TEDx Ottawa: collaboration for community building!

On Sunday, December 6th, the city of Ottawa hosted its first TEDx Talk: a local, self-organized event that brings together people from different communities and disciplines to be inspired by local speakers who take the stage to share their life experiences, passions and knowledge for the sake of collaboration and community. TEDx Ottawa is part of the TED Conference program which is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are collectively shaping our future. 

In supporting the spirit of “ideas worth spreading”, Groupsia decided to give back to the Ottawa community by officially sponsoring the event which in turn inspired Groupsia members Michael Roberts and Dominique Morin to rethink creativity, community and collaboration. One of the speakers that caught their attention was  Ottawa based entrepreneur and Children’s books enthusiast, Mark Blevis. Mark’s presentation was based on the importance of cultivating our children’s natural curiosity, creativity and desire to connect by reading and sharing basic life stories and lessons found in children books. He related that: “much of what we become is shaped by the ideas we’re exposed to and the relationships of which we’re a part. The stronger those foundations are from childhood, the better equipped we are to understand the people with whom we interact and the world around us.” For Mark Blevis, the roots of collaboration and community building start with children, thus the importance of cultivating their appetite for learning through reading and their desire to connect and share with others through discussing these ideas when reading with others. For more information on Mark’s idea’s, take a look at his blog Just One More Book.

Another inspiring speaker was Robert Mittelman, a local social entrepreneur and fellow of the Kiva program: a wonderful organization that focused on using micro-credit to support low income entrepreneurs around the world and especially in the South. Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website which empowers individuals from anywhere in the world to lend to entrepreneurs around the globe. In order to achieve this Kiva developed a data-rich and transparent online lending platform which allows lenders to see how money flows throughout the entire cycle, and what effect it has on the people and institutions borrowing it, and managing it along the way. Using the power of the internet, Kiva is able to facilitate one-on-one connections at low costs to help low income entrepreneurs reach financial independence for them and their families. To find out more about Kiva, visit their website at http://www.kiva.org/about

Participating in TEDx Ottawa also reaffirmed Groupsia members’ belief in the importance of knowledge sharing and collaboration for local and international development. The most effective way to build a community and care for those around us is to get people talking and sharing their ideas in a positive and creative environment. Communities are built by people! To learn more about TED, please take a look and learn from their website! http://www.ted.com