TEDTalks event coming to Gabriola

Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Sounder News

Monday, December 3 2012

Gabriola Island will land on the world stage by way of the Internet on March 18, 2013 when the global speaker series TEDTalks comes to the island.
Rachel Davey is organizing TEDxGabriolaIsland (the ‘x’ stands for independently organized TED event) called Unity in Diversity: Beyond Objectification into Empathy.
A TEDx event involves speakers and videos with the intention of sparking discussion and connections.
“I’m delighted that Gabriola’s hosting this event,” said Rachel. TEDx talks have produced over 17,000 videos in over 130 countries, and Rachel believes this is the first happening on a Gulf Island. She said the TED officials “really liked the subject and loved that it’s on a Gulf Island and in a rural area.
“Empathy is a good conversation to have anytime and anywhere.
“It’s about learning to see the world in another person’s eyes. Where ever we live that’s a great thing to foster and support.
“The spirit of the TED organization is ideas worth spreading and I think empathy is an idea worth spreading.”
Rachel has approached several local organizations to support the event, including the Islands Trust. TEDTalks run on donated time and in-kind or financial support.
Speakers do not get a fee and Rachel and a group of volunteers are operating and organizing everything, including website design, venue setup, videography and sound.
Rachel said TEDxGabriolaIsland could turn in to annual event if the inaugural one goes well, and is “a great way to showcase Gabriola.”
The Haven is donating venue and accommodation space for speakers and Vancouver Island University has provided cash sponsorship.
Speakers already lined up include Mary Gordon, creator of the Roots of Empathy schools program; Shelagh Rogers; musicians Victor Wooten and Mike Stevens; performance artist Megan Daalder (creator of the Mirrorbox) as well as a few Gabriolans: artist Sheila Norgate, community activist Shelagh Huston and author and lecturer Jock McKeen.
Tickets go on sale in January and prices will be kept as low as possible, depending on the level of sponsorship.
Visit www.tedxgabriolaisland.com for further information.
“I think it’s going to be quite the Gabriola event,” said Rachel.