YES, and... | Our Annual Theme

It has been an amazing ten years (now more than eleven, with our COVID years of deferral) for TEDxCalgary as an organizing team.

A journey of X = Exploration

We're often asked what the "X" in TEDx is supposed to stand for. To TEDx, it means "an independently organized event". To us, it has always marked the treasured spot where idea explorers gather.

When we were granted our first licence in 2009, and planned our first event for April 2010, the number of global TEDx licencees was in the hundreds and collectively we were very much an experiment for the TED organization. Along with others in our city and across the globe, we were given the amazing latitude by TEDx to explore and multiply, and we now number in the thousands of organizing teams internationally. Big or small, new or old, every one of those teams is doing an inspiring job of finding voices that matter to our time and place in history, and being creative in how they engage their participants.

We feel very honoured to be part of how the TEDx program is helping organizers like us to bring the energy of amazing ideas to our local cities, and allowing us to showcase the many ideas that are hidden in our own back yard.

In our current programming year, the "YES, and..." theme celebrates our (deferred) 10th anniversary as an organizing team by continuing a year-long journey of engaging even deeper with our community: building new connections, and holding even deeper conversations.

Although much of our regular programming has been impacted by the current pandemic, all of the events we hold (including virtually) are part of our ongoing efforts to explore, expand, and extend the reach of ideas that matter in our local context.

" ... the truth of our interrelationship with each other, our connectedness, our family tie, is that story is our most powerful commonality... "...Richard Wagamese, One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet


Cultivating a Garden of Ideas. Nurturing a Culture of Conversation.

We continuously seek to cultivate a rich and diverse garden of ideas, and help that grow by nuturing a culture of conversation based on the principles of pluralism and active community engagement as members of civil society. You can read more about our vision and purpose as a team, and we always welcome you to join us as a volunteer in whatever capacity fits.

As a team, we have long embraced and used the metaphor of "campfire conversations": those delightful, relaxed moments that let our minds shift gears and go to new places of insight and understanding as we watch the flames dance and sparks fly.

That view has always informed our programming. On an ongoing basis throughout the year, we'll be experimenting with campfire-inspired conversations across the city, both organized by us and in collaboration with others who share the perspective that campfires and the conversations that take place around them are an essential part of our deepest human connections. They allow us to exchange meaningful stories and play even more nimbly and creatively with ideas that we desperately need to share with one another in a society that is simultaneously the most and the least connected in our human history.

As always, none of the past decade would have been possible without the energy and intellect of our tremendous team of volunteers, our speakers, and our community partners. We owe all of them a profound debt of gratitude for having believed in our efforts, and supported us at every turn.

Join us on our journey to YES, and... Stay tuned to our events pages and social media channels, and be part of the conversation. 


– Rahim Sajan and Jonathan Perkins, co-founders and co-curators