I was graciously invited to This year TEDxToronto conference and believe it or not, this was my first in-person event since 2019! It was a refreshing experience far from pandemic norms (endless video calls and annoying technical difficulties) and it served as a reminder of our common humanity; the essence of human connection.
This year’s TEDxToronto summarized the theme in three sections: Renewing the Way We Care, Renewing the Way We See, and Renewing the Way We Build. All in all, it was an amazing experience and I hope that if you have the chance to attend TEDxToronto in the future, you do it! Here are my takeaways from attending Day 3 of the event…
1. Gene and cell therapies mark the future of medicine
First of all, Dr Nafiseh Nafissi kicked off the show by giving us hope that rare genetic diseases can be cured through genetic engineering. She is a genetics researcher who has dedicated much of her life to studying gene and cell therapy to save lives.
This subject deserves to be highlighted, because only 1% of gene therapy work in the world takes place in Canada. Dr. Nafissi highlighted the demand for investment in research to support people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer or genetic disorders.
2. Innovation is the real hero of economic growth
The next step was Dan Breznitz, a global expert on innovation policy. But since talking about economics can be tricky, the first step was to define what innovation is:
- The act of taking ideas and turning them into new or improved products and services
- Reliability of products and services
- Make products and services more accessible
He went on to break down globalization into four stages:
- The first step is novelty
- The second stage is the development and production of design prototypes
- The third stage is innovation
- The fourth stage is the production of goods and services
3. Challenging the norm leads to inclusiveness
Brandon Gonez wrapped up the night with words of wisdom, “You can start by looking to see what voices are missing from the table you’re sitting at. If there’s a voice missing, then you’re probably not telling the whole story.
He quit working as a TV reporter and news network reporter once he saw the dysfunctional system that was being normalized, such as lack of diversity and distorted storytelling. Gonez opened his own independent online media company in 2021 to redefine the way we receive information and he wants to promote a more authentic perspective from all walks of life.
In summary, attending TEDxToronto was impactful and inspiring. I felt present and immersed in the speech of each speaker. It taught me the power we all hold in our voices, our limitless abilities and our resilience to move forward despite the difficulties. When we come together to develop ideas, we rise.
Hey, I’m Christina! I am currently studying graphic design at OCAD University. Outside of design, I’m huge on sustainability and sanity. You can find me raising awareness, volunteering and giving back to the community. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, hanging out with friends and exploring the city.