pandemic world.


How do we ENGAGE: Connected?

As current news reports are constantly reminding us, our journey with COVID-19 is far from over.

Many of us are likely tired of living through a major historical event and continally unprecedented (modern) times. The urge to get back to "normal" is strong, even though we don't know what that will mean for us going forward, or when it will happen.


Important Event Updates for Fall 2020

It has been a tumultuous year for our events, but we've got a great line-up coming in Fall 2020!

TEDxCountdown in YYC

It all begins with TEDxCountdown in YYC on October 14 from 7-9 p.m, where we're collaborating with our colleagues at TEDxYYC and TEDxYouth@VictoriaPark plus the great folks at Calgary Climate Hub to present an evening of content drawn from the TED Countdown event occurring on October 10th. Together, we'll be curating a special selection of talks from the more than 50 speakers taking part in TED Countdown, and combining the talks with a superb panel of local experts to add context. Above all, we'll all be focused on getting your thoughts about how and where we can accelerate our journey to a low-carbon future by 2030.

» Learn more and get registered!


ENGAGE: Connected

For TEDxCalgary, we're pivoting to a series of smaller all-virtual events for Fall 2020 and Winter/Spring 2021. That starts with ENGAGE: Connected on November 18 from 7-9 p.m., which will be an evening of LIVE talks and deep discussions among participants on how our process of connecting has changed (or not), and how we can do it even more effectively going forward. We'll be featuring some of the amazing speakers who were lined up for our planned in-person event, and recording and streaming their talks from our partner space at WeWork in Calgary. As with all of our events, a big part of the event will be engaging you -- our valued participants -- in discussions about the talks.

» Learn more and get registered!


Update on ENGAGE: Deeply Postponement

Sadly, the continuing saga of COVID means that we still can't meet safely in larger gatherings. With great regret, this has forced us to indefinitely postpone our planned 10th Anniverary ENGAGE: Deeply, which already had been postponed from its original March 28 date to October 31. As no one knows when current restrictions will lift, we've decided to cancel the event listing and refund all current ticket holders over the coming days.

The core reason for doing so was the realization that the event just wouldn't be the same if it weren't in person, and held at a suitable scale. Above all, cancelling was an intentional decision to not put anyone at risk when we don't need to: October 31 should be spooky mask-wearing fun for an entirely different set of reasons!

» Read more


We invite you to stay connected to our continuing journey around the ENGAGE: with Ideas theme that we have for 2020/2021. Subscribe to our news to keep up to date, or check out our social media channels.


ENGAGE: Connected [2020]

We're still forced to be physically distanced by COVID, but that doesn't stop us from being connected around great ideas!

Sharing ideas that matter is actually even more important now than ever, and our ENGAGE: Connected event gave us an opportunity to explore ways we can do that until we get a chance to get back together in larger groups.

The videos are now released, so check them out below!


TEDxCalgaryLive from TED2020

With the unprecedented turmoil caused by COVID-19, TED2020 "Uncharted" went fully virtual in 2020. Along with many TEDx teams globally, TEDxCalgary is pleased to be able to present a number of different virtual talks from the event through our TEDxLive licencing.

We will be hosting three virtual events on Tuesday, July 28th as follows:


11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (in cooperation with the Calgary Public Library*)

Click to register for this session (Library system)


3:30 p.m to 5:00 p.m. 

Click to register for this session (Showpass)


6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (in cooperation with the Calgary Public Library*)

Click to register for this session (Library system)


*A free library membership is required to register for these programs. Register online if you don't already have a membership.


How it works:

For each session listed, we'll be presenting 2-3 talks specially selected by our curators. The talks are fresh from TED2020, and most won't have yet been online. After watching each talk, we'll have a short online discussion with other participants, using the special salon-style format that we feature during our ongoing salon series events throughout the year.
Register for one, two, or all three as you choose: the talks and discussions will all be different!

Staying Engaged in a Time of Isolation

We find ourselves in a time of great uncertainty that demands a period of physical isolation, but that doesn't mean we and our ideas need to be isolated socially.

Like many event-focused organizations, TEDxCalgary (and many other TEDx teams worldwide, including TED itself) has been impacted by the physical isolation or distancing measures deemed so necesary to slow or stop the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 infections. We know that these are being referred to as "social distancing", and why that descriptor is being used by governments and health professionals, but we feel that the term creates the wrong mindset. Physical distancing is absolutely essential to flatten the curve of infections spreading and reduce pressures on health care systems. But how do we stay connected to one another in a time of isolation?

Fortunately, we know that we're not the only ones who think that way. Societal crises like these can be unifying moments, or they can tear us further apart. Globally, there is a chance for governments to coordinate efforts and collaborate in ways they haven't done for many years. At the same time, there also is very much a chance that the response turns into one of more profound divisiveness and isolation. We genuinely hope that the spirit of collaboration wins out, and that we emerge with a better sense that the world is far more connected than most people care to realize. Although alarming in a moment of pandemic, that very connectedness as a system should also encourge us to be more understanding of the world around us.

We were tickled to have the following cartoon from Sam Hester in The Sprawl shared with us today, by long-time collaborator Colin Jackson with Calgary on Purpose (a big shout-out!). Sam is an amazing graphic recorder who wonderfully captured our 2014 Wilderness event at the Calgary Zoo. The full comic is very much worth the read, but here's the panel that really resonated with us, explaining why PHYSICAL isolation/distancing is necessary, but SOCIAL isolation isn't desirable in a time of need:

Sam Hester 2020 - The Sprawl Calgary

Image from The Sprawl Calgary, by Sam Hester

In making our own decision to postpone our planned March 28 ENGAGE: Deeply event to October 31st, we knew it was the right thing to do in the circumstances. All the evidence pointed to our event having higher risk factors given its very nature: people spending a prolonged period (up to 7 hours) in close proximity, sharing ideas face-to-face. That's actually the magic of our in-person events, and what was set to make ENGAGE: Deeply most special. It was intended to develop new connections among participants, and foster deep conversations. Our mastheard image for this story highlights the intimacy of those connections, and why our participants emerge with a different sense of connection. They don't just listen to the ideas of our speakers — they help create even more powerful ideas and stories together, by virtue of the connections they make in person.

Our revised event date gives us opportunity to make ENGAGE: Deeply (Take 2) even better, and more meaningful for the fact that it will occur after we (hopefully) emerge from the events and anxieties of today with new perspectives to share. In the meantime, we'll be hard at work trying to find ways to keep us connected and engaged socially with one another, and still sharing the ideas that matter more now than ever. Keep tuned as our amazing team of volunteers brainstorms on options!

-- Jonathan Perkins, Curator and Co-Founder