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TedxSFU 2013 - Make it Yours!

On a cold, fall Saturday morning, 400 people came from different parts of Greater Vancouver to attend this year’s TedxSFU at SFU. The event was organized by passionate SFU students and alumni volunteers. This year’s theme was Make it Yours and aimed to encourage youth and youth at heart to not only invent bright ideas, but also turn them into reality. Speakers included Mobify CEO Igor Faletski, Vancouver Aquarium President & CEO John Nightingale, and IBM’s Center for Advanced Learning Team Member Chuck Hamilton. Together, the volunteers and speakers made TedxSFU a special event for all the attendees. Here’s why:
  1. Ideas worth sharing.

    While each speaker came from different walks of life, they all had one thing in common: they all had brilliant ideas that would benefit the world tremendously. Whether it’s asking consumers to purchase fewer poor-quality items and more locally-made sustainable goods (proposed by Devil May Wear Founder Stephanie Ostler), or encouraging Vancouverites to protect our ocean (suggested by Vancouver Aquarium CEO John Nightingale), they all had compassionate philosophies that would improve our society profoundly. They were able to unleash the inner-philanthropist in the audience through their insights and passion.

  2. Inspiring stories.

    Entrepreneurs such as Mobify CEO Igor Faletski and Lipstick Project Society Founder Leigh Boyle illustrated their journeys of starting their technology business or non-profit organization. Their stories portrayed the hardship of entrepreneurship, the immense joy of success, and all the lives they’ve touched through their organizations. While it may not be everyone’s goal to become an entrepreneur, it’s enlightening to see the ups and downs others had to endeavour in order to turn their dreams into reality.

  3. Invaluable advice.

    The speakers all had profound wisdom that they were eager to share with the audience. My favourite advices came from Mobify CEO Igor Faletski when he gave us five tips on how to launch a company in Vancouver. The suggestions were: recruit your friends, ride a global trend, market like crazy, invade the U.S., and above all, don’t give up. I found the “invade the U.S.” tip most useful as it allowed me to comprehend the vitality of expanding into foreign markets if local companies want to thrive or remain competitive. While we want to help our domestic economy by keeping everything local, we simply can’t grow unless we tap into larger markets such as the U.S., which has an 8.6 times larger economy than Canada.

  4. Networking opportunities.

    TedxSFU provided us with numerous networking opportunities throughout the event. There were networking periods and a designated networking space. The dining area was placed in an open space (Convocation Mall) where people sat with others they didn’t know and fostered conversations. I for one met a SFU alumni who started a company that creates oil paintings for newly-weds. These networking opportunities enabled us to expand our network as well as share our thoughts on the presentations.


TedxSFU was a success as it brought 400 brilliant minds from different professions together to share their ideas on today’s global issues. The event also allowed entrepreneurs and environmentalists to pass on their wisdom to the next generation so that we can make the world a better place. Together, I believe we’ll be able to remedy various problems in today’s society. By focusing on our goals, we’ll surely “manufacture our own reality.”