Event Photo Team

Written by TEDxCalgary

Coming soon! A celebration of our amazing event photographers and a showcase of their work...

Memories of Ken Low

Written by TEDxCalgary

When Rahim Sajan and Jonathan Perkins met at a Leadership Calgary/Human Venture book club event in 2009, little did we know that it would result in a collaboration and deep friendship of more than 14 years. 

Both of us were proud graduates of the Leadership Calgary program led by Ken Low and his Action Studies Institute, which later would morph into the Human Venture team.

Ken's wisdom had a profound influence on each of our outlooks, as it probably has had for most of the graduates of Ken's various programs. Although Jonathan and Rahim came from different program years separated by almost a half decade, the common thread of Ken's frameworks provided an instant language for our intellectual connection. It also inspired us to use the TEDx platform to share wisdom like Ken's with others across our community. That journey has spanned more than a decade and involved more than 150 speakers and tens of thousands of people who have attended our events or watched the talks online.

Ken appeared on our stage twice over the last decade.

His first appearance was at our Humanity 3.0: Leadership The World Needs Now event in April 2010. Anyone who knows Ken would chuckle knowingly at his initial reluctance to try and distill any part of his wisdom down to the mere 18 minutes (maximum) that we give to any speaker under the TED/TEDx formula. Yet Ken rose to the challenge, and his talk led us to the realization that talks like this are meant simply to be trailheads on a bigger journey of exploration.

His second appearance was at our 2017 Origins Salon, where he was able to move the needle once again, reflecting on the evolution of his research and his teaching style over the intervening years. In both cases, we know that Ken influenced the outlooks of many people who saw the talks, and his reach has gone into the thousands with the talk views via the TEDx YouTube channel.

We hpoe that Ken's wisdom and passion for learning will continue to spread, both through the ongoing efforts of those at the Human Venture team, and hopefully through the ongoing sharing of his ideas via the talks we recorded.





180 Ideas Talks

Written by TEDxCalgary

What is a 180 Ideas Talk?

Ever wanted to share an idea more widely than your immediate circle of friends? This is your opportunity!

Our 180 Ideas Talks were inspired by the famous TED "Talks from the audience", where participants had a chance to take the stage to give short, informal talks in between speakers about the ideas they were most passionate about. We adpated that to be short 3-minute (180 second) talks from selected participants at our own in-person events, inspiring them to share a small idea that would help others change their perspectives — do a mental 180!

We then took it even further by bringing 180 Ideas Talks to various public venues where people with great ideas were likely to gather, and have since collaborated with a number of community friends to help amplify some of the ideas coming out of their events. Their participants supply the ideas, and we supply the video platform via our own TEDxCalgary YouTube channel (typically cross-posted to the organization's own channel).

Click to see some examples!



How it works

When we offer this event interaction, individuals are given an opportunity to sign up for a 15-minute time slot in which they can outline, rehearse, and record their talk with our 180 Ideas video team. The time slots are tightly controlled, so we greatly encourage people to think about and rehearse their idea talk in advance, so that they can give the talk as naturally as possible within the time allowed.

A good guideline is to keep it really simple. You'll only have time to share one idea in a concise format, so be sure that you can address the following key points:

  1. State the idea up front! For example, "My idea is that everyone should get an extra two holiday days each year, to use for whatever they want" or "I want to share the idea that comes from Person X, which I think isn't getting enough attention right now." Don't make people wait until the very end to tell them what your idea is. 
  2. Tell people why it's important to you, and why you think it should be important to them. Here, you want to make the idea relate to something that you've been thinking about for a while, a problem you've encountered for which your idea is a potential solution, and why it applies more broadly to society — and Calgary in particular. 
  3. What are some practical examples of how your idea applies to daily life? Make these relatable to the experiences of others. Your idea shouldn't be so narrow or lofty that others can't relate, so take some time to explain how and where people might put the idea to use.
  4. How can people get involved in your idea? If people want to learn more, or join you in amplifying the idea, where can they go to get additional information, or how can they take the idea and apply it in their own way? Remember that the TED/TEDx motto is "Ideas worth spreading", so encourage people to take your idea further.

Do you get stage fright? Everyone can, so we have a trained facilitator who can ask you a few simple questions to prompt you through talking about your idea. If you're not able to deliver the idea in a single take, this option allows us to edit your talk together in post-production.

What NOT to talk about... Talks that are inherently commercial in nature (including based on selling or promoting personal coaching services, counselling, or products) are not considered, nor are talks that are based on a single religious faith, inherently divisive social viewpoints and opionions, or pseudo-scientific principles. It is a cardinal rule of TEDx talks (even 180 Ideas Talks) that they should be evidence-based, which means that such evidence should be accessible to others and not based on New Age frameworks, personal visions, or conspiracy theories that can't be tested. Such concepts might some day be proven, but we're comfortable taking the stance that we won't promote them from our stage in the interim.


Important conditions and restrictions

Anyone doing a 180 Ideas Talk must sign our standard speaker release form. Among other things, this asks you to verify that your idea doesn't contain any copyrighted material that you don't have appropriate permissions to redistribute, that you understand you won't be financially compensated for the idea or its ongoing distribution via electronic or other means, and that you understand that we have full editorial control over whether the talk will be publicly released and maintained online (meaning we have the right to remove it at our discretion). 

The release form will be available for review in full at the interaction, and must be signed before the talk is recorded. As the release is used globally by TED and all TEDx organizing teams, no provisions in the release are waivable or negotiable.

All TED and TEDx talks are shared under a Creative Commons CC BY–NC–ND 4.0 International licence, and have important restrictions around modifications, embedding in other works, and commercial use. Please see the TED Talks Usage Policy for full details.

Speaker Alumni Profiles

Written by TEDxCalgary

They're the many incredible voices we've featured over the last decade: our more than 140 speaker alumni!

Learn more about a few of them as we feature alumni from various events during our 10th anniversary year and beyond. Watch their original talk, and get updates on what they're up to today. As part of our continuing celebration of their contributions to our journey, we also hope to bring some of them back for a short podcast interview to catch up, or to help guide an interaction at a future annual event.


Written by TEDxCalgary

We've had the opportunity to feature more than 140 speakers on our stage over the last 10 years, from all ages and walks of life. Speakers from our most recent events will appear here, but be sure to check our past events to see talks from prior years.

If you or someone you know is interested to become a TEDxCalgary speaker, please review our Become a Speaker page for some basic background information. From there, you can submit an online nomination form.

UCalgary Alumni tickets

Written by TEDxCalgary

TEDxCalgary is pleased to be able to offer discounted tickets to our 2023 events for University of Calgary alumni, through a special partnership with the UCalgary Alumni Association. These can be purchased at check-out for any of our ticketed events.

Please note that discounted tickets are limited, and are intended for alumni members. For accompanying guests who are not alumni, you can add regular admission and/or student/60+ tickets while completing your order on the Showpass ticketing system.

 UC Alumni 


Written by TEDxCalgary

We can't cultivate a garden of ideas and nurture a culture of conversation all on our own!

Thanks to the many partners we have had across the Calgary community throughout the last decade, we have been able to bring over 140 amazing speakers to our stage and thousands of participants together to explore the power of ideas. Our unique partnership value proposition is being able to gather a group of participants who are genuinely curious about the world around them, and often committed to positive actions of change.

Our partnerships are not just financial: they're also very much about exploring ways to create amazing experiences and powerful connections for our participants. So, we might think about adventures to unique places and spaces that people might not know about, opportunities to let participants get hands-on with new technologies that are being talked about from our stage, or ways to deepen the knowledge of participants about a particular idea.

Let's get creative together!


Interested to talk about partnership opportunities?

Here's our process:

1Let's have an initial conversation to talk about our interests and dream a little.

2Let's plan to do something amazing together, especially things that can really engage our participants in unique ways.

3Let's make it happen. We're agile and have a strong sense of fun, so let's get moving!


Contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by email, or start things rolling by calling us at 587.997.4873, ext. 2

Acknowledging the Land

Written by TEDxCalgary

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis (Moh'kins'tsis) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani as well as the Iyarhe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations, indigenous and non, who live, work and play and help us steward this land, honour and celebrate this territory.


In the spirit of reconciliation, see 150 Acts of Reconciliation to consider as personal acts of education and understanding.

For further information, please visit the Calgary Foundation website.